Branding and marketing are largely about getting yourself noticed. But getting noticed isn’t just about logo design, brand identity, advertising, or the size of your media budget. Getting noticed has a lot to do with timing. Choosing when you deliver a message can really increase the impact that message makes.
Like many, HenkinSchultz typically delivers little Christmas gifts to thank our clients at the end of the year. We are also the grateful beneficiary of gifts from vendors and partners.
Grazing the mile-long line of meat and cheese trays and sweet baskets each year is a simple joy. But it also got us thinking. Maybe we should deliver our year-end gifts in a different way, and at a different time.
Happy Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year takes place between January and February, as determined by the Chinese Lunar calendar. The holiday celebrates friends and family with food, fireworks, simple gestures and gifts. Because the holiday season is so hectic each year, HS decided to use Chinese New Year as the opportunity to send client appreciation gifts.
Clients and prospects each received a simple Chinese takeout box with chopsticks. The box was designed to celebrate The Year of the Hamster, a nod to our “hamster stacking” campaign a couple of years ago which caught regional and national attention. Sure, it’s actually the Year of the Rat, according to the Chinese zodiac, but hamsters are pretty close to rats. Don’t you agree?
Getting back to the box, we filled it with delicious frosted fortune cookies. (Just ask Executive Creative Director, Chad VanderLugt.) Each cookie had a customized fortune from HS. Some of them were simple and sincere, and some were just plain silly.
“Your life has the opportunity to be wonderfully creative.”
“You will dance with hamsters under the stars.”
It was a fun way to say thank you to our clients. And while we always challenge ourselves to be creative, we do so with purpose. So why did we choose to do our client appreciation gifts this way, this year?
- Delivering them a month after the holidays helped assure they didn’t get lost in the clutter.
- It gave HS account team an opportunity to reconnect personally with clients at a time they were back in the office, and more relaxed than during the rush of the holidays.
- The theme celebrated something timely and unexpected.
- The box, chopsticks and customized fortune cookies were playful and interactive.
- Interactive = memorable. Plus, it doesn’t hurt if it’s something fun they can pass around or show the kids.
Showing Appreciation to Your Customers
Client or customer appreciation gifts can be tricky. Spend too much and you break the bank. Spend too little and you risk appearing cheap or corny. So, we recommend erring on the side of thoughtful, creative and gracious.
In our case, our customized little Chinese New Year boxes were not gold Rolexes, but they were something familiar delivered in a new way. Wishing our clients “good fortune in the coming year” was a sincere way to show we appreciated them. It also implied that we wish to be a part of their prosperity.
The boxes were such a hit, we’ve had several clients inquire about us recreating the campaign for their customers. It’s a simple idea that can be applied to most businesses. But no matter what your business is, think of your customer first when thinking about how to get noticed.
Tips on Getting Noticed in a Crowded Marketplace
Depending on your business, business size, location, niche or budget, you likely face a lot of competition. It’s important to stand out from that competition where you can – and that’s not always about being the flashiest or spending the most. There are simple things you can do to get noticed.
- Don’t immediately do what your competition is doing. You may love their ad or logo, but trying to “look like they do” comes off as imitation. Instead, strive for professionalism and authenticity.
- Know your competition. If everyone is touting one thing, look for the one thing you do that is different and tout that.
- Remember every interaction is an opportunity to make an impression. Your vehicle, your reception area, your logo wear and the attitude and professionalism of your staff are all “advertising” opportunities.
- Ask your customers what they like about doing business with you. They will provide a wealth of information when asked.
Lastly, remember timing is everything. When you pick the right moments, to deliver the right kind of message, you stand the best chance of making a lasting impact.
Looking for clever client appreciation ideas or ways to make your message stand out? HS team would love to help you this Chinese New Year or any year.