Can you remember the last time you received a gift you were delighted by?
In a culture where consumerism is the norm, receiving a gift that is truly thoughtful is noteworthy - proof of a relationship beyond something merely transactional.
However, gift giving isn't a natural talent for all of us, so we've pulled in an expert to help the rest of us delight our customers, clients, and top employees.
Great gifting requires the same skills that great salesmanship requires - observing, listening, research and a deep understanding of your client and their needs.
John Ruhlin has a strategy for gifting. Having gifted for everyone from Fortune 500 companies to Forbes, he’s learned a lot about the process. He shares this insight in his book, Giftology.
“Radical generosity is the against-the-grain secret weapon of real influencers, and it will allow you to boost referrals, retention rates, and ROI like few other strategies. But be warned, gifts with strings attached backfire. There is a right - and wrong - way to give.”
There are many reasons to give gifts to clients, such as business milestones, important life events, or even as a thank you for a referral. Gift giving is a way to enhance the human connection between you and your client.
However, not any old gift will do.
The most impressive gifts are thoughtful and focused on the recipient, not the giver. Company swag or branded merchandise is often not seen as a gift, and may even create a negative perception of you and your company.
In a survey of 500 business gift recipients conducted by Knack Modern Gift Giving, 81% of recipients said they felt appreciated when receiving a gift, but a mere 9% of recipients said that a branded gift made them feel special.
Don’t be worried that leaving off the logo means you’ll be forgotten. A memorable and useful gift will make your client smile and cause them to think of you warmly each time the gift is used.
We’ve curated five categories of memorable, luxurious gifts, with ten ideas for specific items your clients will love.
1. Travel Items
A fantastic carry-on is a thoughtful gift for the busy business traveler or the weekend warrior. Giving something your client will use time and time again during their travels will surely keep you top of mind.
The A22 22-Inch Charging Wheeled Carry-On by Raden features an iOS app that allows you to track your luggage via Bluetooth and a built-in 7800mAH battery with two external USB ports for charging devices. Never get hit with overweight bag fees again – the ergonomically designed handle does double duty as a baggage scale. All of this and good looks are sure to make this a gift your client will be thrilled to receive.
Madewell’s Transport Leather Weekender is perfect for that quick out-and-back or a weekend getaway. This bag has simple, classic style that is both gender-neutral and timeless. Your client will love this bag for its ease and simplicity, but also for the beautiful, luxurious leather. For an additional $10, this bag can also be personalized with a monogram, leaving a truly personalized touch.
2. Gifts That Give Back
Knowing you’ve supported a cause near and dear to your client’s heart is a great way to show you care. Here are a few picks that let you give, as well as give back.
The Troubadours by LSTN Sound Co. are not only beautifully crafted and high-quality headphones, but they also have a wonderful purpose. The proceeds from each pair of Troubadours goes toward giving hearing aids to those in need.
The Love + Hope collection for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital combines striking artwork with the knowledge that you’re helping St. Jude’s mission: Finding Cures. Saving Children. This memorable gift becomes a daily reminder of you in your client’s office or home.
3. Tech Savvy Gifts
Your clients and business partners work hard and often rely on technology to make their lives run more easily.
Olloclip features a series of lenses you can attach to your smartphone that allows you to take DSLR-quality photos. This gift is perfect for parents, travelers, or anyone who fancies themselves a photographer.
The Hudly Heads Up Display projects your smartphone directly ahead of you so you can keep your eyes on the road. This gift is perfect for clients who make frequent car travel trips for business, and it has the added bonus of not requiring an additional operating system or a new platform.
4. Curated Gift Boxes
Gone are the days of the fruit basket, leaving your client wondering who would take home the fruitcake on the last day before the holiday break. The new trend in gift giving is carefully curated and beautifully packaged gift boxes. These boxes can be personalized with your company’s logo (okay on the box, not on the gift itself) and contain a combination of high-end items. Part of the luxury of receiving these boxes is the packaging – the unboxing becomes an event all to itself.
Knack Modern Gift Giving curates many such boxes, including “The Cheese Course,” which provides a cheeseboard and four cheese knives, plus a jam to pair with. Your client will use this over and over while entertaining, giving them a conversation piece - and an opportunity to mention you and your business.
Simone LeBlanc features curated boxes for luxurious experiences from business deals to a new mom welcoming her child to the world. The “Celebration” box includes “a handsome variety of edible indulgences, plus something to keep forever.”
Love curated boxes? We detailed several other great ones here.
5. Memberships and subscription services
Staying top-of-mind is usually a consideration when giving gifts to a client - and paying for memberships to activities that fit with your client’s lifestyle are a fantastic way to do that.
Quarterly allows you to choose from 4 different types of experiences, curated and delivered – you guessed it – quarterly. Choose from “Biohack,” “Literary,” “Culinary,” or “Maker,” to appeal to a broad variety of tastes.
Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. gives 20% of your purchase to the animal rescue organization nearest to where your recipient lives. You can customize this year-long subscription to the type of coffee your client likes best. This gift will keep your client caffeinated, remembering your thoughtfulness every morning.
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