What branded gifts do you distribute to clients?

Jackson Remodeling
Big50 2006

I think our “signature plaque” is unique in the remodeling business. It's made of wood and is oval-shaped, like the Jackson Remodeling logo. Our lead carpenter signs it with a Sharpie, and we install it inside a cabinet door or some other suitable place. The idea is that it makes the job more personal for the clients, gives the lead carpenter a real sense of ownership, and keeps our brand visible for future owners.

We also give clients T-shirts, pocket-knives, and pens. Years later, I still run into clients who pull the knife out of their pocket and say they use it every day. We slide the pen across the table with our agreement, and then let clients keep it after they sign on the dotted line.

As a housewarming gift, we give a disaster preparedness kit that ties into our earthquake retrofitting division, Sound Seismic. It has emergency food, water, first-aid supplies, flashlight, radio, plastic sheeting and duct tape for temporary shelter, a pocket-knife (with the Sound Seismic logo), gloves, dust mask, water purifier, etc. Of course, it all comes in a sturdy “Sound Seismic Yellow” tote bag with our logo silk-screened on it. People really feel that this gift shows we care about them, and of course they keep it around for a long time.

It seems to work, as we have had retrofitting clients call us years later to do a remodel, and remodeling clients call us years later to do retrofitting.

Classic Remodeling & Construction
Johns Island, S.C.
Big50 1997

Throughout our projects (high-end design/build work), we give clients three bottles of wine in wood boxes that have our logo burned into them. We also have coffee bags with our logo on them. We fill these with fresh-ground coffee or M&Ms and give them to clients.

We have also started giving gifts that do not have our company logo on them. We work for a fairly high-end client base, and I think that gifts without a company logo are truly perceived as a gift, and not as a marketing pitch.

The easiest and best-perceived thing we do is a simple, hand-written thank-you note.

For major bath renovations, we give clients bathrobes and/or towels monogrammed with their initials. On larger projects, we send clients note cards with awesome renderings (by Aaron Ede, one of our designers) of their completed project and the surrounding landscaping.

We also send tarts or cakes (baked by my daughter) to clients midjob, or when we take a prospective client to see their project, or when something disturbing has happened, or just because we feel like it.

D&J Kitchens and Baths
Sacramento, Calif.
Big50 2007

We give clients personalized gift baskets when jobs are complete. We take note of client preferences for a whole host of things and build the baskets to their tastes and interests — coffees, wines, entertainment, etc. The only “branded” items that go in the baskets are business cards, for clients to pass on, but we're also going to start including coffee mugs with the D&J logo.

Landis Construction
Washington, D.C.
Big50 2005

As thank-you gifts, we have given clients Landis Construction aprons and handmade cutting boards, as well as framed photographs of the finished job. We also distribute Landis Construction pads, pencils, scales, magnetic cards, and brochures.

Father & Son Construction
Troy, Mich.
Big50 2004

For a great number of years, Father & Son Construction has given out numerous promotional items with our characters on them.

We have done playing cards, baseball hats, golf club covers, golf balls, coolers, coolers with radios, refrigerator magnets, coffee mugs, afghans, pens, bobble heads, water globes, shirts, jackets, mouse pads, Christmas tree ornaments, Christmas cards, and more.

We hand out the golf-related items at the golf outings we hold for charity. Some items, like coolers and afghans, are for our trades and clients. The water globes, bobble heads, and pen sets go to everyone.