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Why do I want a $5 flashlight?


One of my favorite magazines sent me a flashlight in the mail. Sorta weird. I guess it was a thank-you gift?

It’s a sophisticated, creative business magazine. It’s odd that they spent 10% of the money I gave them on this.

If you had $5 to spend on your customers, you could do so much more to wow them, thank them, amaze them, or earn their respect. A few ideas:

  • Genuine, hand-written thank you note
  • Donation to charity
  • Gift card for a cup of coffee
  • Gift card for a related product
  • Something they will keep on their desk all year
  • Something they will share, like post-its
  • Calendar that stays on the wall all year
  • Coffee mug that the whole office will see
  • Free issues for them to give a friend
  • Extend their subscription
  • Really awesome special edition
  • Collectable book
  • Bound collection of back issues
  • Reduce the price
  • Thank-you call
  • Chocolate

What would you do if you could send a $5 item to all your customers?

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  1. Stuart Bruce January 13, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    Usually like and agree with you tips, but not so sure in this case. Mainly because what matters with gifts like this is what the receiver thinks of them and your alternative list isn’t great as I’d far prefer the torch to most of them.

    Hand-written note – Brilliant, I’d appreciate that
    Donation to charity – seriously bad, they should be doing that anyway not boasting about it to impress me
    Gift card for coffee – instantly forgettable and would probably be a for a big brand that I don’t use/like anyway
    Gift card for related product – like it if it covered the full cost, otherwise it’s just another discount
    Something to keep on their desk – a flashlight I probably would keep on my desk
    Post-its – them and every other company. I have far more in my drawer than I’ll ever use
    Calendar – Absolutely yes. Why don’t companies do them anymore. Especially if it has awesome pictures such as aerial photos of business cities/districts around the world, or the world’s fastest growing cities
    Coffee mug – same as post-it notes, I have far too many given to me
    Free issues to give to a friend – that’s ordinary WOM expecting me to do their job for them
    Extend their subscription – that’s just a loyalty price promotion and nothing special
    Awesome special edition – absolutely if it’s exclusive to subscribers
    Collectable book – absolutely again, but probably costs more than the torch
    Bound collection of back issues – wouldn’t I already have them? A free binder for my existing ones would be good.
    Reduce the price – forgettable as just money, not truly thinking of me
    Thank you call – annoying as it intrudes into my time and privacy and is too close to sales/market research
    Chocolate – not a big fan and too many companies do that

    Long comment, but wanted to illustrate that different people have different likes/dislikes. I’d love the torch as it’s different to the normal promotional junk that you get sent by companies.

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