Also known as the art of gifting, the practice of giving gifts to your customers and prospects can help boost sales and open new, surprising doors.
However, there is a reason we called it an art — gift-giving is a smart business strategy since the right gift will help you direct focus exactly where you want it to be. In addition, a gift reminds customers of your brand and business, and if they are impressed, you’ll climb in their list of preferences. But all these wonderful things only happen if you understand how to offer the right type of gift with the right message. Otherwise, you risk going unnoticed, or worse. You may come off as opportunistic and/or in bad taste.
So, to avoid any of the negative aspects of gift-giving, today we’ll talk about this practice and its benefits. We will also take a look at some of the most appropriate gifts for the business environment.
Why Give Gifts to Customers?
Because it has a high return of investment.
Just think about it: how do you feel about the friends who manage to find the perfect gift for you? Now how do you feel about the ones that buy generic gifts on a last-minute trip to the store? And finally, how do you feel about those so-called friends who don’t even remember your birthday?
The same rules apply in the business world, only at a different level. Still, if you manage to find a gift that’s both aesthetic and helpful (as in creates value) and also sends the giftee’s thoughts to your brand, you’ve hit the jackpot!
The secret behind a well-chosen gift is in the thought and effort you put in choosing/making it. For instance, when you choose a gift for a friend, you think of the talks you’ve had, his/her preferences and needs, and even do a bit of social media snooping to see what they would like.
Now, when it comes to gifts in the business world, you usually have two main categories:
- Special gifts for collaborators, VIP customers, and colleagues — these are usually luxurious products, vouchers, or packages.
- A gift for the general audience — usually a piece of free content or something that creates value for the customers (like a happy hour event).
While it may be tempting to skip the first kind of gift (especially if you are on a tight budget), this is the step that has the potential to place you on the right persons’ radar or boost your networking. It’s also a wonderful way to keep VIP customers in your court once the competition gets stronger.
Choose Upmarket Gifts for VIP Customers
As we mentioned above, the first category of gifts should receive unique gifts tailored to their preferences and overall importance for your business. Now, you can’t stalk the CEO of a large corporation online, but you can infer from context (based on meetings, discussions, and general knowledge on the company and the person). Moreover, there are many amazing luxury executive gifts that can put you on their map.
For instance, someone who enjoys cooking will appreciate a set of rare spices or a special cheese cutting board. On the other hand, a person who has a refined taste in alcohol may enjoy a unique collection designed for DIY cocktails. Moreover, if you want something more unique and impressive, try looking for loyalty programs for luxury fashion brands. If you offer someone a membership with special perks from their favorite luxury fashion brand, you won’t be forgotten!
Related Read: The Changing Psychology of Gifting | Is Your Brand on Trend?
Add a Personal Touch
No one expects you to make the gift (unless your company is producing luxury items), but it helps to add a personal touch to the gift. You can do this with a handwritten note, where you thank them for their patronage and invite them to continue enjoying the collaboration. While the text should be well-thought, it’s the handwritten part that does the trick — a recent study found that people of all ages appreciate the effort that goes into writing a few lines.
You should also pay attention to packaging. True, gift shops will do a splendid job in this department, but you can require unique details to be included. For instance, if you know the person receiving the gift is in love with a specific shade of blue. Use this information and ask for the wrapping in that particular color. If you don’t have that information, include elements that make the gift stand out in their eyes.
The right corporate gift needs to stir up strong positive emotions in the heart of the receiver. Therefore, it needs to be connected to the person or concept it tries to represent, and it needs to have a unique imprint. As a result, it will be a bit more difficult to choose. However, the ROI will be worth all your effort!