Magazine article Marketing

Effective Branding for Christmas Gifts

Magazine article Marketing

Effective Branding for Christmas Gifts

Article excerpt

Logo, or no logo? Sharon Greaves on the use of corporate image in seasonal giving

A Christmas gift is intended to be a mark of appreciation for the loyalty and custom that clients and employees have given a company over the year. On many levels though, it works in much the same way as any other promotional offer, its task being to remind recipients of the sender and to sell the company's product.

The most effective way of doing this, many argue is through branding. A product that is customised, from stamping a logo on it to packaging it in corporate colours, differentiates the sender from its competitors. It shows that thought has been invested in the purchasing process, and adds to the perceived value of the gift. No surprise then that as many as 85% of companies request the products they choose be branded to some extent.

Perhaps more importantly, a personalised gift has a greater chance of being kept a standardised one, and thus becomes a cost-effective brand-awareness tool.

The personal touch

The gift itself or its wrapper, box or bag can be personalised with techniques ranging from discrete blocking on items such as diaries and a company's initials stamped on chocolate, through to silver and glassware sporting a corporate message or logo.

Both Geneiva Chocolates and What's in a Name produce purely branded gift lines. Packaging makes the product, according to Geneiva Chocolates managing director, Peter Harris. "If you just offer any box of chocolates there is an element of it being slightly meaningless. Putting your name on a chocolate gives you a very elegant way of presenting your company," he says.

What's in a Name personalises wine and champagne bottles. They can either feature a company's logo or brand identity or even the recipient's name. "Anyone can go to Threshers and buy a case of wine but if it has the brand name on the label it shows that the company has made an effort," says director John Hansell.

Gifts such as desk accessories and crystal can be produced to a customised brief. Items available from AC:Ltd include clocks, photo frames and key rings, crafted in plain metal and ripe for customisation with diamond or laser engraving.

The two biggest brands from the Burton McCall stable are Victorinox Swiss army knives and Maglite torches. "We encourage clients to give a branded object," says Burton McCall trade marketer Ryan Hornbuckle. "We can screen print or laser engrave messages or logos on the products. With a plain torch it is easy to forget who sent it and clients are looking to make a lasting impression."

But he admits that there are circumstances in which it is better not to brand a gift. Sometimes customers will send a gift with their product so personalisation is not as pertinent.

Also, a gift that already has a recognisable brand of its own does not necessarily require a separate corporate logo shouldering it.

Essentially, the profile of the company should shine through on the gift.

"Some clients choose products because they have a certain synergy with their company or with the promotion they are running," says Hornbuckle. "Our products already have a perceived value and a quality attached to the brand itself, which is synonymous with durability and excellence in design."

Voucher providers agree, claiming the high street brands they promote are already affiliated to certain images and are sufficiently strong to speak for purchasing company. …

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