Best Giveway Ever

There simply aren’t enough blogs about tchotchkies!  Here’s a way to really stand out if you’re struggling to find a way to avoid giving another customer a stress-ball or a flash drive in the shape of a pineapple.  I recall the best giveaway that I was ever part of, back in 2005 at Kimpton Hotels.

One of my hotels, the Hotel Rouge, was set to giveaway tiny little red wooden picture frames.  Picture frames small enough for a wallet size photo at largest.  In a lot of senses, picture frames can be a rather generic, thoughtless gift.  And this one, though somewhat stylish painted in a hot red color, and no bigger than a Post-It pad, wasn’t a bad little innovation.  Perhaps the client would put a small picture of their pet, or their baby, or something little on their desk.

But why waste this amazing personal branding opportunity by handing our clients a blank picture frame?  No way!  I decided I’d make a small color photocopy of my own headshot, as a filler of course, until my client replaced my visage with that of their own loved one.  I imagined it would glean a chuckle of sorts, and help remind them just who to call when they needed a hotel.

What I didn’t expect to find, however, was returning to their offices 6 months to a year later and finding they had not, in fact, replaced my image with one of their own.  Indeed every day my client reported to work, they would not only think of my hotel because a bright red frame sat atop their desk, but they’d stare right at my face!  And I’d stare right back at them!  Could there be a more efficient, low cost, intensely personal way to market one’s self?  Just takes a little vanity is all.  Okay, a lot of vanity.

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