‘Tis the season to give the perfect gift

This holiday season, think of the best thing you can give your customers: a solution to one of their everyday problems.

Everywhere you look, you see the holidays. You cannot turn on your TV, check your email or even drive down the street without all the telltale signs of the season. Even if you remove the religious aspect, it is still the end of the calendar year, which brings its own professional celebration to most. And wherever there is celebration, there are probably gifts. But what is the perfect gift?

Oddly enough, my thoughts on this subject came while attending a recent conference in Miami. The weather and the setting – Art Basel – did little to lead one to believe we had reached December or The Holidays, for that matter. And yet an audience question at the end of a session caused me to start pondering the topic.


The panel was comprised of standard agency types pontificating on the future. The thought-provoking question came from a gentleman inquiring how to break into their world with his solution, one he was certain would be of great value.

After a series of answers, I spoke up and reminded him that no matter how great his solution, no matter how beneficial it could be, it had to resonate at a brand level. It had to be personal! While everyone cherishes the scale Google and Facebook provide any solution – especially a startup idea – it must connect deeply at a core level. It’s great to sell holding companies and agencies on the new big thing, but to gain adoption and traction, it has to have an entry point. That starts, more often than not, with a single answer to a single problem for a single brand.

Consider Uber, the most successful unicorn of the moment. A simple solution formed from a personal complaint: the inability to find a cab when needed.


Or think about your own personal life. Which gifts have you received that meant the most to you? It’s not a gift card, I’m sure. And if you have kids, you know the gifts that matter most may not even be bought. They could be made, or even better, created, like the memories given to you in everyday life.

As companies try to establish connections with each other, and brands try to establish connections with consumers, we often talk about authenticity. We like to buy and sell audiences, lookalikes and groups with other commonalities, like geography. And that makes total sense, but it only works if you have an unwavering commitment to make it personal. It’s nearly impossible to speak one-to-one with every customer. You can almost never gain scale that way. But if you start out with that goal to try and achieve that level of connection and make “being personal” your North Star, I think you will find the perfect gift for the people that matter the most to you.

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