We know: there are still pumpkins on your doorstep–do we really have to bring up the dreaded H-word? But as October draws to a close, now is the perfect time to start thinking about your corporate holiday cards and gifts. This is an area that many companies spend a fair amount of time and money on–but that they don’t put much thought into when it comes to standing out from the crowd. Have you been sending generic cards with your name printed in them every year? It’s time to shake it up.

And since it’s never too early to start giving, we’ve also got a special deal for you: 50 FREE branded holiday cards to get you started on that holiday shopping early!

Here are our top ideas for creative corporate holiday cards and gifts:

  • Custom Branded Cards: Your holiday cards should have more than just your logo. Take them over the top by creating a card from scratch–one that reflects your company’s values, provides a sense of place (perhaps a beautiful winter shot of your headquarters?) or even incorporates the faces of your employees. At Ambit, our annual calendar features beautiful photos of our home: Boston and Cambridge

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  • A Personal Touch: Many companies put their logo inside a card and call it a day. It’s the fast and easy way to get your holiday card out, but it may not be the most impactful. Consider having employees sign each card, whether it’s that sales reps are responsible for the signatures on their clients’ cards or that the whole company lends their John Hancock to every card. It feels personal and that you’ve truly put the time in to wish them a happy holiday season.
  • Alternate Timing: Most holiday cards and gifts will land between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Consider standing out by sending yours a bit early or even a bit late, after the wave of logoed chocolate boxes and crystal candy dishes have subsided. Make sure to message it appropriately, though, so you don’t look late! “Happy New Year! Here’s to many successes in 2015!” should work.
  • Corporate holiday giftsLongevity and Impact: Especially when spending the money to ship a gift to a client, you want to be sure that the marketing dollars (and they are marketing dollars!) are well-spent. Any item you send should be branded with your logo and should meet one of two criteria: a big wow factor, or staying power. The wow factor might be something like a local treat from your hometown to theirs. Staying power is something that will sit on their desk all year round. At Ambit, we have a desktop calendar featuring photos from around Boston that is a huge hit every year. It’s fun to produce, customers love it, and we know it sits on their desk, reminding them that we are available to them no matter the month.
  • Charitable Support: Many nonprofits sell some sort of holiday item as a fundraiser, whether that’s a card or edible goody. Consider buying gifts from a nonprofit that aligns with your company’s values (for example, a local food pantry). Of course, be careful with this one, as you want to ensure the charity you’re supporting is one that is neutral and won’t make customers or employees uncomfortable.
  • Out of the Box Greetings: While we believe there’s no substitute for that printed holiday greeting, those companies with a particularly “game” staff and savvy video editors might consider a fun video that can be shared with customers and partners. Next New Networks did a simple (but logistically impressive) greeting here and we had a chuckle at this one from a few years ago from Viewpoint Creative.

So what will you be doing about holiday cards and corporate gifts this year? Stay tuned for a post on our top picks for corporate holiday gifts, and contact us for more information on designing your corporate card campaign!

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