Make a lasting impression: A guide to choosing memorable client gifts
Do you want to let a client know they are valued? Or to win favor with a potential business contact? Find out how to choose memorable client gifts.
Gift-giving is an important way to let clients know they are appreciated, and build stronger business relationships with corporate contacts. But actually finding the best thank you gifts for clients can be tough.
There are so many things you need to consider when choosing a client gift – and you risk alienating or even offending a client if you get it wrong. To help you, we’ve put together this quick guide.
Think about the people you are buying for
A gift should feel thoughtful – even if you are buying for a business contact. So don’t simply choose a generic gift and send out to everyone. At best it will feel impersonal, and at worst you could end up offending someone. For example, by sending alcohol to someone who is teetotal, pregnant, or abstaining for religious reasons.
To avoid this, consider the person you are buying for and pick a gift that matches their interests or what you know about them. If you are buying for many people, it can help to place them in groups in terms of interest. For example, people who you know enjoy dining out. You can send them a voucher for a nice restaurant near them.
But if you are buying for a few people, especially high value clients or prospects, it is far better to consider everyone individually and choose a gift that will feel special to them. Not only will they appreciate the gift more, but they will recognise the thought and effort that went into it, and that will win you valuable goodwill.
Choose gifts that reflect your brand
Another important aspect to consider when choosing client gifts, is to find items or experiences that reflect your brand. So let’s say your company sells outdoor experiences and your brand is about adventure and seizing the day. In this case, your gifts should also reflect this spirit, if possible.
You might, in this scenario gift your clients an experience, or an accessory for an experience. Or, if you think they’re not likely to want an experience themselves, a book about an explorer. Or invite to a special screening of an adventure documentary.
By ensuring that your gift fits your brand, it will make your gift feel more special and carefully chosen. It will be unique to you, and not yet another unimaginative box of chocolates or bunch of flowers. They’re also much more likely to remember it – and you – as a result.
Consider the impact of choosing custom marketing socks for sale as a gift. These personalized socks not only showcase your brand logo or message but also convey a sense of uniqueness and careful consideration.
Personalize gifts if you can
If you really want to give your gift the personal touch, you can even personalize them. It’s very easy to find a wide range of items today that can be personalized, from towelling robes to golf bags and even socks with the help of a company like Custom Sock Club. And who doesn’t love receiving something that has been very obviously personally chosen and tailored for them?
Of course, as already covered, your gift will actually need to be something the recipient will like and use. And it needs to reflect your brand. Also consider how obvious and tasteful the personalization is.
Make sure they are either practical or a luxury
There are two different, but equally important, camps your corporate gift can fall into: practical or a luxury.
Practical gifts should be something that makes someone’s life easier or better. At the very basic, cheap end of the scale you might think about notebooks, diaries and pens. Not very imaginative, but these budget gifts have been solid mainstays for many years.
Beyond that, anything that enhances the recipient’s life will count as a good, practical gift. As always, make sure that the gift you choose is actually something they would want and use.
Luxury gifts are things that people may not always buy for themselves, but would love. This can be anything from handmade chocolates to a spa break. Just make sure the gift feels special and is a treat they will enjoy.
Think about the message your gift sends
It’s also important to consider what the gift you are buying says about you – and what you might think of them. A cheap, unpersonalized note pad doesn’t say, “you’re a valued client who is worth a lot to our company.” It’s more likely to be taken as a sign that you don’t really appreciate them as it’s not unique to them or worth much money.
This is why it is so essential to think about the person you are buying a gift for, and tailoring that gift to their likes and needs. You also need to think about budget, because the amount you spend is also sending a message. Invest in a quality gift, and you are more likely to win goodwill for your company. A cheap notepad, on the other hand, could be a very expensive mistake!
Don’t be promotional
While it’s good to consider your brand values when picking out a corporate gift, try to avoid the temptation to actually use it to promote your business. A gift plastered with your logo or company details just feels like an opportunity for you to advertise yourself, rather than a thoughtful gift for them.
The gift you choose should be all about the recipient, and not obviously designed around furthering your own business goals.
Consider cultural differences
If you are buying gifts for clients overseas, make sure you are aware of any local customs or cultural differences. Otherwise you could inadvertently insult the very person you were hoping to impress!
If you have colleagues in that country, ask them what kind of gifts are considered appropriate or welcome. And not just type of gift, but what amount of money a client might expect you to spend on their gift. If businesses traditionally invest heavily in letting a client know they are appreciated, you don’t want to come off as an ungrateful skinflint. But equally, if extravagant gifts are seen as too lavish or even akin to a bribe, you don’t want to be seen as culturally unaware or disrespectful.
Think about timing
Speaking of cultural differences, the timing of your gifts also matters. It’s good to know what kind of holidays and occasions people usually buy for in different countries, and match your gifts accordingly.
Not marking an important holiday could end up leave you out in the cold. So if it is your responsibility to buy gifts for clients in other countries, it’s worth putting together a calendar of important events in each place, and making sure you choose gifts to suit.