In difficult times it’s even more important to create and nurture relationships with employees, members, and other audiences. People are looking for comfort and hope, and gifting is a good way to say, “I’m thinking about you.” Whether given out at an event or sent to someone’s home or office, companies can still engage with their audiences through thoughtful gifting:
Help Them Take Their Mind Off Right Now.
Gifts can serve as the positive equivalent of shaking a can of pennies. Twenty-four hour news cycles and uncertainty can cause people to fall into a routine of worry, and the surprise and delight of a gift breaks that cycle. Boxes from Amazon and other delivery services have become common sights, so for extra joy, send your gift in a special, fully-branded box that doesn’t look like a “normal” delivery.
Help Them Feel More Connected.
Going from in-person interaction to primarily virtual interaction overnight can make people feel anxious, scared, and lonely. Creative ways of digitally connecting people can make a big difference. Low-stakes photo contests, online scavenger hunts, or instructions for sharing ____-On-The-Shelf (using objects readily available at home) are all ways to help your employees, members, or audiences feel less alone.
Focus Them on the Future.
If you’ve had to postpone an event or meeting, give your guests a taste of what they can look forward to when the event does happen. As an example, a client had to postpone their golf outing, so the custom golf balls we had created for the event were repurposed as gifts sent to guests’ homes in a custom box with a note that read, “Keep practicing until we do this again!” For another client whose postponed meeting was to be held in Indiana, we created a customized “Taste of Indiana” basket to send to each guest. This sneak peek of what’s to come can remind people that the current situation is temporary and wonderful things are still to come.
Keep Them Motivated.
If your employees or members depend on face-to-face interactions and a convivial environment for motivation, social distancing and working from home can take an emotional toll as well as a financial one. Send them a small reminder not only of your appreciation, but of your belief in them. “I know you can do this” is a message that no one ever gets tired of hearing.
Build Company Spirit.
Most people’s work-from-home spaces aren’t going to have the same company presence that their offices do. Help your employees feel like they’re a part of something bigger with gifts that boost company spirit. Notepads and journals, phone cases, laptop sleeves, apparel, and even whimsical items like snowglobes can remind people that they work for a company that cares about them.
Make It Personal.
Our business is rooted in creating personal connections, so this is a message we deliver frequently. Especially now, though, when in-person interactions are restricted, the gift you send can – and should – feel highly personal. We recommend including a note, handwritten if possible, simply stating the intention of the gift (“We’re thinking about you,” “We wanted to bring a little joy to your day”).
With opportunities for in-person meetings not as plentiful right now, gifts can help bridge the gap. Used to meeting with business prospects over coffee? Consider sending them a coffee mug with a bag of your favorite coffee blend and a handwritten note inviting them to “virtual” coffee over video.
Ultimately, gifting can be a small way to have a big impact on relationships now and in the future.