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The Science of Gift Giving: Surprise and Delight Your Clients

A small token of appreciation can go a long way when it comes to marketing your business. But it goes beyond that. Learn how giving gifts benefits both you and your client.

We all enjoy receiving gifts every once in a while. It makes us feel like someone cares and strengthens our relationship with the giver. This is especially important In the business world, where nurturing the bonds you have with your clients can be vital to your success.

But if you want stronger relationships, you can’t just hand out something that has no meaning for the other person. It shows that you haven’t put much thought into it. Your generic gift makes it seem like they’re just a name on a list to you. When it comes to gift-giving, it’s the thought that counts.

So if you think that a pen or a mouse pad will do the trick, think again. The gift needs to show that you know who your client is and what they would like to receive. It should remind them of you, and this will only happen if they truly like it and use it regularly. If they throw it away or stick it in a drawer and forget about it, they’ll forget you as well.

Finding the perfect gift can take a little bit of creativity. Luckily there’s no shortage of ideas. All the world’s best-performing companies know what the right gift can do for their business...

Mercedes Has It Figured Out

If you need a good example of how to find a gift your clients will love, look no further than Mercedes. The company’s gift-giving campaigns have always delighted its customers.

One of the most popular is the holiday campaign that sparked the gift-giving spirit in the most joyous time of the year. 

Mercedes is well-known for luxury and style. From a marketing perspective, they’ve also mastered social media. For the winter holidays, the company found an exciting way to leverage both and make their customers happy.

Mercedes receives almost 100 messages on social media every single day. This inspired them to reach out to customers one-on-one through the #MBSecretSanta program. They wanted to get in touch with current and potential customers who had reached out to them in the past, and help them find the perfect gift.

As a result, Mercedes handed out more than 1000 gifts to its customers. They ranged from branded teddy bears and baby clothes to watches and Bluetooth speakers. As you can imagine, this delighted Mercedes’ customers and strengthened the brand’s connection to them. 

The company wanted to send the message that they cared about their customers. Their campaign did just that.

You might not have Mercedes’ marketing budget. But that doesn’t mean you can’t surprise your clients with a gift they’ll love. Let’s see why it’s important for you to connect with your clients this way.

Why Should I Give My Clients Gifts?

Most businesses get stuck with the same old ideas on how to get and retain clients. They market aggressively and undercut the competition. They also focus on providing superior services that set them apart from the crowd. These supposedly tried-and-true strategies are very familiar to consumers nowadays.

Unfortunately, all that just isn’t enough anymore. Your services may be outstanding, but they might not connect you to the client on a deeper emotional level. As a result, your relationship remains purely transactional. 

What’s to stop your client from seeking the same transaction elsewhere?

That’s why you need to show them you truly care. Gift-giving is the perfect way to do it. Here’s why:

1. They’ll See It Every Day

Gifts serve as a constant reminder of your brand. Every time a client sees the gift, they’ll think of you. This puts you in their thoughts, which gives you an edge on the competition. It also strengthens your relationship with them and makes it harder for them to go elsewhere.

Now, you might feel compelled to slap your logo on the gifts you plan on sending out. After all, most brands do this to get their name in their clients’ heads.

However, this may not be the right approach. It may work for well-known luxury brands like Mercedes, but for most businesses it’s very tricky to get right.

If you think about it, it’s really unnecessary. The client will know who gave them the gift, even if they don’t see your name on it. Not having your logo on it may also mean that the client is more likely to use it. So don’t just hand out generic branded merchandise. Give a true gift that the client will appreciate. Speaking of which…

2. They’ll Feel Appreciated

Think about how you feel when someone gives you a gift. It shows you how much they care about you. So why would giving gifts to your clients be any different?

When they receive the right gift, the client will feel like you care about them on a personal level, beyond the fact that they’re paying you. They’ll see that you’re thinking about them even when you’re not working together. This can work wonders for your connection with clients.

3. Gifts Strategically Generate Referrals

When a person receives a gift they really like, they’ll want to show it off to others. As the gift giver, this can expand your reach – without you having to put in any extra effort. Your clients will share the gift with other people, who’ll see how well you treat your clients.

They’ll see the value of the client’s experience with your brand. This is likely to draw them in and might even steal them from a competitor.

Giving Is Good for You, Too!

Treating yourself can make you happy. Until it doesn’t.

You see, there’s a phenomenon called hedonic adaptation. If you experience something pleasant over and over again, your enjoyment and appreciation of it will wane with each encounter. Over time, you may not feel anything at all from the same experience that once gave you joy.

On the other hand, giving gifts to other people doesn’t have the same effect. Two studies conducted by Chicago researchers, published in Psychological Science, showed that, in fact, the opposite happens. The first study involved students who received $5 per day for five days. One group spent it on themselves and the other group on other people. After five days, the level of happiness in the gift-giving group was much higher.

The researchers second experiment tasked 502 participants with playing a word game that would earn them $0.05 for each win. They could either keep the money or donate it to charity. 

The outcome was the same as in the previous study. The happiness level of those who kept the money declined far more sharply than those who gave it away.

Many of the world’s spiritual traditions will tell you the same thing. You might have also experienced the same pattern in your personal life. The more you give, the happier you’ll feel. You’ll make the recipients happy as well. Everybody wins.

Finding the Perfect Holiday Gift

What better time to appreciate the joy of giving than the holidays? The season will come before you know it. Now’s the perfect time to think about the gifts you’ll send out to your clients. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t be afraid to get creative with your gifts. An unusual (but still appropriate) gift will make you stand out from the crowd.

Unique Christmas cards, personalized gifts, and even fun wrapping paper can delight your clients. Think outside the box and find a way to add your personal touch to the gift. Again, this doesn’t mean branding it. It’s generally best to avoid plastering your logo and name all over your gifts. Unless you’re a company like Mercedes or Harley-Davidson, it’s best to leave the logo off.

Instead, think about what makes your brand unique, and what will remind the clients of you. Express your gratitude for their business and let them see that you wish to keep the relationship going.

Visit our website if you need help finding the perfect gift, or if you just want to check out some of our imaginative ideas.

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