Giving for a Great Return

- Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Standing at the lift on a way to a networking function, I notice the laptop bag the lady next to me is carrying. It’s the perfect size with plenty of room, in delicious red, streamlined but stylish. I briefly contemplate a bag snatch ...all in jest, half in truth, control my Pavlovianimpulse to salivate and compliment her on it. “Thank you” she says. “I get comments on it all the time; it was a gift from my financial planner, company XYZ...can’t believe they had such good taste!”

Later I reflect on this brief exchange and then do some conscious observing. A pattern becomes apparent. When someone gives a compliment, the recipient, almost without exception, will reply with more than a thank you, adding comments...”this old thing...I’ve had it for years”, or “it was such a bargain!”, or “So and so gave it to me”. Intuitively we respond to interest with information. My conclusion: a compliment is an invitation to elaborate.

And it is this quirk of human behaviour that invests gifts with the potential power of perpetual promotion. Marketing managers have long understood the value of giving practical, permanent objects, hence the birth of the prolific, promotional product such as the branded pen, and the branded key ring and their ubiquitous offspring, the branded pen holder and the branded cap. The trouble is that branded = advertisement and thus risks being a puffed up proud pretentious boast. The right gift, that truly delights the recipient, is a far more valuable object; that handbag was a walking testimonial.

In my experience, gifts are often treated as an added extra in the marketing budget, the first line item to be struck out when times get tough, while print and media advertising remain. Yet the right gift is an enduring testimonial, to be used and loved. Your brand will be remembered long after the newspaper has gone to recycling, the radio advertisement has faded from memory and those branded pens and caps have gone to landfill. Giving can bring great returns.

Looking for a red laptop bag of your own? Click here to see details of our Cocco Bombata laptop bag in red....luscious!

Yours in gifts worth giving




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