What I Learned about Gift Giving From Rollerblade Barbie

Rollerblade BarbieMy most memorable Christmas was when I was seven years old. I woke up before sunrise and begged to open my gifts. I don’t remember every gift I opened that day, but I will always remember Rollerblade Barbie. This Barbie’s rollerblades made actual sparks when you ran them over the ground. To this day, I can recall sitting in my room that Christmas day making Barbie’s rollerblades flicker over and over.

Maybe this Christmas was so memorable because I couldn’t believe I was allowed to have a toy that made actual sparks (Seriously!?) More likely, it was because it was a thoughtful gift, chosen specifically for me based on what I was interested in, what I like and it exceeded my expectations.

Although, I’m not sure if it’s possible (or safe) to top the excitement of sparks flying from a 90’s skater doll, I do know it’s possible to create this same memorable moment with employees and clients. What I’ve learned from Rollerblade Barbie is that a carefully chosen gift can be remembered for years.

As you are selecting your corporate holiday gifts, think about your clients and employees. What are their hobbies and interests? What do they value? While we all want to convey a message about our brand, our company, our mission… it’s more important to take this opportunity to show your recipients that you understand what is important to them.

Branded gifts are a great opportunity to keep your company associated with this thoughtful gift. The key to successfully branding a gift is to keep the branding simple, elegant and allow it to blend into the product design, rather than standing out. That subtle touch can be the difference in the recipient feeling like they received a corporate ad instead of a gift.

While Rollerblade Barbie has a special place in my heart, I have received corporate gifts over the years, from all price ranges, that were carefully chosen and that I fondly remember. Don’t let this opportunity to make meaningful contact pass you by. Unfortunately, it seems a lot of companies are. A recent Advertising Specialty Institute survey found that 32% of companies plan give gifts to customers this holiday season, compared to 37% last year and 42% in 2014. The good news is your gifts are more likely to stand out.

Stay tuned for my next article on 5 Gifts That Your Clients Will Still be Using a Year From Now for some gift ideas that can be used year round and remembered for years to come.


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