What Is the Value in Corporate Gift Giving?

For Japanese companies, corporate gift giving is as timeless as it is important. A deeply rooted custom, it often involves huge sums of money being spent on extravagant gifts. How does this apply to employee and customer relations within your company?

The business benefits from corporate gift-giving are multifaceted.

  • Increased productivity
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Longevity in customer relationships.

You can divide corporate gifts into two categories – those which are given externally, to a client or partner company, and those which are given internally, to individuals or your own staff. Our last post focused on gift giving internally for employee appreciation and how those gifts were received. External corporate gift giving can be equally as effective with existing customers as well as prospective customers.

Business people shaking hands

External Corporate Gifts

There are two key advantages to gifting externally – firstly, you can attract new clients and strengthen your brand image, and secondly you can also build better relationships with your existing clients. One gift does not fit all.  

There are several different levels of gift giving. The first of which is the “leave behind”. These gifts are typically items that are not as expensive but that are very functional and useful. This type of gift may stay around the office or on the desk for months, reminding your prospective customer of who you are, giving you increase visibility, brand recognition and an advantage over those that do not have a quality leave behind.

A couple of ideas that might work in the corporate world are a Premium Sticky Note Caddy or perhaps a journal for keeping those valuable meeting notes in one place. Try a notebook that is not only quality, but recycled . . . The Stone. Whether large or small, you always increase the odds of being remembered by leaving a customized “leave behind” with potential customers.

We can help you match product to any situation. Contact us at 423-364-7343 or email us at info@cppproducts.com.

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Thank you on door

Let Them Know You Care

Year end is typically the time of year that people remember those who have impacted their lives and helped make their businesses successful. This can include businesses and individual customers as well as employees. Does recognition really make a difference? Here are some thoughts that my customers have shared with me on the value of recognition gifts.

  • Business gifts that are tailored to that company remain in the hands of the decision makers for months. This often leads to your company being one of the first to come to mind when something is needed.
  • Customer gifts not only leave a tangible item of value, but they also leave the message of appreciation and value.
  • Employee appreciation gifts and recognition go a long way to letting your employees know that they are important and valued. Gifts are a great way to improve morale.

A good example of how to use gifts for employee incentives and appreciation is how the Embassy Suites of Chattanooga celebrates their housekeeping staff each year during International Housekeepers Week. Whether a t-shirt or an embroidered duffle bag, their housekeeping staff knows they are appreciated.

Are you letting your customers and employees know that you care? Give us a call to plan your year-end gift giving for results that will be remembered: 423-364-7343.

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staff recognition

Nothing but smiles.

Embassy Suites/Chattanooga knows they are appreciated.


Businessman writing plans

Year-End Planning: Look Back to See What May Be Ahead

The last quarter of the year is not only a time to reflect on the current year to see what has been successful and what could be improved upon, but it is also a time to look forward to plan for the new year.

Looking Back … Review your year for several key points:

  • Was there one campaign, event or product this year that was especially memorable?
  • Which campaign, event or product facilitated interaction with your customers or prospective customers?
  • Which campaign, event or product would you consider a waste of time and money? Why?
  • Did you reach the audience that you were targeting?

Looking Forward … Take what you have learned from the past year and plan for next year. Things to consider:

  • What is your budget for the new year?
  • How do you want to structure your new plan to maximize your return on investment?
  • What events are you planning on attending in the new year?
  • How do you effectively match product to those events?

Reviewing your marketing plan past and present is as important as creating your business plan for the new year. Being deliberate with your plan and having a roadmap to reach your goals are critical to maximizing your return on investment.

Give us a call to review what products have worked this year and what changes need to be made next year – Connections Promotional Products, (423) 364-7343.

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Wood flooring at home

Business Spotlight: Equity Solutions

“We Will Floor You”

Joining us on Chattanooga’s Southside

Equity Solutions is a locally owned and operated flooring company that values honesty and integrity and treats your home as if it were their own. With 30 years’ experience in the flooring industry, they are the professionals that you need to talk with before flooring your home or office.

This great company offer a variety of flooring options, as well as professional installation:

    • luxury vinyl plank (LVP)Happy customer of Equity Solutions
    • luxury vinyl tile (LVT)
    • hardwood
    • engineered wood
    • carpet

They pride themselves on the quality of their work, as well as their commitment to outstanding results. Equity Solutions looks forward to building lasting relationships. Your satisfaction is guaranteed!!

Pictured here is a happy customer who stopped by Equity Solutions’ booth at a recent hospitality vendor fair. This multi-functional tape measure was just the product to complete their marketing plan. The event was a great success. Look for them at their upcoming new showroom at 3425 Alton Park Blvd. in Chattanooga. Call them at (423) 779-7860.

Want your event to be a success? Talk with us about how to match product to your next event.

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Turn Missed Opportunities into Future Customers

Have you ever attended an event and realized it would have been a good marketing fit for your company, but you hadn’t considered the possibility beforehand? In that moment of realization, make a note.

  1. Will the event happen again? If so, you can begin to plan for the next one in the coming week.
  2. What type of event is this? Other events of this type may be coming up, so you could market your company in a similar venue.

As business owners we are faced with many different jobs and responsibilities. When opportunities present themselves, we are often covered up with our everyday responsibilities and our existing customers. If we can make a little room for these moments of opportunity, we can potentially grow our business with only a little extra effort.

Here are some points to remember:

  1. Plan ahead. Look at key events that are happening in your area a minimum of 1 – 2 months ahead and evaluate if that is your target market.
  2. Manage your time. Make sure to include time in your schedule once a month to look ahead.
  3. Make use of interns or other employees for research.
  4. Take something with you. Does your presence at the event include a matching product to enhance your marketing plan?
  5. Call a professional. We don’t have to be an expert at everything! Find a reputable promotional products company to help guide you.
  6. Stop making excuses! Yes, we are all busy, but when we have an effective growth plan in place and follow it, our business will consistently grow.

Don’t miss out on your next opportunity! Give us call today.

Employee Appreciation and Your Business … Low Cost with a High Impact

There are many different opinions of employee appreciation and if it is an effective use of your funds.

Some think that employee appreciation simply means giving your employees money each year or some small trinket. The truth is that one size does not fit all.

In today’s market, hiring and keeping quality employees can be very challenging. There is always a better employer around the corner with better pay and benefits. So how do you keep your good employees? Let them know they are valued.

You might do this in several ways:

  • Recognize the accomplishments of those who are doing a good job. This gives employees an example of what a “good job” is.
  • Compensate top performers with time off.
  • Initiate a rewards program, where employee earn rewards for different levels of accomplishment.

Why implement this in your company?

  • You want to retain those valuable employees. It is more cost effective to keep employees than to have a high turnover and high training costs.
  • Employees who feel appreciated tend to take pride in their work, resulting in a higher quality product or service.
  • Annual incentive programs often give employees a significant, tangible item to work toward: a specific annual goal to set the tone for achievement over a period of time.

Great managers know that they can never give too much recognition as long as it is honest and deserved. Acknowledging an employee’s accomplishments can go a long way toward making an employee feel valued and can lead to a more positive overall workplace.

How do you let your employees know they are valued?

September 10-16 is International Housekeeping Week. Let us help you design your employee incentive program.

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Outdoor Promotional Items in Chattanooga

How to Reach 140 Million People While Having Fun

Biking in ChattanoogaDo you like the great outdoors, and would you like to reach 48% of the American public with your marketing?

Last year 48% of Americans participated in at least one outdoor activity. That activity is not only great for the overall health of America, but it gives businesses opportunities to reach active people. Here are some thoughts.

  • Young people (ages 6-24) favor running, jogging, trail running, bicycling, skateboarding, surfing, and birdwatching.
  • The adult sector (25+ years old) favors running and jogging, fishing, bicycling, hiking, and camping.
  • Over the past 3 years, four outdoor activities have had at least a 20% growth, including adventure racing, non-traditional or off-road triathlon, stand-up paddling, and kayak fishing.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts find it easier to stick with their exercise habit outdoors.
  • Outdoor activities account for millions of dollars of promotional items that have a practical application.

So, business owners, pay close attention to not only the activities, but the demographics to know how to prepare a marketing plan for your target audience.

Increase your visibility with fans of the great outdoors by visiting Outdoor Necessities.

Diversity in Marketing: Visibility

We have taken a look at diversity in marketing as it relates to people. However, diversity is even broader than that. Have you thought about the importance of diversity in marketing as it relates to visibility?


In the advertising and marketing world, you will often hear the term “visibility.”  In short, visibility refers to how many times you are seen in various different markets. It is most successful when your company is seen a number of places. Visibility can take a passive form (such as embroidered apparel) or an active form (such as direct media formats like commercials or billboards).


So, how does embroidered apparel increase your visibility?


Recently, my son attended a chamber luncheon with me. He is 23 years old, and is a graduate assistant to the UTC Mocs basketball team. Since he will graduate in May with his master’s degree, it is important for him to talk to people now about his future. He came to the luncheon wearing his embroidered Mocs shirt.


As we walked in, the first person that I introduced him to was a local banker. You may be thinking, “how can a banker help with a future coaching career?” Well, the first question he asked my son was, “are you with the Mocs?” This started a discussion … which led the banker to state that he knew various coaches with colleges and schools in the area. He was willing to help my son make connections. The next person that I introduced Michael to had almost the exact same response.


That’s visibility through apparel.


Embroidered apparel is just one way to passively get your message out to the public. Above you can see two pictures of embroidered apparel. The red shirt is one that was bought through a corporate store. The black shirt is a higher quality shirt with a much cleaner logo that we did for our customer. It represents the customer’s brand more effectively.


Which shirt would you want to represent your company?


You can increase visibility and present your company’s image in a positive way by working with a good promotional products company. You need a partner that understands that passive advertising is as important as direct advertising.


Let Connections Promotional Products help you unleash the power of marketing through increased visibility.

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Diversity and Marketing:

Does diversity affect your marketing plan?

We have heard the word diversity used many times, and we all know that every company’s customer base is diverse. Yet, we still may be surprised how many ways diversity affects us and our business.

Diversity: When a group is made up of differing elements or qualities, we call it diverse. Diversity can apply to a number of things. People, cultures, religions, beliefs … and, on the business side, customer groups, business plans, or marketing plans.

Marketing: Marketing is the promotion and distribution of a product or service. This not only applies to but is dependent on various groups of people, cultures, religions, and beliefs. Your marketing plan and business plan are closely related.

Thoughts to consider when marketing to a diverse market:

  • When selling, promoting, and distributing a product or service, you need to know who you are talking to and what is important to them.
  • Being aware of holidays and events that your customers care about can lead to a more meaningful relationship.
  • Working with a diverse market gives you the chance to reach your audience through the right promotional products.

A well-thought out diversity and marketing plan lets you build relationships in your market. Need help with your plan? Contact us at 423-364-7343 or email kay@cppproducts.com today.


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Work day with the Southside Council of the Chattanooga Area Chamber

Fiscal Year End: Clean House by Thanking Customers

Tip #3

June is a big month for many businesses. It marks, not just the beginning of summer, but also the end of the fiscal year. So, how does that affect your promotional product marketing strategy?

Well, as the saying goes, “if you’ve got it, flaunt it.” Advertising materials and products are best when you actually use them. They fail in their intended purpose if you keep them to yourself. This month is the perfect time to clean out your promotional product closet and put those items to good use.

3 Tips to Get the Most out of Unused Promotional Products

Tip#3: Send your new customers a token of thanks for their business.

Take a look in that closet and mail each new customer one of your branded items to say “thank you.”

One such item is a note caddy containing a calendar. The calendar is going to expire this year and, although the note caddy is a great gift, the calendar will be out of date. Use those products while they are still relevant!

With markets (and seasons) changing, this month is an ideal time to take a look in your closet and think about using older promotional products in order to keep your advertising fresh by making room for new materials.


Need help with more ideas? Give us a call at (423) 364-7343 or email kay@cppproducts.com and we can discuss strategies to grow your business through effective promotional products.


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