This past Christmas, while visiting my Millennial kids in New York, my daughter needed a pen. I grabbed a favorite pen out of my bag and handed it to her. Her reaction: “Mom, this pen is amazing! Can I have it?” It was a great pen I must say, and it was multifunctional too. It had a stylus and even a flashlight. It was also a promotional pen I’d gotten at High Point Market (most likely), so of course she could keep it. My son-in-law and son decided they wanted that pen too. I dug into my work bag and found two more of these pens, so extra presents all around. All that money on Christmas gifts, and promotional pens were the hit of the day.
As I was heading to a show home event recently — the IDS Charlotte Show Homes in Davidson, NC — I was thinking about profitability. This is our Profitability Issue after all, and the pen story came to mind. They were thoughtful pens, and of course they have the company logo and website on them.
From there my mind wandered to markets, and all of the showrooms we visited in January where we were able to get breakfast, lunch, snacks, water, a cup of coffee... At 3:00 in the afternoon, I have to say the scent of fresh-baked cookies in a showroom can make a long afternoon sweeter.
It’s common for market exhibitors to offer up food or promotional items — pens, totes, notebooks, cookies — and those are always appreciated. It’s a quick pick-me-up during a long day or a reminder afterward of how thoughtful that company was. It makes their customers feel appreciated, which goes a long way.
If as retailers, designers, and in my case, press, we appreciate those little “extras” as we are working markets, imagine how your customers would feel if on a visit to your retail establishment, they’re greeted with coffee or tea or a sweet treat. If they make a purchase, or even if they don’t, a small thoughtful gift for stopping in goes a long way as a reminder, especially if it has your logo and contact information. They could even give those pens away, sharing your info.
And designers, how do you thank your clients that you’ve come to know so well after months or years of working with them? While you’ve done them a service, they’ve done one as well by putting their trust and home aesthetic in your hands.
Showing appreciation for someone doing business with you goes a long way toward creating that stellar experience consumers are all about these days. There are so many options available to shoppers and clients that as independent businesses we need to find a way to differentiate.
Sharing a little something to remember you by or thoughtfulness that soothes a customer on a busy day will help them appreciate and remember you as much as you value them and their business. And that can lead to additional sales and profitability.
Sometimes it pays to spend a little or take the extra time to create an environment of appreciation. Oh, and Fairfield Chair? I’m going to need a few more of those pens!