Holiday gifts to clients and colleagues can help you strengthen both business relationships and your brand. While flashing your logo at holiday time seemed insensitive back when droves of people didn’t have jobs, manufacturers — several based in South Florida — have responded with more creative ways to include branding on some very usable products that people can actually enjoy.
What’s more, some companies are coming up with highly customized gifts, whether geared to personal allergies (seems the universe has gone gluten-free) or even philanthropic affinities, so your recipients can feel good about indulging.
“This year in corporate gifting, people are trying to stand out and not give the typical branded gear, such as pens and mugs,” says Dana Holmes, editor of Gifts.com. “And people are selling unique and creative ideas — both with and without logos. People are thinking about who they’re supporting, looking local, and they want to feel more connected to the things they buy.”
Here are some ideas to help your search for thoughtful gift giving.
Ginny Bakes Holiday Boxes: This season, more people are avoiding gluten than they are the annoying office braggarts, so you can sweeten any holiday party by sending a holiday box packed with cookies made in Miami, from ingredients such as dark organic chocolate, preservative-free nuts and fruit as well as gluten-free oat flour. Ginny Bakes will deliver to any door holiday box collections such as the Chocolate Love variety, packed with Chocolate Chip Macadamia, Double Chocolate Happiness and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bliss flavors. The box arrives wrapped and ready to eat. $34; www.ginnybakes.com.
Courtly Check Candy Cottage: Hey big spender, this illuminated tabletop cottage costs just a bit less than the down payment on actual real estate, but the impact is earth-shattering. It’s not edible (think eye candy), but the hand-crafted house, with a glass-candy covered roof, a delicate wreath and tufted walls is a numbered, festive collector piece. No two are alike — even though it’s unlikely your client will get more than one this holiday season. $9,900; www.mackenzie-childs.com.
Feed 8 Godiva collections: For professionals who crave both chocolate and charity, Godiva has partnered with FEED, a nonprofit sustenance organization for children, to provide eight school meals to kids in cocoa producing regions for every box sold. Each one contains eight chocolates in four flavors: Ecuador Dark 71%, Costa Rica Milk 38%, Uganda Dark 80% and Venezuela Milk 43%. All are made with beans from its country of origin. $25 Godiva; 19575 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 33180.
Crystal Custom Eyewear: Bravo executive Andy Cohen wore them on national television and Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade had them at his birthday in Miami Beach, but the concept of personalized sunglass lenses was created in downtown Miami. Advertise your office catch phrase or logo across the lenses because these glasses can display the message you want your customers to see. They come in nine colors (including blue, red and pink) as well as three styles: Ray-Bay, Wayfarer and Aviator, all with 100 percent UV protection. $14.99 for a single pair or buy 100 pairs for $3.45 each, www.crystalcustom.com.
Dolce Shot: Replace everyone’s office coffee break with a Made-in-Miami energy shot that comes both packaged and packed with our city’s essence. Inside, the South Beach-style cans are one of three flavors: Splash (a crisp lemon-lime) Rise (cherry explosion) and Citrus (orange bite.) All come in two-ounce servings that are equivalent to an 8-ounce drink, with concentrated ingredients such as amino acids, vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 and 80-milliliters of caffeine — about the amount in a cup of coffee. $24.99 for a case of 12; www.dolceshot.com.