It’s the thought that counts: That’s the gift-giving mantra that many of us embrace—and one that rings true when considering executive gifts: Putting thought and effort into the discovery process first is what helps us arrive at the right gift, for the right occasion, and at the right price.
Because it’s important to factor in turnaround time, particularly for personalized gifts, now is the time to start shopping for executive holiday gifts. Here are my 5 essential steps to gift-giving success:
- Vet your client list. Consider there are many organizations that cannot accept gifts from their clients and vendors. It’s important to vet the client/recipient list so that the gift campaign does not work against you.
- Identify your demographic. Think about who the gift is going to—and then let that profile drive your selection.
- Don’t overlook packaging. Consider how will the gift will arrive—wrapped? In original retail packaging? Will it be shipped, hand-delivered or presented at an event? The late Steve Jobs was as meticulous about packaging as he was about the products themselves: He believed that a substantial package would improve the customer experience before they even opened the box—it’s a brand hallmark that Apple still embraces today.
- Identify how the gift will be used. Do you see your gift sitting on your client’s desk? Is it a lifestyle product that you hope makes it to your client’s home? An impact piece? Something that has a short shelf life, such as food?
- Establish a budget. Does that include packaging and shipping?
These discovery prompts lead to solid gift-giving solutions. As an example, one of my customers budgeted $50 on a C-suite level client gift
(something that the client would use/keep). He decided on apparel; but then worried that putting his company logo on the chest might prevent the client from wearing it. The solution: We imprinted the customer’s logo on the lining of a jacket, which gave a nod to their brand without making the gift feel too self-promoting. My customer was pleased with the result—his gift was the right product, presented in the right way (with subtle branding), and at the right price.
Some customers start the gift-giving process backwards—starting with the item first. But to get it right, it’s more about knowing your audience than picking the right product. Using this discovery process as a guide, you’ll find that you arrive at the ideal gift.
What’s the best executive gift you’ve received? I’m interested in your feedback firstname.lastname@example.org