Nurturing Relationships Fuels Wealth and Luxury Businesses
Professionals working with high net worth clients know an excellent method to differentiate their business and nurture long-term relationships is through well-though-out gift giving. They recognize gifts are an investment in their business, and the secret to a good ROI is to bestow an item that is both a method to convey appreciation and cultivate business—in marketing speak, this is called appreciation marketing.
Appreciation marketing is ideal for relationship-centric businesses as it is an incredibly effective strategy to stay top of mind and generate word of mouth with clients and referral sources. Additionally, gifts categorized as a marketing expense can help professionals constrained by industry restrictions (e.g., wealth managers) avoid limits and scrutiny.
What are the traits that make the gift both a distinctive expression of gratitude and a marketing powerhouse? Focus on quality items that are unique, long-lasting, high-exposure, personally relevant, and easily shared.
Keep in mind; the big idea is to make it easy and fun for people to think of you often and share your business with others.
Unique: make a statement with your appreciation
What do you get someone that has the resources to obtain almost anything they desire? Make it distinctive and intriguing, which doesn't necessarily mean expensive. Seek something that will continually pique the recipient's interest, and they and others can’t easily obtain. Your effort will be recognized—you will be thought of at an elevated level every time the gift is seen or used.
Long-lasting: create a presence
Creating a constant presence in home or office is powerful. Flowers, food, candy, wine and other perishables or consumables don’t have staying power. As the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind. No matter how strong you believe your relationships are, it is beneficial to remain visibly engaged as it helps build goodwill and facilitate referrals—most clients are happy to refer you, they just think about it unless something reminds them.
High-exposure: remind and be noticed
Gifts are relationship reminders and conversation starters. You want your gift to be seen and noticed as often as possible—bonus if the item invites interaction. It builds mindshare with current relationships, and a attracts attention and discussion from others—exactly what you want!
Personally relevant: make it about them
High net worth individuals spend much thought, time and money on lifestyle. Focus on something that in some manner connects through lifestyle. Associating your brand with the lifestyle of your clients is powerful; it tells them you understand them and is a catalyst in forming emotional bonds. Personalize the gift if possible; studies have proven that personalization makes a big impression.
Readily shared: facilitate discussion and provide social currency
You want to passively encourage recipients to share you. People like referring to their friends and family as it proves they are a person of knowledge and influence. The challenge is providing a reminder and the means to make it easy to share with others. A gift that serves as a casual conversation piece propels you and your business into the spotlight and encourages introductions to prospective clients. Bingo!
Gifts are the most powerful form of appreciation marketing; they are excellent at conveying and nurturing the value of relationships important to your business. A well-thought-out gift keeps you top of mind and generates word of mouth, pillars that strengthen and fuel relationship-centric businesses.
John Frankot is founder and president of Triple R Media and publisher of LIFE REFINED, a relationship management and content marketing tool designed for wealth and luxury professionals.