Seth Godin just came out with his holiday gift guide. I trust his opinions, so I enjoyed clicking through his curated group of quirky products looking for ideas. My favorites? Brooklyn-built headphones and a Bob Dylan collection to match. I don’t have a giftee for either, but never mind, what I really loved was how well those products align with Seth’s brand. They’re insider-y and should make you feel smart and thoughtful when you give them. Like Seth.
Any brand can create a gift guide, and it’s a worthy exercise, whether you choose to share your picks on a company blog, with the media, with your customers … or not. The exercise of building a curated lists of gifts your brand could give to someone you care about can help you tap into what you really want to mean to your customers.
Here’s why: gift giving is an art. And every gift tells a story (or it should!). The best gift-givers make the recipient feel special and appreciated by you. The best gift-givers also give gifts that are memorable. What brand doesn’t want their customers to feel that way about them?
Here are some questions to ask to get you started.
- What are my brand’s core values? How do they translate into my brand’s personality? List them.
- If my personality is accessible and friendly, for example, what categories of products can my brand legitimately recommend? Think broadly. A food brand can venture into style; a tech brand may legitimately recommend food.
- If your brand is clever, make sure the gifts are, too. If you’re mainstream, stick with something that’s delightful but relatable. Useful? Twist it up and make it completely useless but fun. If your brand is hip, well, it goes without saying what you need to do. If it’s not hip and you, the gift-giver, are, think about something campy. You get the idea.
- Play the Amazon game: If my customers like X (i.e., me) they might also like Y. This springs the doors wide open.
- Most importantly, what do I want my customers to remember about me after receiving this gift?
Once you create your gift guide, there is so much you can do with it. You can make a Vine. (Stop motion animation of the gifts going into a big box). Share it on Facebook or your website. Write a blog post, like Seth, with links. Or, better, buy a bunch of the stuff and send it to your customers. If you’ve done your job right, they’ll remember the gift and, even better, remember your brand and what it stands for.
Okay. We’re putting our money where our mouths are here at Company B. Here is our gift guide:
Moleskine Volant Journal, bright orange, naturally: We love our Macbook air, but still need to use paper every once it a while to tell our stories. This journal makes writing more delightful.
Cassette Tape iPhone Case: Surprising, fun and amusing, like a good story.
Violet Preserve Terrarium Kit: Organic growth that you plant, nurture and then control? Plus, it’s pretty. We’re so giving that.
Maple and Cherry Travel Mug: Elegant, simple and can be used everyday. Perfect.
What’s your brand gift guide story? Share it here.