As promised, this is a recap of the Red Scarf Gift Co Roundtable session hosted in February 2022. Thank you to those who attended. To those who couldn’t be present, hopefully we’ll see you next time!
This recap is intended to provide a gentle reminder and a reference tool for you as you plan your promotional products and gifts for the next few months. As information changes, we will keep you informed of current trends and what you can implement for your gift giving strategy.
It’s becoming more important than ever to build TRUST and INTEGRITY in your brand. Employees and customers will want and expect safety, reliability and longevity. What will your employee or customer feel when they think of your brand?
Logistical challenges in inventory and skyrocketing transportation costs are a reality.
If you’re considering a specific product for a campaign, ensure the product is in stock for uninterrupted and seamless execution. Give yourself plenty of time. Have a Plan B and C to fall back on.
Staff shortages mean longer order processing and production time. Many suppliers’ employees and/or CSRs are still working remotely and are not able to walk away from their workstations and walk to the production area to check and provide an update on an order. They have to rely on emails for communication and provide order updates such as proofs and ETAs. Production and shipping staff are also limited.
Employees and their families have adjusted to companies being part of their family life on a day to day basis. The entire family has to be considered and rewarded for accommodating this disruption in family life.
Keep your employee engaged and ensure collaboration among the team and the company. Even when restrictions are lifted, some will still be working remotely. Keep your employee happy, positive and optimistic. They are important and valuable to the growth of the company. Isolation is a recipe for illogical emotional decisions that may impede growth and cohesiveness.
Wellness and mental health
Wellness and mental health are of paramount importance to most. Any type of item that provides stress relief, enjoyment and a level of relaxation while working, mental breaks, physical stretching and a feeling of well being and contentment. These positive feelings will encourage better productivity. Gifts you may want to consider: yoga mat, plug in diffuser with essential oils, meditation pillow, candles, aromatherapy item, a nature scene imprinted on a product that makes the viewer" relax and breathe”.
This word has been used frequently in past years in the gifting industry but now it has taken on a different meaning. Lifestyle gifts now have to include family members, even the pet. Consideration for every family member is regarded as a considerate and thoughtful gesture. During the Pandemic, companies have become part of one’s family. Any type of large snack bowl with an assortment of confectionary, along with a blanket and a puzzle for everyone to enjoy. In summer months a pass to a camping ground with all camping equipment will be well received, a picnic cooler filled with food and beverages for a family hiking day and don’t forget the solar power banks with a built in flashlight! Anything BBQ would work as well. Again, the message of “relax and enjoy yourself” is a meaningful and heartfelt message.
This trend isn’t new either however as technology moves so quickly, it’s important to keep up with the newest gadgets recipients love. If it makes their workday easier and provides faster productivity, then it’s a must have in the eyes of the recipient. Think about a Cloud based product such a Cloud Pen whereby current information is uploaded to a QR code and when scanned, the reader is taken to a web app to read relevant information. The applications are endless! A reusable Rocketbook journal whereby written pages in a journal can be uploaded to 7 different Cloud based platforms. Moleskin has partnered with Dropbox for their version. For those who don’t like paper and are constantly on the move, these journals are perfect. A tech organizer for your neat freaks, a mouse pad that acts as a power charger or a fabulous pair of bluetooth headphones. Tech products and related accessories are necessary and well accepted by all, especially for those working remotely.
This is an important one. During the Pandemic, most of us longed for the simpler things in life and to experience joy from the small things again. Food does this so well. Snack kits with a non alcoholic beverage, popcorn bowls filled with movie type of confectionery such as liquorice, peanuts, and a variety of sweets. Simple yet very effective especially during long zoom meetings or virtual town halls. Munching while engaging is ok. If you wan to kick it upon few notches, try a virtual chef’s cooking class, a horseback riding lesson, a meditative retreat or a sleep under the stars with a top notch sleeping bag. Sunglasses that have a video feature are fantastic for that special golfing tournament. Make someone’s dream come true and make it amazing!
This trend will be moving forward with impact and importance. Products that have a story attached to them, a “give back” to a top of mind cause. We all want to feel good about what we purchase and this is one of the ways to feel we made a worthwhile and important contribution. There are products available with codes to register your purchase and then be directed to supplier websites that let you know how and where your dollars are being spent. Recipients and customers want to know how the product is made, where it’s made, if child labour or animal cruelty is part of the process, and if the world is further polluted by the manufacturing of the product being considered. Transparency is expected by those who buy and those who receive. People want to contribute to goodness and kindness in the world. If this positive message is achieved, it can only mean great things for the company.
In conclusion, gifts are now bridging the gap in meaningful and impactful ways. We’ve all been apart and separated, gifts fulfill an important need. Never have the words gratitude and appreciation meant so much as they have in the past two years! Consistency and longevity are the building blocks for a rock solid foundation and are more important than ever for reassuring employees and customers that business will continue and bonds will be stronger regardless of difficult situations that arise.
For any questions regarding products and/or discussions for a new campaign, incentives or any other marketing initiative, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our knowledgable team would be happy to assist you.
Wishing you all the best in success!
The Red Scarf Team.