As December approaches, I dread driving anywhere near a mall, restaurant or grocery store. The mad dash I see as individuals and businesses scrambling around to find the perfect thank you for colleagues, major clients, employees, and spouses makes my head spin. Though it’s certainly not the only time of year when businesses give gifts, the months of November and December are the most popular times for giving business-related gifts. Most feel this is a great way to cap off the year and reaffirm how much these relationships mean.
However, I sometimes feel that so many business owners do not take advantage of other less celebrated occasions that would be ideal for gift-giving, making your brand stand out even more in the eyes of your customers and business associates.
Want to stand out more? Business gifts don’t have to just come in December. They can come at any time during the year.
Here are just a few approaches to business gift-giving and showing personal appreciation for your employees and clients at less hectic times of the year.
Throw a Thank You Event
Customer or employee appreciation lunches, dinners or breakfasts can go a long way in establishing a client friendship, trust and one-one-one dialog with you while offering an informal networking atmosphere for your other clients. Providing an unexpected branded promotional gift at that time always evokes a genuine smile of appreciation and gratitude.
Giving gifts to employees is good business too because this is an extra way of telling them that you value the hard work they have put in. Something practical like a golf umbrella or something useful like a canvas laptop case can be a continual reminder that your employees really matter to you. Little morale boosters (like chocolates) can make a difference in the overall workplace attitude, and the occasional gift lets your team know you couldn’t do it without them.
Hand Written Thank You Note or Letter
How long has it been since you last wrote a handwritten letter or card to someone- perhaps a customer or employee? Go on. be honest. Very few people take the time to put pen to paper and express their feelings or appreciation. It’s time-consuming, requires vulnerability and in truth, well, seems a little old-fashioned. Yet, who doesn’t long to receive a handwritten letter or card in the mail? And if you receive one do you open it? Yes, you do.
Someone took the time to put a pen in hand and express their personality and thoughts with you and for you. On a personal level, it is delightful. On a professional level, it is both delightful and powerful. Your customers don’t want to feel like you’re always trying to sell them something.
Send thanks by interacting in ways that don’t have a bottom line for your business.
Say Happy Anniversary
Celebrate customers who have been with you for a month…or a year. Pull from a classic and send flowers and chocolate. Try to note any significant anniversaries that their business may be celebrating, like a new office space, 10 years in business, a recent expansion or partnership and give them a shout out on social media.
There are so many bizarre and unique “days” too that you can acknowledge and stand out from the crowd (like National Spaghetti Day and National Tea Month) These unique days can be accompanied by an appropriate matching branded gift to market your company in a fun and useful way. Check out the 2018 list HERE