Thanking customers and employees for their loyalty and support can be tricky business. Showing appreciation in a way that is meaningful to the recipient takes thoughtful consideration of the appropriate gift, as well as the time to present it with a personal approach that makes practical sense. After all, delivery of an appreciation gift will be much different for the employees of a national company than it will be for the customer base of a small graphics firm. But in either case, the item and the distribution can be crafted, at any budget level, with a more personal approach that will be remembered long after the year-end festivities give way to the New Year.
Gift-giving can be approached three different ways:
- Merchandise: This category of gift is a long-lasting reminder of the giver and is considered by industry experts as the most effective gift for increasing brand awareness. The product choice depends on the corporate budget as much as the personality of the recipients, and the number of product choices can be overwhelming. But with the help of your merchandise provider, the right gift at the right price is waiting. And don’t forget to ask about special wrapping and creative delivery options!
- Cash: This option is reserved for employee appreciation, rather than for the customer base (of course!), and is always welcomed at the time of year when most people will be doing holiday shopping for food and gifts that are outside of their normal household budgets. While it may not improve brand identity in the marketplace, it will certainly help to increase morale with your most important brand ambassadors. Just be sure to send a personal holiday note with the official notice of the cash award – everybody likes to know there are honest feelings of appreciation behind the gesture.
- Charitable Donation: While giving to a non-profit organization in the name of an individual or organization is not often considered as a way to show employee/customer appreciation, it is a worthwhile option. Especially for those firms that have a strong commitment to social causes and work with a customer base that understands and respects that, giving to a charitable organization that either you or the recipient chooses will help to avoid the dilemma of a “no gifts” policy while demonstrating your company’s pledge to support those causes. A short note on quality paper stock is all you will need to deliver the good news!
Your brand is associated with those positive qualities that your corporate leadership deems important. Say thanks to the employees and customers that support your brand with a gift that represents those qualities as well as the personality of the recipient. Now is the time to decide!