Customer Appreciation

The Magic Words, 7 Ways to Appreciate Your Customers

As we set our sights on the new year it’s easy to forget the importance of customer appreciation in the form of a simple thank you. It’s certainly important to plan ahead in order to continuously deliver on your brand promise. However, you should not underestimate the power of engaging with your clients and customers, not only during the holiday season, but throughout the year so you show your customers you appreciate them and their business.

The holidays are a time of connection. People gather with their loved ones and their colleagues to celebrate and to create shared memories. If your brand is healthy, you should be taking part in that connection. The best brands use not only the holidays as a time to thank their customers so they strengthen brand relationships but develop customer appreciation strategies for implementation throughout the year to grow their brand.

Related: How Healthy Is Your Brand? 7 Vital Signs to Measure Today Using a Brand Audit Health Check

Customer appreciation can improve brand perception. It also can significantly impact your bottom line. According to Forrester Research, the cost of acquisition for a new customer or client can be as much as five times more than the cost of retention for a current customer. Moreover, increasing customer retention by as little as two percent can have the same impact as reducing expenses by ten percent.[1]

By investing in customer appreciation during a special occasion, event or holiday season, you’re laying the foundation to a winning brand. We’ve outlined seven methods you can use to build connection with your clients or customers. They range in the level of effort and budget required, so there is sure to be a option accessible to your brand.

1. Harness the Written Word in Your Customer Appreciation

It’s not often that most people receive a handwritten note, which gives your brand an opportunity to stand out. HEX, an accessories company, built a loyal following by having their employees write notes to accompany each order. They’ve written over 13,000 notes, and customers are so thankful for that special touch that they post the notes on social media.

Customer Appreciation

Image via HEX

Chewy, an online pet store, employs a similar tactic. They make customers feel like part of a larger family by sending postcards along with the first order. They even go so far as to have an artist paint a picture of the customer’s pet if the customer sends along a photo.

Customer Appreciation

Hex thank-you note posted on Instagram by customer cdransf

That analog interaction in an increasingly digital world goes goes a long way towards bringing your brand’s values to life. If the idea of handwriting notes doesn’t feel feasible for your brand, consider a service like Bond. The company can automate the process of handwriting notes, cultivating connection while minimizing your time investment.

Customer Appreciation

Image via Bond

Writing a handwritten note is a step that every brand should consider along its customer journey. Whether it’s a note after a big client meeting or an accompaniment to a purchase, handwritten notes show the client or customer that you truly appreciate their business.

Related: 4 Ways You Can Be More Customer-Centric to Grow Your Business

2. Show Your Brand’s Personality Through Your Customer Appreciation so You Stand Out

Special occasions and seasonal events are an ideal time to build connection by showcasing your brand’s personality. If you’ve not yet developed your brand’s personality, the Personality Profile Performer eProgramme is the perfect solution for you because this digital course gives you the tools to differentiate your business through the creation of a cohesive brand message.

Related: 5 Remarkably Heartfelt Brand Personalities Winning Buyers at Christmas

Once you have a clear understanding of your brand’s personality profile, video is one of the most effective ways to share that personality with your target client. According to Forrester Research, one minute of video is as valuable as sharing 1.8 million words with your audience. Give your clients or customers a sense of who they are interacting with when they patronize your business [2].

Review your customer journey to see where you can integrate video. Warby Parker, an eyewear brand, regularly interacts with their customers through Twitter video. The company gives customers the opportunity to try on five pairs of glasses in their home. Customers often seek insight from the friends and the company on which pair to choose. Warby Parker employees will record short videos offering their opinion of the frames, strengthening the customer relationship in the process.

Related: Using Video To Broadcast Your Brand Message So You Attract Your Ideal Customers

Your company might take a page from video company Wistia’s book and use a video email signature to show your clients just how much you appreciate them during their whole customer journey with you as well as special occasions, events and celebrations. This approach enables you to take a would-be mundane interaction and infuse it with a memorable moment.

We know that sometimes it’s a struggle to build a brand strategy that really engages your ideal customers effectively so we’ve developed three different ways of working with us to help you build your brand, depending on your preferences, so if you’d like us to:

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  3. Want a DIY solution? check out our how to build a brand eprogramme here and our how to audit your brand yourself eprogramme here

3. Do Your Research For Your Customer Appreciation

We live in a day and age where information about your clients and customers is easily accessible. All you have to do is listen. Gary Vaynerchuk, the owner of VaynerMedia, talks about harnessing the power of social media to craft a stand out thank you in this video. Vaynerchuk employed this tactic to deliver a signed jersey to a key client, ultimately cementing a lifelong client relationship.

Instead of delivering generic gifts to your top clients and customers, why not spend 15 minutes doing online research to inform a more personalized gift? That 15 minutes could lead to years of repeat business and referrals.

Related: Top 10 Brands for Customer Experience and What You Can Learn From Them

Southwest Airlines brings this approach to scale through its Listening Centre, where employees monitor and respond to feedback on social media. This emphasis on listening to the customer allows Southwest to strengthen its brand reputation as an airline that cares and to derive insights that support continued differentiation.

Relate: Brand Newsjacking, Seasonality and Trends, How to Make Your Brand Stand Out

4. Empower Your Frontline to Show Customer Appreciation

While your clients and customers will certainly be delighted to receive a special occasion or holiday appreciation from your company, the greater gift is feeling supported in every interaction they have with your company. Empower your employees to do whatever is necessary to deliver an ideal experience and champion your brand through showing appreciation for your customers.

Related: The Age Of Internal Branding and Selling It From The Inside Out

Nordstrom, a department store known for its superior customer service, empowers their employees to use their best judgement. This trust makes it easy for Nordstrom employees to address customer concerns in the most empathetic way possible. You will often hear Nordstrom customers, like Lisa McIntire Shaw, raving about their loyalty to the store.

Another brand offering iconic customer experience is Apple. We talked in-depth about how you could build your own trillion-dollar brand personality in this post. Today, many of us aspire to Apple’s level of customer service. Steve Jobs learned the ropes from the Ritz-Carlton. Like Nordstrom, the Ritz-Carlton empowers its employees to do right by the customer.

Related: Redefining Your Brand Culture After a Rebrand, Sale or Merger

During peak trading periods it’s all too easy to focus on being as efficient as possible so that you can handle the higher influx of orders or close out for the end of the year. Do not let that drive for efficiency take away from your brand experience. Remind your employees that they are fully empowered to do what is necessary to offer an unrivalled customer experience.

Are you a business leader, manager or entrepreneur who wants to re-evaluate or build your brand strategy so you can effectively leverage trends, seasonal occasions or events to increase your sales? Are you curious about how to build or scale a highly successful standout brand? Join one of our branding workshops because they empower you to build your brand, enhance customer experience, expand your market impact and create higher perceived value so you can command a premium.

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5. Give a Meaningful Gift to Show Your Customer Appreciation

Your clients and customers receive plenty of gifts during special event occasions and holiday seasons, but that doesn’t mean you should shy away from providing something of value. You might give an experience such as a dinner for your top clients or host an open house holiday gathering.  

Service-based businesses might offer a discount on a service package or a value-added offering. When done strategically, these approaches allow you to appreciate your client while laying the foundation for cross-selling or up-selling.

Finally, you might give a traditional gift that is related to your business or your clients’ likes. A stationer might give a fine leather business holder to its top clients. A natural makeup brand could include a free sample with orders around special events or the holiday season to encourage further trialling. Revisit your brand archetypes to identify the type of gift that will best fit your clients or customers.

Related: Discover How to Use Brand Archetypes To Build Your Winning Brand

6. Surprise and Delight with Your Customer Appreciation

Spread holiday cheer and awareness of your brand with the surprise and delight approach. Monitor social media conversations related to your product or services and then offer unexpected added value.

Mastercard, for example, had a campaign called #PricelessSurprise where cardholders received prizes like tickets to the Grammy Awards simply for using their cards. Suja Juice company used social media to connect with people who were in need of a pick-me-up and surprised them with a free juice delivery.

Customer Appreciation

Image via Suja Juice

Surprise and delight garners goodwill. It can also garner positive media attention during special events or the season of giving. Consider how you might surprise and delight your target demographic in the year ahead around key events, special occasions and holidays or simply surprise them with an unexpected token of your appreciation.

Related: 7 Universal Branding Lessons From Christmas Adverts

7. Develop a Thank You Strategy in Your Customer Appreciation

Special events and the holiday season is a perfect time to thank your clients and customers. However, these endeavours should ideally be a part of your overall brand strategy. We can partner with you to develop a Thank You strategy that serves your larger branding goals.

If you’d like to discover more about building and maintaining a thriving, high performing, highly profitable standout brand, then get in touch because we’d love to help you make your brand into a profit powerhouse.

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Final Word

You can get a head start on your new year goals by prioritizing customer appreciation during the coming year together with special events and the holiday season. Implement these tactics to strengthen your relationships and build your brand.

Questions to Consider

Now you have the tools to take full advantage of special events and the holiday season by appreciating your clients and customers. As you decide which approaches are best for you, consider the following questions:

  1. How are you currently showing client and customer appreciation?
  2. How might your client or customer enjoy being thanked?
  3. Are you empowering your team to show client and customer appreciation?
  4. Is there a way you can surprise and delight your target demographic?
  5. What is your Thank You brand strategy?

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  1. (Alan E. Webber, “B2B Customer Experience Priorities In An Economic Downturn: Key Customer Usability Initiatives In A Soft Economy,” Forrester Research, February 19, 2008)
  2. (Dr. James McQuivey, Michelle de Lussanet, Dan Wilkos, “How Video Will Take Over The World: What The Rise of OmniVideo Means for Consumer Product Strategy Professionals,” Forrester Research, June 17, 2008)