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The Art of Congruent Gifting - matching gifts with values

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Most companies have invested time and money into crafting their brand values, vision, and mission. Many will have delved deeper into behaviours, brand personality, and philosophy. Some will have gone to great lengths to verbalise and visualse their brand’s creative direction and unique style.

No matter how far along this road you have travelled, how thoroughly considered, or fluidly evolving is the entity of your brand, you will have developed a perceived image among your clients.

 You likely recognise the importance of maintaining a clear and consistent brand image, establishing behaviours that epitomise your values, and communications that are infused with your unique brand language and personality.

But is this something you extend to every corner of your business interactions? Is your brand DNA considered when purchasing gifts for your clients and staff, for example? Are those gifts congruent with your values, or do you simply buy ‘off-the-shelf’ and add your logo to the box?

The importance of congruent gifting should not be overlooked, and presents the opportunity to surprise and delight, while amplifying your core values and raison d’etre.

That’s not to say, the gifting is all about you and your brand or company – this is not the time for showing off. Clever and insightful gifting shows you have put genuine thought into the gift and the recipient. The point is that, however thoughtful your gift, it will jar with the recipient if it’s somehow at odds with your values, and the great work you put into gift selection will be lost.

It’s a delicate balance, but an act that pays dividends when you get it right.

Sustainable gifts


Bulk Buying Gifts

It’s smart and budget-savvy to plan ahead and purchase your gifts in bulk. This is a practice that works well for curating the perfect brand-right gifts for the following reasons:

  • You can source unique, hard-to-find products that set your gifting apart.
  • You can specify particular materials, colours, ingredients that complement your brand.
  • You can personalise with your logo (with subtlety though, you don’t want to turn your gift into a brash advertising op).
  • You can source and personalise boxes, ribbon, cards, tissue etc.
  • You can support small artisan suppliers.
  • And through this curation you get to demonstrate your discerning taste, your commitment to sustainability, your support of Australian-made producers, perhaps your passion for organic or hand-crafted goods. Whatever is important to you and your brand.

Plus, you obviously benefit from bulk pricing and building an on-hand supply of gifts, ready to go at a moment’s notice.

So now you’re telling a story with your gift, confirming the positive opinions your clients or staff hold about your brand, intriguing them with your selections, upholding your values and enhancing your reputation.

Now let’s explore how you can benefit from this bulk-buying, brand-enhancing exercise, while making the gift personal to each recipient.


Making it Personal

Now you have most of the hard work out of the way, it’s easy to personalise each gift. You can do this, simply by inserting one or two additional items that have particular meaning for each recipient. Maybe something that relates to a shared experience, something you know is one of their favourite things, something that will make them laugh, an item they’ve been looking for, but couldn’t find, something that shows you listen to them and remember things about them. You might even want to include a little something for their child, or pet.

To complete the gesture, take the time to write a personal, hand-written message that is genuine and heartfelt.

The benefits of this personalisation cannot be underestimated and will build a great deal of goodwill and loyalty. Your thoughtfulness demonstrates how much you value your client, or staff member, that you are happy to devote time and attention to them, that the relationship is special to you.

Coffee gift


The Risks of Incongruence

Let’s say, for example you promote your business as ‘Proudly Australian’ or producers of ‘Australian-Made” products, but when it comes to gifting, you opt for cheaper offshore-produced items.

Not only is this incongruent, it sends the message that your clients or staff are not worthy of the same quality as what you are selling.

Suppose your brand is known for all-natural, organic products, but your gifts feature off-the-shelf, potentially toxic-laden items. Your recipients will feel somewhat let down by their gift being at odds with your values and philosophy. That you are inclined to so easily ditch these values for the sake of cost or convenience, will lead them to question your integrity.

Or maybe your brand is known for its caring, inclusive relationships with its staff and clients, yet resorts to offloading their stock of branded promo items as gifts. Incongruence.

It will make a mockery of your altruistic intentions, no matter how genuine they may be.

Hamper gift


The Risks of Impersonal Gifting

While gifts are mostly appreciated, it’s obvious when your gift is ill-considered, for example, sending;

  • Alcohol gifts without checking whether your client drinks or not.
  • Indulgent sweet treats to a health-conscious foodie.
  • Anything that could be construed as promotional goods.
  • Real Estate settlement gifts that are at odds with the style of the home or buyer.
  • Handover gifts that show how little attention the builder has paid to their client’s style / likes / dislikes.

Whatever your relationship with your client or team member, it pays to listen and take notes that will be useful to remember in the future – not just for gifting, but to use in conversation to demonstrate the interest you take in the individual.

Home gift


Make Congruent Gifting part of your Marketing Strategy

By weaving a thoughtful gifting strategy through your marketing plans for the year, you can plan ahead and set the time and resource aside for sublime execution of the beautiful art of gifting.

At Cadeau and Bliss, we offer a planning service to help you achieve this.

We’ll take the time to get to know your brand and source a collection of unique gift items to create the perfect gift for you, that truly exudes your brand values, epitomises your brand style and delights your clients and staff.

Think of us as an extension of your marketing team – just set us a challenge, we’ll develop a brief with you, and take it from there.

You’ll be surprised how thoughtful, congruent, and personal gifting can enrich relationships, improve retention, grow your business, and enhance your reputation.

What’s not to love?

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