When it came time to put some thought for a gift idea for my clients for the holiday season I wanted the gift to be memorable as well as personal. I wanted it to mean something, to be a reflection of who I am!
My ability to build “relationships” as it turns out; proved to be the foundation to my success as a business owner. As the owner of a boutique promotional branding company, I knew that somehow, handing out an item that was simply branded with our logo just wasn’t going to cut it! It seemed “impersonal to me”. I wanted the gift to be from my heart, not from my head and certainly not because I should send something!
So, as I closed my eyes and thought with my heart, I wanted to remember what the holidays meant to me in years gone by. And the memories flooded back. It started with my Mom’s French Tourtiere which, to this day is the best in the world; the angel hair (which always made my brothers and sisters break out in hives) that was added to our Christmas tree to make it look like freshly fallen snow was covering each and every tree light. I remembered the sock (Dad’s socks were the best as he had a size 12 foot!) that we hung off one of the bedposts and were to be filled with special treats from Santa.
And of course Christmas morning would not be complete without the frantic search for batteries for some of the toys that Santa brought. And at the end of the day the family meal, which more often than not, was a generous donation from a local community group.
And when I opened my eyes, I knew what I wanted to give to my clients as a holiday gift, the memory of “Candies of Christmas Past”.
What I was not prepared for, was just how personal this gift was going to be. I hand delivered each and every burlap bag, that was tied with and an old fashion ribbon and a replica of a small “horse bell” (a tribute to my Dad who grew up on a farm in Dunrobin, Ontario – who today, is 75 years old and still talks about his memories of the farm).
Inside, there were six different candy funnels, each tied with a different satin patterned ribbon. These funnels were filled with a variety of candies that I remembered filled my stocking by the handfuls. There was also a cherished clementine and a large red apple.
And as I watched my individual clients open up their Christmas sack, I can assure you, nothing had prepared me for what I was about to experience. The power of memories…..
Whether it was a teary Vice President who remembered his Mom’s love for the licorice candy; or the Marketing Manager who shared some of her memories of the favorite candies she loved from her childhood; or how an Executive Director shared with me that once a year, she thought of the faraway exotic place that a clementine must come from and always looked forward to the savoring the sweet taste each Christmas.
I have to admit, that when I first started to write this blog the focus was about adding longevity to your brand/message and logo via promotional products that fall within the category of food. And how two of the strongest senses tied to memory are smell and taste.
But in the end, it’s about the care and sometimes courage one takes when making a selection of any item that reaches their audience.
Reach. Recall. Reaction.