By Sofie Thompson

Coming up with the perfect gift ideas for important clients can be stressful, especially if last year’s gift is hard to top. When brainstorming ideas, keep in mind that gifts the whole office or team can share are ideal. Whether DIY or purchased through a service, make an impression on your clients with these creative yet straightforward gift ideas. Most importantly, whatever your budget – find a way to put a personal spin on whatever you give. It can make all the difference.

Here are five ways to take a typical client holiday gift and add a bit of pizazz to make it a wonderful memory for your client.

Coffee Basket

First, make the basket yourself, do not grab a cellophane-wrapped number at the local bulk store. Take your gift basket to the next level with items you know everyone will crave bright and early each morning. Coffee-related baskets are easy, practical, and can be shared with your client by other colleagues. Include high-quality flavored coffee, syrup flavors, a personalized mug that has been chosen specifically for them, cinnamon, chocolate, and of course, a thoughtful card. We would also recommend adding a gourmet tea option.

The Twist: Invite the client to your office or personally deliver it to theirs with a catered brunch or delicious assortment of gourmet pastries. Make sure that there is time to spend some time enjoying the food offerings and a good cup of coffee, so you spend some quality time together, making a memory. Most importantly, use this time to know more about your client personally – do not talk business at this gathering!

Charitable Donation

Donating to a local charity in your client’s name is a thoughtful way to extend gratitude and make both of you feel good by doing something for an important cause. This meaningful gesture is the perfect way to communicate what you value as a company while making your client look good in the process. The financial contribution can work on any budget.

The Twist: Set an appointment with your client, and then take them to the local charity to deliver the gift together, and if possible, have someone give you a quick tour or rundown of how that gift will help the charity. Treat your client to lunch or a beverage afterward. This type of activity can create a shared experience neither of you will forget.

Gift Card

Gift cards can be a special gift – you have to work a bit harder than sending an automatic email notification or a piece of plastic in an envelope. First, match the type of gift card to your client’s needs, interests or hobbies- avoid the generic things like a coffee gift card; make sure they understand you “know them” and think of what brings them enjoyment. Additionally, make sure the gift amount is sufficient to cover the product/service/event.

The Twist: Hand-deliver the card dressed up as Santa or an Elf if that’s something your client would enjoy or find amusing. Another idea – write a small poem or song to show your appreciation and deliver the card ala “singing telegram style.” If you are a bit of an introvert, that may be too much for you to bite off. You can have a local pro team cheerleader or mascot provide the gift for you. The idea is to show that significant thought was put behind it even though it is a simple gift card.