The creative minds at BatesMeron Sweet Design have just narrowed down holiday gift ideas for our clients and we’re excited for the big reveal. No matter your personal opinion on the practice, holiday gift-giving is an undeniable way to connect with your clients and drive valuable ROI. If you choose to give a gift, right now is the time to act on it before it’s too late—we love putting together cool gift ideas for our clients and we want to make sure they’re perfect.
Year-end gifts are a great way to show your clients how much you appreciate the years’ worth of business together, as well as a cool opportunity to showcase the creative powerhouses of your agency. There are few restrictions when it comes to a project such as a holiday gift, and we love the chance to communicate with our clients through something fun, memorable and engaging.
We work closely with Diane Yetter of the Sales Tax Institute, another small business, and she strongly touts the importance of thanking those you work with and depend on, as well as clients:
“For almost all of the history of my company, not only have I sent out gifts to our more significant clients, but also to our business partners. We rely on some key people to help us keep our business running—our accountant, lawyer, business advisor, marketing and IT providers all make it so I can focus on the business,” Yetter advises.
For those seeking some hard numbers on the ROI of gift-giving in the business world, consider this: according to Bain & Co., a five percent increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 25 to 95 percent. Pair that with Gartner Group’s finding that 80 percent of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20 percent of your existing customers and the idea of investing in your current clients quickly becomes a no-brainer.
In the past, BatesMeron has sent puzzles with our manifesto, delectable treats and branded swag with with our clients’ favorite items. Making it personal and useful is a great way to get remembered and drive more business. Though it may be less practical to go as all-out as BatesMeron, there are a number of creative ways to stand out among the holiday gift frenzy—and it starts with avoiding these Six Gift-Giving Grinches:
1. TARDY TO THE PARTY
Start soon! By the time you are reading this, you should be taking action. The very first mistake made by most companies is to think that the process of selecting, personalizing and sharing a gift with clients is simple and fast. Instead, it requires a reasonable amount of time, attention and budget. An easy guideline: don’t wait until after Thanksgiving to start the process.
If you’re late to the gift game, you run the risk of a late delivery. The spirit and value of gift-giving is quickly lost when that special item upon which your company spent so much consideration arrives after everyone has left for holiday season vacations or, even worse, after the holidays are over. One of the simplest ways to ensure an enjoyable result by both gift-giver and receiver is to outsource it to a trusted partner—the sooner the better.
2. ON THE CHEAP
Nothing says, “We think you’re great but not that great” like a cheap gift. Show how much you value your clients by ratcheting up the dollar amount on your chosen gift. It’s worthwhile as it leads to a higher perceived value of your company. Don’t forget: the closer you are to the holiday, the more expensive everything becomes in terms of item pricing, rush charges and the necessity for faster shipping.
3. IMPERSONAL TOUCH
Realistically, it’s difficult to personalize a gift for every client. There are ways to make your recipients feel special while minding the overall marketing spend. Consider a widely appealing gift idea that specifically includes an opportunity to be personalized for the chosen recipient.
For example, one of BatesMeron’s previous gifts was a branded coffee mug. The mug alone, even with our logo, is not a terribly personalized gift, but we added the touch of filling each mug with the tea, cocoa or coffee we knew they’d love. Even if you don’t have the time to do that, just including a note that says, “Here’s a product we love around the office, and we hope you love it as much as we do!” makes your gift more personal and sharable.
4. OFF-BRAND, OFF MARK
That iPad may seem like a nice gift idea for your client, except that your company’s main product is an app on the Android Marketplace. That’s a nice, logo-emblazoned pen that surely anyone would appreciate but how does that set you apart from your competitors? The importance of your holiday gift being relevant and embedded in your company’s brand is one of the most often overlooked and undervalued aspects of the process.
Your gift should be a unique reminder of what makes you different and why companies choose to work with you. BatesMeron’s brand is deeply rooted in the culture of bees (learn why here), so we splurged on some beautiful, handcrafted bee-shaped caramels from John & Kira that our clients STILL talk about to this day.
If you want to be memorable and make your marketing decision truly count, the gift you give must be memorable enough to warrant a response. At the end of the day, the point is to give your clients a gift that resonates with them and reminds them of your brand, your services and your product.
6. ERRANT ERRORS
We once received a fantastic business book from a partner wrapped in a custom belly band. The only problem? There was a typo in their own tagline. THE TAGLINE. It was hard to ignore, and though we know mistakes happen…it just looked bad for them.
Other errors include misspelled names, wrong addresses or sending to someone who doesn’t even work at that company anymore—the list goes on. We know things get crazy around the holidays, but never forget the importance of double-checking all of your information!
Avoiding these six holiday gift-giving pitfalls will position your company for the best ROI on the time and budget you put into your seasonal client gift.
What, then, does an agency built on its creativity gift to its own clients? Stay tuned to find out!
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