Corporate Gifts With a Twist, and Off to the Top of the Marketing Race You Are

Published: 21st November 2011
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When do you give corporate gifts?

On Corporate Gifts Day, of course.

There are many who think that corporate gifts are for special occasions: holidays, new business opening, trade shows and conferences.

And theyíre right; you can give corporate gifts on such occasions. But there are so many other occasions you can use them and benefit. For instance, you can say thank you to exciting customers (buyers or other kind) on the 3.2 month anniversary of your starting to work together, of them buying a Burberry suit or a blue coffee mug set from you.

You can use promotional gifts to celebrate your 4 years and 13 days in business or at your present location.

Now, if your company name was 4 Widgets & 13 Trinkets, say, youíd absolutely have to use them when the 4 years and 13 days come around. But you can give corporate gifts even if your company name is 6 Lonely Widgets or Supermanís Last Hideout Coffee House.

And, no, you donít need a creatively creative person to come up with a great story/letter to go along with your corporate gifts.

Dear Frank,

10/10/2010 marks 4 years and 13 days since we opened this shop. Weíve noticed you come here often and wanted to show you that we appreciate it. Since talking is cheap, weíre doing it with this 16 oz coffee mug. Every day during the week of 10/10/2010 you get one free refill on any coffee drink if you have this mug with you. You get a 16.37% discount on any coffee drink in September, as long as you have this mug with you.

John Doe, Jr.
Supermanís Last Hideout Coffee House

A corporate gift like that assumes you know whoís coming often but not often enough to your coffee house. It will have your logo and message, so the recipients and those around whom they use your promotional mugs will learn of your existence. It also give them a reason to come often to your coffee house. Often enough that it can become a permanent habit.

Whatís often but not often enough? Thatís up to you. Of course, you can give it to anyone who walks in the first 9 days of September. The choice is yours. Me, Iíd do it one way, record the results, then do it the other way, record the results and compare them.

Oh, but I hear you saying, That works for a coffee house, but I donít have a coffee house. I have AnotherTypeOfBusiness.

Letís say you make promotional products. You might be telling yourself thereís nothing you can give customers to encourage them to become better customers on the 4 year and 13 day anniversary of something odd.

To that I say two things:

1. Most of your customers donít know all the things you do, all the items you personalize.

2. Most of your customers could stand to learn how to use promotional products better.

So, you could put together a little booklet with case studies and ideas for promotional product marketing successfully, ideas presented so that they can easily see how they can apply them to their business. Which means, youíll end up with several versions of your booklet. Your offer would be tied to them putting together a campaign based on one of the case studies or ideas in your booklet. And, of course, it would be time-limited.

No, you will not turn late comers down, youíll just not give them the bonuses or the discounts that people who responded in time got.

Oh, but I hear you say, That works for promotional products people, but I sell very, very large and very, very expensive things to very, very large corporations.

First, the people at the very, very large corporation that buy very, very large and very, very expensive things from you are people. They enjoy gifts just as much as coffee shop customers.

Clearly if you sell engine parts for boats bigger than the city I was born in, you canít give them a boat to put the engine parts in. But you can give them personalized USB flash drives pre-loaded with information they might find useful. Maybe, 10 tips to increase productivity, or 10 tips to help them choose when they have to upgrade one or another boat system. (Boat system because I donít know boats from Adam.) Or, maybe, some program to help them organize better, do something better (either their department or themselves).

The tips would have to be good. Really good. The software should be good, really good.

The point, corporate gift giving can be done by any business for any occasion or for non-occasions. Those who come up with more occasions and non-occasions tend to be ahead.

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