Personalization - Boosting Egos, Boosting Loyalty and Sales
Carly Simon was right. We are so vain. We love to see our name in print. We usually don't part with things that have our name on them. Instead we keep them, cherish them and rarely throw them away.
Putting someone's name on a product increases the chances it will be kept by the recipient. Therefore, personalization is a significant trend in the promotional market today. Companies are realizing its remarkable power to reach people and are giving personalized promotional items to employees, clients, and prospects. Giving a personalized gift is an extra special way of showing gratitude or appreciation to a person. It shows that you have taken extra time to create something unique.
With the help of new technology, personalization is much more than a simple engraved name on a pen. From apparel to watches and leather portfolios, personalization is now a feasible and affordable option. It can be done easier, faster and more complete than ever before. Blankets, sweaters and golf towels can even have names woven right into the pattern. This is done as part of the production process, and does not require post-production embroidery.
Another possibility is to reproduce a photograph onto a blanket, capturing an important moment in a person's life, or an image from a special event. The photos are digitally scanned, and a computer translates them into a knitting pattern. Amazing.
As you could guess, the key to personalizing a gift is accuracy and attention to detail. An error in a personalized product is more noticeable and can even be counterproductive. But despite the extra detail work necessary, a lot of the hassles formerly associated with personalization have diminished thanks to computerization and software.
When a product is personalized, the message you're trying to deliver is enhanced even further. That message may be a thank you, a gesture of appreciation or a sign that you recognize the recipient for who he is and how he'd helped your business. You just need to know who your individual customers and employees are. Then get personal!
Use that personal information to strengthen your relationship. That's the whole idea behind personalization - enhancing customer and employee relationships. The fact of the matter is, if pleasing clients and employees is at the top of your company's to-do list, you can't afford to overlook a tool like personalization.
There are all sorts of promotional possibilities when it comes to personalization. Below are a few.
1) Sales Incentive Programs. Salespeople love to see their names in print. Adding personalization along with the company logo lends credibility to their position and makes them feel part of the company they represent.
2) Employee Recognition. Personalized products given to employees as service or safety awards, holiday/thank-you gifts, etc. can boost that person's connection to their company and make them feel their hard work has been appreciated and acknowledged. A little goes a long way. Companies that nurture a strong relationship with their workers are going to have employees who are motivated, dedicated and loyal.
3) Business Gifts. After her first year in business, counselor Wendy Vaughn hand-delivered to every client a pen laser-engraved with the company logo and recipients name, packaged in an aluminum tube. Vaughan also told clients to call her for refills, which let her know who kept and used the pens.
4) Trade-Show Promotions. You might think promoting a trade show with personalization would be a poor idea. Nope. Kosub had a client who didn't want a lot of tire-kickers at its booth at a high-tech show; he had a carefully developed list of prospects. He devised a pre-show mailing sending those folks just the cap of a personalized high-end pen. The body could be picked up at the booth. Did it work? The firm got a 30% response rate.