How can you show someone that you care about them and appreciate them from far away? This question is being posed more and more since the COVID-19 pandemic started, and more and more events and in-person situations started going remote.
We posed this question to our management team at Sock Club. We want our products to feel personal, and have a genuine effect, so it is important that we understand how this is happening organically. A lot of our team said that they were having more video calls, and trying to stay more connected through text messages and even sending memes on Instagram.
However, it was Co-Founder Dane Jensen’s answer that really got us thinking. “Think about the ways that people give and receive love,” said Dane. “Gift-giving is one of the 5 Love Languages. Using promotional products to show your clients and employees that you care is a form of gift-giving, which is an intrinsic part of how we communicate with each other.”
That was really an “Aha Moment” for the team. We always want to make what we do meaningful, and this really provided the context that we needed. Custom swag means something when it means something to the recipient. What better way to make that impression than to give them a branded gift?
Because we started as a sock subscription service, creating an individual gift experience is right in our wheelhouse. We already offered gift boxes, a variety of items, and drop-shipping and fulfillment services, we just needed to figure out what kind of branded kit people need! Based on our research, and the needs that our clients had expressed to us, we identified the following common corporate gift opportunities.
Work From Home Gifts
When remote employees feel disconnected from their colleagues or isolated, their work suffers. Engaged employees are the most productive and creative employees, and will make the most of remote work.
By putting together a gift for employees who are working from home, you show them not only that you care, but that the company cares, which inspires loyalty and helps repair the connection to their team. Gemnote has some excellent examples on their site of things they have done for different companies.
Sock Club suggested Work From Home Kit:
Work-OUT From Home
Branded Cotton Athletic socks, Engraved Water Bottle, Invitation to a company-wide month-long fitness series on Zoom (coordinate with local fitness professionals for a variety of workouts!), and a Custom Card Deck with a different 30-second exercise on each card.
Return To Work Kits
Maybe your business is essential, maybe you are reopening in a limited capacity, and maybe you are preparing for offices to open a global scale. In any case, a big part of that planning is making sure that your employees feel protected when they get back to the office.
58% of employees feel that “the availability of protective protections like masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer” would make them feel safe returning to work. Another thing to consider is that shared office resources, like pens and coffee mugs, might be a potential opportunity for the spread of viruses and germs.
Many of our clients are putting together gifts with branded PPE items and office supplies to let their employees know that they have thoughtfully planned for their return to the office.
Sock Club Suggested Return To Work Kit:
Client Appreciation Gifts
Although every business is always appreciative of their clients, each dollar spent on your product or service means a little more now than it did. And, since it costs far less to nurture an existing client than to search for a new one, it makes sense to show all of your customers, but especially your VIP ones, that you appreciate their business.
Gift your clients useful, high-quality sustainable items to show that your relationship with them will be long-lasting as well. Creating those connections is sure to inspire customer loyalty, and make customers feel good.
Sock Club Suggested Client Appreciation Gift:
Pay It Forward
Branded Made in USA dress socks with recyclable packaging, a tote bag made from recyclable materials, a custom leather koozie or desk tray made by an organization with an amazing social purpose, and a donation made in their name to a local organization that aligns with their values (print it on a custom folding card with handwritten note!)
Gift Bags for Virtual Events
The ubiquitous “swag bag.” When the common theme of a “swag bag” is that it doesn’t make it home in your suitcase, it’s time to rethink it entirely. A virtual event gift bag that comes directly to your house creates an entirely different opportunity – especially if the event was supposed to be in person, but is now happening virtually. It’s important to recreate the excitement of the original event plan, have a consistent story with the event, and make it meaningful.
Sock Club Suggested Gift Bag for Virtual Events:
Custom Puzzle with a photo of the location where the original event was supposed to happen, travel-sized item representing the local flavor (beignet mix for New Orleans?), branded eye masks or slippers to bring the relaxing feeling of a hotel to their home, and a leather luggage tag with the company’s logo on it.
Swag items don’t have to be afterthoughts – a carefully crafted idea can lead a marketing campaign all on its own. If we treat promotional products items as gifts, and make them meaningful, the impression that they make will prove ROI for years to come.