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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Hourihan

Reviving Client Appreciation Gifts



Recently, I found myself in an engaging conversation with a long-standing client. They reminisced about the good old days when they used to distribute simple, branded white cotton t-shirts at Employee Education meetings. These weren't high-end or fancy shirts, just comfortable tees with their company logo on the right side.


The shirts came in various sizes and were handed out to employees who asked a question during the meeting or simply requested one. The client fondly recalled how these t-shirts often served as conversation starters and brought a wave of joy across the room. Despite being such a low-cost item, the impact was significant.


But like many traditions, this one faded away, especially post-COVID. The client confessed that time went by and they simply forgot about the t-shirts.


Until one day, the past made a surprise visit. As the client walked into a local gym, they spotted someone running on a treadmill, wearing one of their old, branded t-shirts. It was like a blast from the past, an unexpected sight that instantly created a smile on their face. A moment frozen in time, reminding them of the power of their impact and its reach.


At that moment, they realized these t-shirts were an easy way to strengthen the sense of community, promote the brand, and – an unintended bonus – free publicity. Which made them stop and think, "Why did we ever stop?"


Reinforce Client Relationships

The thoughtfulness of showing gratitude through branded merchandise has not changed. It's time to revive this culture and strengthen our client relationships more than ever before.


Branded gifts are more than objects. They're an extension of your brand, a tangible representation of your commitment to your clients.


For example, padfolios for retirement plan committee members to take committee notes could be a practical choice, and at the same time, they subtly reinforce your trusted advisor relationship each time your client uses them.


If your clients are tech-forward, consider a branded mousepad with a wireless charger. This innovative gift combines utility with sustainability, making it a great conversation starter.


Let's not forget the power of food. A box of personalized sweets or a gourmet coffee basket can be a delightful surprise, creating a warm, sensory connection with your brand.


And, don’t forget the t-shirts. Next employee education meeting, revive the power of your branded t-shirts.


Deliver Smiles

As we bring back the tradition of gifting branded merchandise, let's remember the real essence of these gifts: They're not just about branding but about making our clients feel seen, appreciated, and valued. These thoughtful tokens of appreciation are a physical reminder of the trust and partnership we've built with them.


Every time a client reaches for that branded journal, charges their phone on the mousepad, or wears the t-shirt, they'll have a tangible reminder of your commitment to their fiduciary excellence and financial wellbeing. It's not just about seeing your logo; it's about feeling the value delivered each time they interact with your brand.


Bring Joy

Branded materials are silent ambassadors of your brand, reaching places you may not even imagine, and creating connections that go beyond business transactions. By bringing back this tradition, we're not just reviving a practice, but strengthening your client relationships.


Remember, every time they wear that branded shirt, jot down notes in the padfolio, or enjoy a cup of coffee from the gourmet basket, they're experiencing your brand. And that's the best kind of marketing there can be. It's time to revisit the tradition of branded merchandise gifting. After all, in the world of business, it's the personal touches that make all the difference.


As the story of the simple white t-shirt shows, these gifts can leave a lasting impression, spark conversations, and keep your brand at the forefront of people's minds. So, let's not underestimate the power of a thoughtful gift. Let's bring back the joy of giving, and in doing so, strengthen bonds with those who matter most - your clients.


Thanks for reading & Happy Marketing!


About Us


401(k) Marketing is the modern marketing agency for the retirement plan industry. We are proud to support our clients through custom engagements, content marketing campaigns, sales material innovations, thought-leadership consulting, interactive workshops and speaking events. Our mission is to empower the retirement plan industry with high-quality marketing, ultimately inspiring Americans to become financially prepared for their future.


Retirement Plan Marketing is the solution for retirement plan advisors looking for an ongoing and scalable marketing process to generate awareness, streamline sales opportunities and earn more 401(k) business. This comprehensive, strategy driven marketing program includes digital content and sales material specifically designed to help retirement plan professionals attract the right decision makers.


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