Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gift Cards Aren't Good Appreciation Or Holiday Gifts

Gift cards have many advantages but when you're giving them as business appreciation gifts, the disadvantages outweigh all the positive factors. Do you really want your customers or clients to know what you spent? Here are a few other reasons why it's not a good idea not give them:

1. Your customer will know what you spent on him so you're showing his value to you with a thin plastic card. Nothing can be more disastrous when building a relationship. I guarantee you that he thinks he's worth more to you than the amount of the card.

2. This is the most common gift given now mainly because it's easy to give. It takes no effort. Is that what you want your client to think when he receives it? That he's not worth your time or effort?

3. Your imagination equals that of a plastic lawn chair. You're not the only one giving out cards this year. You'll be one of many & the recipient won't remember what you gave him or that you gave him anything once the card is stashed in his wallet with all the others. He may remember only if the value of the gift was worth no more than a few cups of coffee. And he may take that memory with him to your competitor if that business made him feel his value as a loyal customer is worth more.

I've stressed in other articles about gift giving that to stand out from competition your gift has to be unique. It also needs to be useful so the recipient will use it day after day all year long. And your company name should be on it so he's reminded of you.

Now with that being said & you still like the idea of gift cards, here are some ways to give them where you can disguise their monetary value & still give a gift of value with your logo on it:

1. Include a gift card to Starbucks or another coffee house inside a ceramic coffee mug or an insulated tumbler that's good for hot or cold drinks. Drinkware is available in any price range so you've covered up the cost of the gift with a customized promotional item that has your name & logo on it & will be used on a daily basis.

2. Give a note pad holder with your note pads or adhesive pads & tape the gift card to the top sheet. The note pad holder can also have your company name, if you wish. They're available in a wide assortment of styles......stainless steel, wood, acrylic or a combination of chrome & glass.

3. Plants are popular & give warmth & personality to any office. Ceramic or plastic planters imprinted with your name are unique. This is definitely a one-of-a-kind gift that will be remembered all year. Add a gift card inside the planter along with a package of seeds for indoor plants, like a money tree, & you should have a customer who's one happy camper.

4. Many cities, like San Francisco, are banning the use of plastic bags & soon some states will follow. This is the time to show you care about the environment. Cotton & non-woven tote bags are becoming more & more popular. They don't have to look like grocery or commercial bags. Many have an abundance of pockets & come in multi-color combinations. Tape a gift card to a book store, department store or even a gourmet/specialty food store to the bottom of one of these totes & you're giving a handy & thoughtful gift.

These are just a few ideas of how to give a gift card without showing the actual value of the gift & at the same time giving something that will display your company name & logo. They can be included with almost any promotional imprinted product to make a creative & lasting impression.

Remember, in giving a gift to a loyal customer, it's important to give something that makes him feel special & appreciated. Don't show any signs you're giving it because you feel you have to do it. With this in mind, think twice before giving a gift card by itself & calling it a day.

Incorporate gift cards with promotional custom products & make them fun to get. Be ingenious, be unique & above all--stand out from everyone else. You can do it! Good luck!
Ronni Sherman

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ronni,

    these are some clever ways to show your appreciation towards your costumers and at the same time marketing your business. This is definitely a must share!