5 Christmas gift ideas for customers
It’s that time of year again. Colder weather, shorter days, and a fast approaching vacation. Given warnings about supply chain issues and empty store shelves, the wiser among us are dismissing holiday shopping as soon as possible.
Every year in November, at our marketing agency, we receive hundreds of requests from wealth managers for gift ideas for their clients. And if we’re lucky, every January we get feedback on what our customers’ customers think of the gifts they’ve received. Over time, we’ve learned a lot about which gifts have the most impact and which ones… well… don’t.
Our advice is to give things that are personal and positive. Staff shows your thoughtfulness, and frankly, we all need as much positivity as possible these days.
These are the five gifts we’ve received the most positive feedback for over the years.
“Learn More” often lands on people’s New Year’s Resolutions list. Books are always a gift that many people appreciate receiving, especially if the topic is something your customer is interested in. of appreciation. Personally, I love anecdotes and interesting facts, so when my sister gave me “The Book of General Ignorance,” I continued to think of her in a positive light as I read it. Imagine a customer or prospect repeatedly thinking of you while reading the book you gave them – staying front and center with your customers can have a powerful impact.
2. LOCAL COMMERCIAL GIFTS
Topping the list of the best gifts our agency has ever received was probably a box full of local produce – locally made chips and candies, soaps and candles from city artisans, etc. – which has been individually wrapped by the seller who sent it to us. We loved everything in the box, appreciated the seller’s efforts to assemble it, and were excited to support local businesses – so much so that we copied the gift idea for the send to a few clients who live and work in the same community as us.
3. HOME WORK
In the third quarter of 2020, most people thought they would soon return to the office environment they left behind, but millions of people are now facing long-term work-from-home situations. Realizing that they will be working more in their home office than ever before – and spending 10% more on home office projects and renovations – it’s a great year to donate things that could brighten up their office environment or make their situation more efficient: paperweight, picture frames, small statues, easy-care plants such as succulents or colorful artistic pieces.
I guess we never get our sweet tooth out because we always get positive feedback about candy or other sweet treats as a holiday gift. What we have noticed, however, is that the more unique or original the candy, the more positively it is received. Places like Olive & Cocoa, Edible Arrangements, or Frog Hollow Farm (for your customers who prefer organic or healthier options) are all proven companies that can satisfy a sweet tooth while still sticking to dietary restrictions.
5. GAMES AND PUZZLES
Given that many people refrained from meeting indoors last year, it’s possible that – compared to previous years – 2021 will see many more friends and families congregating indoors. We just weren’t at home in the past like we are now, especially with the increase in working from home. Again, think outside the box for newer, more unique games that your customers probably don’t already own – items like 3D Tic Tac Toe, strategic board games (Settlers of Catan or Ticket to Ride, for example) or a complete wordbook puzzles, puzzles and more.
Bonus idea # 1: Personalize your greeting card rather than sending a generic one from the store. Far too many of our customers are simply buying generic cards rather than personalizing the cards through an online service like Shutterfly or Minted, or designing personalized cards. The most positive feedback we receive each year is for personalized cards, more than freebies.
Bonus idea # 2: The online gambling industry is booming, especially during the pandemic. Consider sending “online dollars” to your customers’ children or grandchildren, such as gift cards for popular game consoles and app stores.
BONUS TIP: WHAT YOU CANNOT GET
Here is a list of freebies that we have heard negative comments about or that just haven’t been well received by our customers’ customers:
- Things with your company name or logo.
- Impersonal gift cards at stores like Target or Starbucks.
- Anything religious, especially when you don’t know the recipient’s religious beliefs.
- People tend to be inundated with things like tote bags and water bottles.
- Things that require too much commitment from the customer, like live plants.
- Clothes, because they might not fit or be desired.
- Gifts that are too large and require space in someone’s house.
- Alcohol, especially when you don’t know their preference, if they are abstaining, or if the recipient is struggling with addiction.
- Last but not least… anything that contains peanuts (unfortunately, sending anything that contains nuts could have an unexpected and dangerous result).
Regardless of what you decide, the key to giving gifts to customers – just like with your friends and family – is to add a personal touch. If you’ve ever received a gift that clearly had no idea behind it, think about how you felt when you received it. Do you want your customers to feel this too?
[More: Holiday gift guide for clients in a virtual world]
Jeremy Jackson is the founder of SKY Marketing Consultants, a full-service boutique agency that provides marketing assistance to financial advisors and financial services companies.
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