Ways to tell your clients in the AEC industry that you appreciate them – and make it stick
If there is one thing we can generally agree on, it’s this: the holidays are great. Good food, good company, a good buzz of excitement in the air, and don’t forget the good presents.
But ask yourself this: Do you remember all the presents you got this year?
Now think of that from a business perspective. How do you differentiate yourself from the dozens of AEC industry vendors, associates, trade partners, and others that are giving gifts out during the traditional holiday season?
The best way? Choose a different holiday or season and exercise those creative muscles! Here are just a few ideas that have been proven winners because of their timeliness and creativity:
Symbol of Your Culture
“Think outside the box. Show your firm’s personality by being different in your approach,” says Principal Stephanie Craft. She remembers when she helped a client send an Independence Day card.
“We did a July 4th card and taped a sparkler inside it (check with your mailing service for restrictions) and wrote how much we cherished our freedoms that allowed us the opportunity to do what we love for clients,” she says. The switch to a different holiday was a rousing success. “We heard from several clients that they loved it. Not only did they love getting the sparkler but they appreciated knowing that was important to the firm. We were so happy that it was the only card they got and it set the firm apart.”
Play with Words
For St. Patrick’s Day, what's better than delivering your clients shamrock cookies? Principal Keri Hammond remembers a client who did just that. “The theme centered around how the engineering firm was “lucky” to be able to assist with their AEC industry clients’ projects.”
Holiday- or Market- Themed Gift Baskets
One client made the rounds (pun intended) with tortilla chips and gourmet salsa baskets for their clients to use for personal Cinco de Mayo celebrations.”
Another winner? An architectural firm specializing in K-12 projects took the time to create some ‘back to school’ baskets for their school district clients. It was an appreciation of all of the chaos the facilities group endured during the summer to get schools opened and available to welcome students.
Each works on the same premise: firms can be unique and creative to deliver something so much better than a traditional box of chocolates or holiday card that will get lost in the shuffle. Take Stephanie and Keri’s advice to think outside the box and give your clients a memorable appreciation gift. This approach to AEC industry appreciation gift-giving will truly make you stand out from the rest.