What is your best tip for creative client gift giving?
The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Don’t Give a Shirt or Bag With Your Logo On It
When thinking about gifting, be sure to put yourself in the shoes of the receiver: If it isn’t something awesome, don’t bother! Spending thousands of dollars putting your brand’s logo on shirts or bags that no one will ever use (because they look like billboards) is a terrible misuse of funds. Instead, opt for individual, personally-selected gifts that will be meaningful to each client.
2. Try Subscription Gift Giving
Subscription based gifts are the gift that keeps on giving. It’s easy to get lost in the sea of wine bottles and gift cards from other companies, so in receiving a subscription, your client will be reminded of you each month when their gift arrives. There are so many amazing subscriptions to choose from, whether your client is a health nut, a foodie or even a shoe addict – it’s sure to be a hit.
3. Pick a Different Holiday
Instead of sending people presents when everyone else is, pick a different holiday to celebrate. We’re based in Louisiana, so we send our clients and partners king cakes every year at Mardi Gras. It’s easier to delight people when they aren’t expecting it.
4. Deliver Your Mail by Carrier Pigeon
Mail delivery by carrier pigeon can actually be done. There are a few companies in the U.S. offering this service for as little as $10. If you’re looking to get creative this upcoming holiday season, skip the signing telegram and go straight for a carrier pigeon delivery. It’s memorable, unique and I guarantee your gift card will stand out much more if a bird flies “X” miles to deliver it for you.
5. Send It Early
Company breakrooms are full of gift baskets in December. Hop to it and send out your gifts before Thanksgiving. They’ll be the first to arrive, so everyone will get excited. More folks will notice what you send and feel great that you’re thinking of them. Better yet, personalize your gift by recognizing who’s getting it (an individual or a team) and what they really enjoy (sweets, etc.)
6. Use Alyce
Alyce is a company built entirely around the challenge of corporate gifting. Provide them a bit of information on the gift recipient and the service provides personalized recommended gifts that can be purchased with a simple click. They handle all of the logistics for you and have been a go-to for us come holiday season.
7. Frame a Client’s Article
Every holiday, we love to do something special for our clients. One of my favorite ideas is framing one of our clients’ favorite articles or one that they worked really hard to get published and are super proud of.
8. Personalize It
Sending personalized notes is a small gesture, but doing something custom shows your clients that you really care. With the new craze of gift boxes, sending your own curated gift boxes filled with little things is a good way to send more than just a generic card that you sent to everyone. You can create three or four different boxes and send different ones to clients.
9. Make It Memorable
We like to give gifts our clients will remember. What makes it memorable? We’ve coined our own term: “fun-diculous.” Pens, mugs and mousepads are far too lame. A couple years ago, we gave a USB-powered mini-fridge and sent each out with a can of Old Style beer inside (it’s a Chicago thing). We spent more on shipping than the fridges, but the lasting impression was worth it.
10. Give an Experience
Rather than an actual product or gift card, send them on an experience like a car race experience or culinary experience. Whatever experience you choose, make sure it matches their hobbies or interests. You will help make memories that they will always connect to you.
11. Think Local
We are a worldwide business and the majority of our clients are not located in the same state as we are. We delight in sending out local, Kentucky-related gifts (bourbon, Derby trinkets, Louisville Slugger product) to share the wonderful culture and to strengthen the client relationship. Prioritizing shipping these local gifts is also essential during this season.
12. Send a Dozen Red Roses
At Rose Garden Consulting, we send a dozen red roses with a handwritten letter in a black envelope to our prospects to seal the deal. It’s all about making a lasting impression.