The holiday season may be the most popular time of year to gift gifts to people you care about, but just because we’re well into January doesn’t mean the sharing has to stop. Within reason, gifting can even be a great way to connect with your clients.
As a token of your appreciation for their business, gift giving requires listening, thoughtfulness, and authenticity. Branded tchotchkes are not gifts. Keychains, mugs, memory sticks, screen wipes...anything with your name on it is a promotional marketing piece, not gifts.
If you’re ready to ditch that branded box of mousepads you keep in the supply closet, here are five popular types of client gifts and how to think about them in the right way.
Listening is the key to sending a gift that will have meaning and leave a lasting impression. During your time with them, keep your ears open for your clients’ hobbies and interests. For example, I sent a set of drink coasters featuring creatures from classic horror films to a production studio client who loves that genre.
Brand Story Gifts
As actors and voice actors, we are our brands. Certain gifts serve to keep your brand top of mind with subtle nods to elements of your brand story like where you’re located and special talents of yours like baking, painting, etc. Michigan, where I’m from, is known for having the sought after “nonaccent,” so I sent delicious Grand Traverse pies made in Traverse City, Michigan with a thank you note saying the pie was a taste of gratitude from my home state to a client.
It’s always a nice gesture to arrive with a small gift when booked. Since most of my on-site voiceover bookings are in Atlanta and part of my brand story is that I live in Athens, I bring tasty treats from local makers like Condor Chocolates, Bear Hug Honey, Kiki’s Bakeshop, Jittery Joe’s Coffee, Leccare Lollipops, or Phickles Pickles.
Target holidays that don’t traditionally feature gifts. Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Chanukah and birthday gifts can easily get lost in the chaos of those celebrations. In addition, what if a client isn’t sending you as much work but has come to expect a holiday gift from you each year? I’ve sent clients cold care kits during flu season, chomping monster teeth for Halloween, and boxes full of green goodies for St. Patrick’s Day to stay top of mind.
Sometimes your clients may be an entire agency of people. Think of a gift they can all enjoy together. In October, I sent a “Studio Snowball Fight” to some of my top clients filled with plush snowballs they could pelt at each other to celebrate the upcoming winter season.
There is absolutely a time and place for branded tchotchkes, but client gift giving is an effective strategy to stay connected with your key clients.
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