Three things to consider when sending a customer gift

Priority #1: make sure it's contextual.

When was the last time you received a really great gift? Can you remember what it looked like, tasted like, smelled like? Can you remember exactly where you were and who gave it to you?

Over the years we have learnt a few things that help guide us when we’re assembling and actioning gifting strategies for our clients. It is fundamental for us that corporate gifts resonate with their recipients and have as positive an impact as possible. There are three qualities that — regardless of scale — ensure the experience of receiving a gift feels considered, and below, we’ve captured instances where companies understood these considerations exactly, delivering on-brand experiences for customers above and beyond the norm.

1. Gifting should be relevant

A carefully chosen gift becomes part of the recipient’s everyday life; a daily reminder of a valued relationship and a warm, human touchpoint. It is when a gift makes perfect sense that we know another person’s thought and attention went into it.

When a company chooses to gift as part of the customer experience, oftentimes the gesture can be overlooked because the gift itself is not indicative of the sentiment. When this happens, it’s usually down to a small error in judgement rather than an egregious mistake, and can be easily rectified for future campaigns.

Both the messaging about the gift and the gift itself will stand to your brand when you’re sending a relevant gift. The Modern House, a design-lead estate agency in the UK have been taking a different approach to the housing market in general, and their customer recognition is part and parcel of that approach.

They recognised that after closing a deal on a new house, most homebuyers would receive a bottle of champagne or other housing accoutrement from their estate agent that might not mean much to the newly adorned house-owners. Instead of following this industry trend, they bucked it with their own curated welcome-to-your-new-home box. “By thinking about clay, glass, wood, ceramic, paper and cloth, we started to form a box of elemental and essential objects: The Keyring, The Cup, The Candle, and so on. From there we commissioned UK-based designers and makers…” they write on their blog. The trick was in the end; knowing their own brand; knowing their customers; and making the gift relevant to both. The end product was indeed, both impactful and visually stunning.

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Some of the bespoke design pieces from The Modern House’s moving-in box

2. Gifting should be generous

Generosity is an obvious part of gift-giving, but it is not just contained to the act itself. It is a boundless sentiment that sets the tone and reinforces an internal culture of care and kindness, an atmosphere that extends to every part of your human-to-human customer experience.

Back in 2014, TD Bank in America, known industry-wide for its customer service, launched an initiative to give back to its customers that involved an innovative take on the ATM(Automated Thanking Machine). Part of #TDTHANKSYOU, when customers arrived to the ATM looking to make a cash withdrawal, they were met with a machine that instead gifted them very personal and thoughtful trips, experiences and objects that spoke to their customer history and personal circumstance.

From trans-continental plane tickets, trips to Disneyland and baseball “first-pitch” opportunities, the company delivered generously and captured the heart of their customers (and the internet).

Td Canada Trust Bank Thank You Suprise Customer 2

3. Gifting should be unexpected

There is nothing like an unexpected gift. They arrive out of nowhere, they stick in your mind and they make you feel special. These feelings build an emotional connection with the customer and make the relationship more than transactional. Meaningful engagement creates loyal advocates.

For Christmas 2016, Dutch airline KLM wanted to bring travellers together over the holidays while passing through airports.

The gesture was genius: People gathered around a table suspended middair at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. Every time an additional person sat down, the table came closer to those on the ground. In order for the food to descend to ground level, the seats around the table had to be completely full. This meant that passengers had to engage complete strangers in order for the meal to be delivered.

What transpired was an unexpected coming together of passing strangers, flying in wayward directions, that would have otherwise (probably) never have met. Given the stressful environments airports tend to be and how lonely the holidays can be for journeying passengers, it was a very fitting and genuinely surprising Christmas gesture.

Want to learn more about the ins and outs of the perfect corporate gift? Go to &Open and click “Try us out".

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