The holidays are here and the season “presents” ?(pun-intended) an excellent opportunity to strengthen your brand by investing in give-aways, charity and corporate gifts.
Gifts can help you make a special connection with your customers and prospects, especially during this time of year. The holiday season invites a dialogue of warmth and giving in the community and companies that join that dialogue with charitable campaigns and gifts are more likely to be favored above brands that don’t.
It is an interesting phenomenon and we have a few tips to help you determine the best strategy for giving to fit your budget and marketing goals.
Tip #1: Set a Budget
Before you decide on investing in gifts for your customers or prospects this season, it may be a good idea to talk to your accountant so you can budget and avoid over extending yourself or missing out on potential tax credits from giving.
Your accountant can help you set a budget for different things you may be considering. For example, Salvador Alavarado, founder of Xtrategist Consulting, LLC says that most businesses can safely invest in marketing to their existing clients with corporate gifts valued at $25 or below per client and claim 100% of that amount as a tax write-off. Meanwhile charity projects that involve donations to non-profits in exchange for being recognized as a sponsor, could be tax-deductible opportunities to advertise on a larger scale.
Tip #2: Create a Strategy
Once you have a clear sense of what your budget is, you can evaluate if your giving will involve:
B. Give Aways
D. All of the Above
Each of these options is an excellent way to increase brand recognition and preference. If you decide to offer discounts or giveaways, we recommend giving careful thought to how you will advertise to maximize the visibility of your investment. For instance, if you decide to make a donation to a charity or a cause, consider whether the recognition that the event or organization offers you will actually reach your target audience.
If you decide to give away something of great value, you may want to create a contest campaign to spread the word about your give-away with as many people as possible before you make the investment. If you are working with a smaller budget consider gifting branded items with your logo or company slogan. Items that your customers will find useful or entertaining are best. Make sure that the items also fit your brand and business.
Tip #3: Don’t Forget Your Existing Clients
Let’s face it, as awesome as you and your business may be, your customers could have chosen another brand who offers the same products or services that you offer. We recommend marketing to existing customers on a continual basis with added value but we also believe that the holidays are the best time to really make them feel appreciated. This is an excellent time to give your customers tangible gifts that are thoughtful such as handwritten notes. If you decide to give tokens we recommend personalizing each gift as much as possible. If you are looking for ideas, you may enjoy reviewing this local Atlanta baker who offers personalized pastries. Visit Dulce Cake in Atlanta on Facebook and maybe you will be inspired to give your clients a branded pastry. Etsy is also a great resource for personalized gifts.
Tip #4: Be Genuine
This may be cliche but we believe that the best gifts are genuine and come from the heart. Having a financial and marketing strategy back your gift giving decisions is a great start. If you are genuinely excited about the gift and donations, your customers will probably sense it and get exited about you. You will get the best return on your investment when your giving is inspired by your appreciation for others.
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