We have a couple of fantastic customers (i.e. they bought in early, they give timely and clear feedback, and they celebrate our successes and give us opportunities to fix mistakes).
I'm looking for some interesting ways to thank them, without setting a precedent for lavish gifts (either in their eyes or our team members' eyes).
We've bandied about things like consumables (coffees, teas, candies) or wearables (t-shirts, hats, etc) but nothing feels suitably "awesome" for how much of a difference these customers have made. They've helped us improve our product more than we could have ever done without them, and we'd like to show our appreciation.
Any novel ideas?
Well, what I'm about to suggest definitely isn't a novel idea, and I wouldn't be surprised if you are already doing this, but I'll throw it out there anyways.
If your customers are small businesses maybe you can do something to promote their services. This is something that isn't taste specific like food or fashion, and should be well received. Speaking as a small business owner myself, I would be more excited about getting free promotion for my product (or service), than I would be about getting a tangible object. The nice thing about this is that it will have a long lasting effect for them.
We're currently leaning towards edibleHi Joseph,
gifts that can be shared, but are
still looking for more ideas.
As mentioned above, previously we once got a big box of mixed snacks. Rather than going to your local supermarket / grocery store, head to smaller stores that sell specialty items e.g. Asian grocers (Chinese, Korean, Japanese), specialist candy stores that sell imported candy, anywhere that makes custom chocolates or other small edibles.
Rather than making it small and fancy, you should make it large and varied.
If you get a large gift box and fill it with 30 or so items that are not something you see every day. It will show you've put in some real effort, rather than just purchasing a gift basket online.
Mix some everyday favorites, with something a bit different like chilly chocolate etc.
There are few things more awesome than a single malt scotch. Even if they don't appreciate whiskey, they will certainly appreciate being given a bottle of fine spirits.
YourGiftLabel.com will mail you custom labels for The Glenlivet; if you time it right, you can buy holiday gift packs, which are often the same price (at least here in Ohio) but come with glasses or something else. Either way, a company-branded bottle of scotch is a great way to say thanks!
Then again... maybe I'm a bit biased.
I previously worked for a web design agency and we used to get gifts from customers every now and then.
The best type of gifts that we received were ones that everyone in the office could enjoy (we only had 10 people on our team) but was unique and different.
Because we had an open plan office and quite a young team we enjoyed gifts like iPod with songs + speakers, unique digital clock from Japan. These sorts of quirky electronic gadgets / toys that everyone can enjoy, that can't be bought easily in your country.
We also enjoyed getting a big box of snacks of all different types.
You could purchase 30 x movie tickets or iTunes cards depending on your budget.
Just a possibility
Have your team (and along with ideas from this group?) come up with a list of things you would feel comfortable offering. Try to make it as diverse as possible.
Then make a list/web page outlining what you have described here and give THEM the choice of what they would like.
Here are a two edible gift suggestions:
Another option might be to donate a certain amount of money in their name to a charity of their choice.