Impress Your Clients: How to Choose the Perfect Corporate Gift

Corporate gift-giving can be tricky. While presenting thoughtful corporate gifts can be a gratifying experience, trying to find just the right item for everyone on your list can be a little bit daunting.

Not sure where to start when trying to pick the perfect gift? Explore some of these collection ideas to get a better sense of what your gift receiver might like best.


Functional Ideas

One of the toughest things about selecting a gift for colleagues and clients is trying to find something that you know the recipient will not only appreciate but will find useful too. Gift items that are useful are more likely to leave a lasting impression and further your business relationships.

Functional Gift Ideas

Gifts with Impact

One of the greatest things about the season of giving is that it provides us with so many opportunities to have further impact with gifts that present positive influences. Offering your recipients gifts that have important stories to tell will not only help support valuable causes, but will also showcase you brand’s commitment to social responsibility.

Gifts with Impact

Budget Friendly

As much as we love the holiday season, it can be a little tough on all of us, including businesses. Not only is the pressure on to find just the right gift for everyone on your list, but it can put a damper on the holiday spirit if everything is outside of your budget.

Budget Friendly

Need further help picking the perfect gift? Explore these collections and other great gift ideas in the 2019 Holiday Gift Guide.

Bringing our Sustainability Efforts into the Community

At Staples Business Advantage, we take great pride in our Corporate Sustainability efforts. We have associates from across the country who are empowered to get involved in a number of charity initiatives, so we are continuously giving back to the communities that we work and live in.

On Sept 25th, we partnered with Tree Canada to be a sponsor of National Tree Day. We had 40 associates step up and volunteer to plant trees across Canada. Communities in the areas of Vancouver, Winnipeg, Mississauga, Ottawa, and Boucherville benefited with hundreds of new trees as a result of this partnership and the hard work of many associates.

Click below to see a few photos from our associates hard at work on National Tree Day.

Tree Canada

3 Great Ways for Your Small Business to Celebrate Father’s Day

Each year on the third Sunday in June, families gather to celebrate the wonderful fathers (and father figures) in their lives. Though Father’s Day isn’t the biggest holiday when it comes to gift-giving, it’s estimated that Canadians spent nearly $311 million in 2018. Your small business can join the festivities by putting a few of these fun ideas into practice.

Create a Special Promotion for Father’s Day

Having a special sale for Father’s Day is one of the easiest ways to participate in the holiday. Instead of making the discount for fathers only, which could make some feel excluded, provide a discount to encourage them to purchase a gift for their father, grandfather, uncle, or any other father figures they want to celebrate. A percent-off discount for the week of Father’s Day often works well. Make sure to market your promotion well to maximize its effectiveness. Try a combination of in-store signs, local mailings, and social media posts to get the word out and attract more customers.

Make a Display With “Dad-Friendly” Gifts

When it comes to special occasions, customers often struggle to find the perfect gift idea for their dad. Make it easier on them by choosing some of the best dad-appropriate gifts your business has to offer and creating a prominent display during the month of June. This can especially come in handy for last-minute shoppers who let the holiday sneak up on them. Combine it with your Father’s Day promotion to earn extra brownie points from grateful customers.

Host a Father’s Day Event

Create a festive Father’s Day event that works with the type of business you have. It could be anything from a relaxed cookout at a hardware store to special live music at a restaurant. Maybe even consider having some kind of raffle or giveaway that encourages customers to spend more time shopping with you. Whatever type of get-together you choose, special events like this can be a great way to attract customers to your business. More importantly, however, your event is a chance for you and your employees to relax and interact with your customers to really get to know them. This is one of the most important ways to create customer loyalty and ensure repeat business in the future.

Three Tips on LGBTQ-Friendly Marketing for Pride Month

June is National Pride Month. This time is about the country supporting and celebrating people who are part of the LGBTQ community. Getting involved in Pride as a small business is good for your local community and your business. Large corporations like Apple, Starbucks and Google have created Pride-related marketing campaigns in support and have reaped the benefits. Read on to discover three ways you can do Pride Month right and show respect for your local LGBTQ communities.

Window Stickers and Website Badges

Let your customers see your support every time they shop with a Pride sticker on your business window. A rainbow sticker, or one with the saying “We Serve Everyone” lets your customers know you are welcoming of the LGBTQ community. Using similar images as badges on your website share your message to online shoppers as well.

Business Logo

Large corporations have been known to change their logos in support of various holidays or communities. Give your logo a rainbow re-color, and promote it online and in a bricks-and-motor location. This shows the local community your support every time they pass through your doors. Keep your rainbow logo up in your business throughout the month of June to let the local LGBTQ community feel welcome in your business all year long.

LGBTQ-Friendly Policies

Look at your workplace policies. Ensure that your policies protect and support not just your customers, but your workers as well. Around 30 percent of LGBTQ employees report discrimination in the workplace. To encourage a safe environment for all of your workers, see that your equal employment opportunity policy includes sexual orientation and gender identity. Policies such as employment benefits for same-sex marriages give LGBTQ workers the same securities as their fellow workers. Creating a diverse employee resource group ensures that all of your workers have the same help and support.

Let your local community know you are welcoming of the LGBTQ community. Use these tips to join in on Pride Month in a respectful manner, and share your support. Supporting your local LGBTQ community not only builds a safer, more inclusive environment to your customers, but it can be a successful marketing campaign. The LGBTQ consumer market is there, and sharing your support encourages both LGBTQ customers and Allies to come shop at your business.

Back-of-the-Net Promotion Ideas For Womens World Cup

The FIFA Women’s World Cup is taking place this summer in France from the 7th of June to the 7th of July. This year’s event marks the eighth edition of this tournament, which consists of 24 teams from six confederations all around the world.

To gear up for this exciting occasion, many small businesses may want to consider offering promotions to help generate business and interest. Some of our suggestions are outlined below.

For an electronics retailer: offer a sales promotion for flat-screen TVs

Whether you’re a big-box store or smaller operation, offering an exciting sale on flat-screen TVs is a great way to promote the Women’s World Cup. Ideas include a certain percentage off of the total cost, issuing special-edition coupons or providing a free gift with their purchase.

Ideas for restaurants and bars

Area restaurants and bars are small businesses that benefit the most from a soccer tournament like this because World Cup fans are likely to venture out and watch the games with their friends and among other soccer fans for a more exciting atmosphere.

As a restaurant or bar owner, you can do your part by offering food specials, drink specials and decorating your venue for the most exciting games. Take a look at the schedule and pick out several match-ups that feature fierce rivalries and draw out the most fans.

Weekend games are ideal for this, since that’s when most people are bound to head out for an evening of watching the game. If you’re located in a walkable downtown area, make sure to advertise at your venue, inside and outside, and make the event known on social media channels.

Kick off your Women’s World Cup event on opening night by providing specials on food and cocktails, or take it one step further and offer half-price beers or pizzas for those who arrive 30 minutes before kickoff or offer the same to the first 100 people, whatever makes sense for your business.

And — perhaps most important — be sure you have comfortable seating and plenty of large screens so you can ideally show multiple games at once.

Benefits of promotions and specials

When you use an event like the Women’s World Cup to host special events and offer exciting, money-saving promotions, you can help generate genuine energy and interest for your business, draw in new and existing customers and create a lively atmosphere. This way, even when the Women’s World Cup is over, plenty of happy customers will want to return for a meal or a drink when they’re in the neighborhood.

3 Ways Your Business Can Commemorate Victoria Day

Victoria Day, much like Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas, is an opportunity for small businesses to boost their revenues. Here are some ways you can market your business as you commemorate Victoria Day.

1. Sales in the Spirit of the Day

One of the best ways to offer value to your current and prospective customers is through a sale. Unlike Cyber Monday or Black Friday, Victoria Day has history and tradition behind it: starting out as a royal jubilee, it has evolved into a long-standing signal of the coming of summer and a time for outdoor gatherings with family and friends. Beyond just cutting prices, you can get thoroughly involved in the holiday’s joyful spirit and focus your sales event on things specifically useful on a day that sees more barbecues and picnics than perhaps any other day in the year.

2. Video Content

Video is currently one of the most influential media for marketing your business. It is also extremely effective in communicating a powerful idea, since most people find it easiest to remember what they saw rather than what they read. For example, you can create a brief video about an interesting aspect of the history of Victoria Day and tie it into your business’s mission.

You can also connect with your audience through user-generated video content. This type of content garners far more views than official brand videos. User-generated videos about Victoria Day have a higher potential for being shared, and they’re more likely to go viral. These videos give your brand credibility because they offer original perspectives regarding how relevant your products or services are to the audience.

3. Gamification

Gamification can be a powerful marketing strategy and an interesting way of commemorating Victoria Day with your current and prospective customers. It encourages users to complete specific tasks and receive recognition and rewards for their participation.

You can tie in concepts like high scores, levels, leader boards, budgets and points as an incentive for users to complete the tasks and share their accomplishments with other users. Rewards for winners include unlocking badges and special discounts.

Even small incentives can inspire contest participants to put in additional effort. A Victoria Day contest can help your brand cultivate lasting relationships with your audience and turn your online followers into loyal customers who make repeat purchases.

A Salute to Moms: Mother’s Day Promotions for Small Business

Mother’s Day is the time to celebrate and remember mothers and mother figures. Many people take advantage of this special day to show appreciation to women, treating them with extra love, attention and gifts. This presents a prime opportunity for your business to help customers honour their moms.

According to a recent RetailMeNot survey, shopping for Mother’s Day begins to spike around three weeks before the big day. However, 97 percent of moms surveyed cherish being with their families and the thoughts that go into their gifts more than the actual presents. It seems that businesses that facilitate shared family experiences have the greatest impact and a higher level of customer satisfaction.

An poll indicates that Canadians spend just over $60 on average for Mother’s Day presents. They consider cost, practicality and uniqueness when shopping for gifts. The poll states that the most popular gifts among Canadians are gift cards or certificates, eating out, flowers, money and clothing or accessories. The RetailMeNot survey noted that experiences and candy are top Mother’s Day purchases as well.

How can you meet your customer’s needs and expectations for this special occasion? Most of all, moms wish for expressions from the heart. Implement some of these promotion ideas to turn customers your way for Mother’s Day.

Gift Guide

Over half of Mother’s Day shoppers wait until Mother’s Day weekend to make their purchases. At least 60 percent lament that they struggle with deciding what to buy. Gift guides can help make Mother’s Day shopping easier for loving relatives. Publish a guide and email it to your mailing list or post it on your website. You could also print copies to give to customers.

Kid-Friendly Discounts

Encouraging children to shop with you is one way to attract customers during the Mother’s Day shopping season. This would bring kids and their guardians into your business, increasing your exposure tremendously. Offer a selection of budget-friendly buys or give children a special discount on Mother’s Day purchases.

Handmade Gifts

Handmade cards and gifts touch every mother’s heart. If your facilities can accommodate young children, provide space and materials for them to create crafts for their dear moms. Consider allowing space for wrapping gifts purchased at your store too.

To steer traffic toward your business for Mother’s Day and beyond, seek ways to streamline shopping for customers, appeal to children and provide opportunities for creative and memorable experiences. Mother’s Day is an ideal opportunity to connect with your customers at the level of values and emotions and earn their long-term loyalty.

Tips for Celebrating Earth Day

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. All over the world, people gather at a variety of activities to learn, celebrate and demonstrate support for environmental protection. Earth Day includes events in more than 193 countries and is the largest secular observance in the world. It’s estimated that more than a billion people each year celebrate Earth Day.

Earth Day in Canada

Although Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, the first Canadian Earth Day was held on Thursday, September 11, 1980. Earth Day Canada founded in 1990, helps people across the country celebrate this special holiday. Earth Day Canada has created an award-winning employee engagement program called EcoConnexions, which is designed to encourage environmental and sustainability values and initiatives in the workplace.

EcoConnexions emphasizes three pillars of environmental responsibility: conserving energy, reducing waste and improving housekeeping. If you’re looking for fun and interesting ways to celebrate Earth Day in your workplace, plan educational workplace events and celebrations around these three pillars.

Conserving Energy

Help employees understand how they can conserve energy in their homes and the workplace with tips from an organization such as Save on Energy. Hold a free lunch seminar to discuss these ideas and improve team spirit at the same time.

Reducing Waste

To celebrate Earth Day this year, consider providing each employee with a reusable water bottle branded with the company name. It’s a thoughtful gift that also prevents waste and saves money because they will use fewer cups, straws and other one-use items.

Employees are more likely to recycle bottle, cans and paper when it’s convenient. If you haven’t already provided recycling bins in employee break areas and around printing stations, consider adding them and asking employees to use them considerately as part of your Earth Day celebration.

Improving Housekeeping

When discussing housekeeping in an environmental sense, you’re not just talking about washing up. Housekeeping is a concept that involves improving work efficiency, utilizing assets and making advances in safety. Even small changes can have a big impact.

Consider replacing light bulbs with more energy-efficient ones, asking employees to shut down their computers at the end of the day and changing company-wide cleaning products to more eco-friendly options. You could even provide incentives for co-worker carpooling or organize a workplace volunteering event with a group like TreeCanada.

10 Great Ways You Can Celebrate National Flag Of Canada Day

The 54th National Flag of Canada Day, also called Flag Day, is February 15, 2019. Although Canada used several different flags from 1801 to 1965, the United Kingdom’s Royal Union Jack was the country’s official symbol during that time. Flag Day commemorates the declaration by Queen Elizabeth II of England making the maple leaf emblem the official flag of Canada. The monarch affirmed February 15, 1965, as the day the newly selected banner would fly over Parliament Hill as a symbol for all Canada’s citizens.

In 1996, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien proclaimed February 15 as National Flag of Canada Day. He encouraged his fellow citizens to recognize the privilege of living in a nation that encompasses a shared history, aspirations and future. The flag symbolizes the common ideals that connect all Canadians: peace, equality, diversity and inclusion.

Make Your Business Stand Out on Flag Day

This can be an ideal time to market your business as an enterprise that exhibits pride in the unique Canadian heritage. Here are ways to promote your business and help bolster respect and appreciation for the Maple Leaf.

  1. Order free promotional materials to share on Flag Day.
  2. Provide flag lapel pins to employees to wear on Flag Day.
  3. Offer a discount to patrons who display the maple leaf flag on their clothing on Flag Day.
  4. Distribute miniature flags or pins to customers.
  5. Commemorate Flag Day on your company’s website.
  6. Sponsor or participate in local Flag Day observances.
  7. Donate Flag Day mementos to local schools.
  8. Food providers: Offer special pricing on Canadian delicacies like poutine, beavertails or peameal bacon.
  9. Set up a Flag Day awareness art or essay contest for school-aged children.
  10. Promote and participate in the #CanadianDay photo challenge on social media sites Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Flag Protocol

The etiquette for displaying and handling the national flag is based on established practice. Take care to treat this symbol of national pride with the utmost respect. Keep these rules in mind as you prepare for Flag Day:

Do not use the flag to:

  • cover a seat or table
  • mask boxes
  • cover a podium or platform

The flag should not:

  • have anything sewn or pinned onto it
  • be marked or signed on
  • be displayed in discoloured or frayed condition
  • touch the ground or be stepped upon

Will you be celebrating National Flag Day? Show us your photos on Instagram using #nationalflagday and tag us @staplesbizcan.


Canada 150: 8 Ways to Celebrate at the Office

If you live in Canada, you are likely very aware of the big milestone that will be celebrated in just a few weeks as Canada turns 150! As the excitement builds, and plans are being made for parties and celebrations over the long weekend, it’s worth noting that not all the fun has to wait until the weekend. This is a perfect time for workplaces to get involved and plan something special for your employees to get excited about.

Workplace celebrations increase employee engagement and happiness, which in turn is known to increase productivity. So it’s worth it to treat your employees to a little fun every now and then, and Canada 150 is the perfect occasion to throw a little fun into business day.

We’ve come up with a few fun Canadian-inspired ways of how you can celebrate Canada 150 at the office:

  1. Invite your team out to the park for a picnic lunch
  2. Run a photo contest where employees can submit their favourite photos of Canada
  3. Red and White Day – encourage employees to wear red, white or Canadian themed gear
  4. Host Canada Trivia at lunch
  5. Surprise your employees with maple candies on their desks one morning
  6. Host a Canada-themed pot luck lunch
  7. Run a poutine snack bar for a mid-afternoon treat
  8. Raffle off a Team Canada jersey and donate proceeds to a local charity

We’d love to hear how your team or workplace is celebrating this special occasion. Comment below or tweet us @StaplesBusAdv to let us know.

Canada 150 Contest
Tell us how Canada inspires you and you could enter to win* a $1,000 Canadian prize pack! To enter and for contest details visit the Canada 150 contest page. And don’t forget to tweet us to let us know how this beautiful country inspires you using #HowCanadaInspiresYou.