What’s the right gift to get your client/boss this holiday season?

We’re now officially on the holiday clock. T-minus 22 days until Christmas (and other holidays, for those of you who don’t celebrate Christmas). But, we’re really only 14 working days away from the end of the work-year. Many people will take that last week of the year off. And that means you need to have your gifts to clients or bosses BEFORE Dec. 21 (at latest).

But, what do you get them?

That’s the age-old question.

I remember being on the client side and getting gifts as basic as fruit baskets, bins of nuts or chocolate goodies to unique cards and gifts like the box of Chuckles I got from a colleague a couple years ago.

But, what’s the right gift for YOU to give?

Are you looking for that creative gift that’s going to really stand out?

Or, are you just looking to give a conservative gift that says “happy holidays” but doesn’t push the envelope too much?

Since I’ve been doing some brainstorming for what to get my clients, I thought I’d share a list of potential gifts for that client or boss on your holiday list this year–ranging from the conservative to the creative:

The conservative route

Coffee gift cards. You can’t go wrong here. What PR counselor DOESN’T drink coffee? I know they’re out there, but they’re few and far between. This one is pretty safe–and it’s a great, useful gift.

Chocolate. Another tried-and-true gift. You really can’t go wrong. I’d splurge and go with some truffles from a local chocolatier (in town, Chocolat Celeste in St.Paul is great).

Take them out to a high-end lunch. This is one of the routes I’m pursuing. Why? Because not only does it give me an opportunity to treat my clients to a great holiday lunch (something they probably don’t do enough of), it also gives me an hour of uninterrupted time with them to talk about things OTHER than work (relationship-building 101).

iTunes gift cards. You can never go wrong here…

A bit more creative

Tickets to a show. This one’s a little tougher, since you need to know some specifics around what kind of music they like or what kind of shows they usually see. But, you can find that out by doing a bit of simple research (look at their Facebook page, talk to coworkers, etc.). This one can be a little more expensive, since you probably need to get them two ticktets, but it’s bound to impress.

Business books. Valeria Maltoni gave us a good list a few weeks back. Make sure to personalize this a bit. Gifting for a senior vice president? Make the book you gift one that focuses on leadership and management. Gifting for a community manager? Think about leaning more toward a tactical social media book.

Gift of charity. My former agency was great about this–giving a gift in your name to a charity they care about. Why not take that a step further and give a gift in the name of your client/boss to a charity THEY care about?

Restaurant they-may-not-usually-visit gift certificate.  Give the gift they may not give themselves–a night out at a unique or high-end restaurant in town. Locally here in Minneapolis, that would mean a place like Piccolo, Butcher & the Boar, Tilia or the new Lynn on Bryant.

Way out there…

Instagram photo calendars. Do you take Instagram photos for your client? Why not give them the gift that keeps giving the whole year long? An Instagram wall calendar with photos from their feed will remind them of all the great pics you took the previous year (use a tool like Calendagram).

New and creative iPhone case. Obviously, you need to make sure they have an iPhone first, but a creative iPhone case can be a great gift. I have an Etch-a-Sketch case–and I can tell you from experience that creative cases like that get a LOT of compliments. I’m a big fan of the Nintendo case, the LEGO case or I LOVE this Vans case.

Smaller tablets. OK, this might be a little outside most folks’ price ranges, but with tablets coming down in price, it might actually work for certain clients. Think about the Nook, Kindle Fire or iPad Mini–all ranging from $150 to $350 on the high end.

A personal shopper. OK, I’ll admit, this one can be a bit risky. The gift of a personal shopper, when used for the wrong person, can say “I think you dress so terribly that I think you need serious help.” But, for the right person, it can say, “Here’s an expert to help you dress for that job you want.” Be careful here, but if it’s the right spot, I think this is a perfect gift (locally here in Minneapolis, Sasha Westin would be perfect).

Note: Photo courtesy of Jonathan W via FlickR Creative Commons.

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11 comments on “What’s the right gift to get your client/boss this holiday season?

  1. kmskala says:

    From a brand perspective, all I’d like for Christmas is results 🙂
    Depends on the relationship. I have a great relationship with my agency partners and they gave me wrapping paper, fancy beer and fancy chocolate. It was appropriate because of our relationship and the culture of my brand and their agency.

  2. TBoard says:

    I was kind of hoping for a warm winter Jacket

  3. cloudspark says:

    @karenswim i give books to individuals and a donation to charity on behalf of them all

  4. karenswim says:

    @cloudspark I really like the idea of books but a lot of my clients are large companies so easier to give something that can be shared

  5. cloudspark says:

    @karenswim v good point.

  6. karenswim says:

    @cloudspark Do you give hard copy books (I still love them) or Amazon too?

  7. cloudspark says:

    @karenswim hard copy – usually a ‘best book’ i read that i thin they’ll value/enjoy.

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  10. Yeah..!! Very good post it is. I like the ideas mentioned here and also the idea of writing such a post. Choosing a gift for the boss is quite a tough task but you have made it quite easy. I have been thinking what to gift him on Christmas. I think gifting him an iphone case would be very good. Thank you for the ideas..!! 🙂