Strengthen Your Customer Relationships with These Unique Client Appreciation Gift Ideas
According to Forbes Magazine, the use of “relationship-based extras,” aka small gifts that convey appreciation to clients, helps businesses create stronger and more loyal customer relationships. In fact, personalized gifts can increase sales to those customers by 24%! For business-to-business companies, you can leverage this information to increase sales by offering unique client appreciation gifts – like custom caricature art.
Everybody loves getting a caricature done. A top-notch caricature artist (like the ones you’ll find at GoofyFaces.com) exaggerates each person’s unique features in a way that allows everyone to recognize who they are in a whimsical manner. To help you take advantage of the power of caricature art, here are a five unique client appreciation gifts that use it:
Thank You Gifts
When a client gives you a large contract that’s going to make a BIG difference for your business, express your appreciation with a piece of caricature art. Consider providing the artist with photos of the members of the customer’s team, to create an image can be framed and displayed in the client’s office or break room. Close the deal with a gift that will last and make a lasting impression!
When you’re pitching a new piece of business, it’s ALWAYS a good idea to demonstrate your team’s creativity. And if your brand identity works with a whimsical approach, caricature art can be a great way to do that. For example, what if you used caricature art as part of your presentation, perhaps replacing your staff headshots with caricatures? Another option? Have an artist create a custom image of your team for your thank you notes.
Do you have customers that have been with you for an extended period of time – like five, ten or even twenty years? Acknowledging those important anniversaries with custom caricature art can make a memorable statement that you appreciate their loyalty.
Throwing a corporate event to celebrate your business’s milestones can pay off – by increasing customer loyalty and helping you gain the interest of new prospects. Consider hosting it at your place of business, bringing in a stellar caterer, and hiring two or three event caricature artists to create whimsical mementos for your guests to take home. At Goofy Faces, we offer traditional caricature, eSketchesTM, and caricature coasters. And we can print your marketing message and logo in color on the paper, so your guests will think of you every time they see it. That’s great marketing.
Birthdays and Babies
Acknowledge important events in a client’s life – like a milestone birthday or the birth of a baby – with custom caricature art. It’s a personal and personalized gift. Ask the artist to include elements that represent your client’s unique interests to create something that they’ll want to frame for display in their office or at home.
Explore more ways to use event and studio caricature art services to amp up your business at our website at www.goofyfaces.com.
Try These Creative Party Ideas
Have you ever been at a party where an event caricature artist was at work? Odds are, there was a crowd gathered around, excited and happy, watching the artist create a fun & fast sketch of their friend or family member. There are so many creative party ideas that include caricature art! And the fact that your guests walk away with a souvenir? Bonus!
If you’re planning an event and looking for creative party ideas, here are five ways you use caricature art to WOW your guests.
1. The Invitation
Add a touch of whimsy to your invitation by using custom caricature art in your invitations. Capture the personality of your guest of honor by asking the artist to include items related to their hobbies and interests.
By exaggerating someone’s unique features, the artist creates an image that allows us all to poke fun at ourselves, which is why so many people enjoy it. It’s even more fun when your guests can gather around and watch as their friend or family member’s “goofy face” is created. Consider hiring one or more traditional caricature artists to entertain your guests during your party and they’ll get a personalized memento to remember it by, too.
3. eSketches™ (Live Digital Caricatures)
At Goofy Faces, we also offer an update to traditional caricature style – live digital caricatures. We call them eSketches™ and our customers have given us great feedback on this high-tech approach. The artist works on a digital tablet and your guests watch them create the image on a big screen nearby. The images are then printed instantly on photo paper and given to your guests. We also offer a link to download all the finished eSketches™ following the event!
4. Caricature Coasters
We promise, your guests will love caricature coasters! They’re small and quick – it only takes the artist about two minutes to draw the image. Plus, the 4” x 4” heavy cardboard drinking coaster can be customized with graphics and text, so people will always remember where they got their mini piece of art.
5. The Gift
Even if you’re throwing the party, you can still bring the most creative and memorable gift. And how better to celebrate the guest of honor than to have an artist capture them in a piece of custom caricature art that you can have framed for their home or office? Many of our loyal customers come to us repeatedly to have us capture images of the people they love, along with their interests, almamater, hobbies and other personal items. It makes a lasting and memorable gift.
Check out the latest episode of Art Detroit where Shiela Grant sits down with me to discuss everything that is the art of caricature!
Introducing Remote eSketches™ from Goofy Faces! If you have internet, you can now book a live artist anywhere on the planet. Book a Remote eSketch Artist for your trade show booth, corporate function, grand opening or any event where you want the impact of live digital caricatures without the high cost of bringing the artist to you. All you need is a laptop, tablet or smartphone with internet access as well as a color printer and you can enjoy having an artist draw your guests and customers live at your next event. Our artist engages and interacts with your guests just like in person while drawing their digital caricature in as little as 6 minutes. After showing your guest their finished caricature, the artist simply uploads the final art to a Dropbox, instantly so you can access it from your device to view and print at your location! So the next time you want to add a unique form of hi-tech entertainment to your event, why not try our Remote eSketches™? Contact us for a quote!
Goofy Faces was recently hired by Lear Corporation to help them celebrate their 100th birthday at their headquarters in Southfield, MI. They requested 2 artists for 4 hours. But they didn’t request traditional caricatures or eSketches™. “We want you to draw on these 4X4 inch cardboard tiles. Our guests love them!” Ok, no problem. Neither of the 2 artists had drawn this way before but they were up to the challenge. The client was right, their guests loved them. They lined up for 4 straight hours. These tiles are basically restaurant coasters; the kind you see when a server places them on the table before setting down your drinks. They respond well to marker and allow you to print a logo or graphic on the opposite side. Not only were these popular but both artists were able to crank out more caricatures per hour than usual. “Because of the reduced size, I was finishing each caricature in about 90 seconds as opposed to 4-5 minutes for traditional caricatures” commented owner and artist, Robert Bauer. “I think we can offer these to all our clients. They are different and definitely fun!”
Perhaps the First Practical Business Application of Live Caricatures
Most people consider caricatures more whimsical than practical. As beloved as the art form is by those who appreciate an exaggerated portrait, it isn’t exactly an integral part of most business plans. Few think a caricature might help land the next big deal, and most business-minded folks consider it a simple amusement that belongs on family trips to the theme park, nowhere near the corporate conference room.
This thinking is rapidly changing, however, as a growing number of businesses are taking advantage of this unique service in a truly practical business application in the corporate world. Live digital caricatures, specifically those performed on-site at trade shows and industry conventions, are becoming increasingly popular as a practical service for generating draw to brand messaging, products, and services displayed in trade show booths and exhibits.
While it may be difficult to see the practical value of this at first glance, it’s difficult to deny once examined. Due to its unique nature, this practical application is also arguably superior to many of the other self-promotional goods and giveaways that corporations and brands routinely spend healthy budgets on when trying to gain attention from prospective customers at B2B events.
According to the 2012 study “The Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy” published by PricewaterhousCoopers LLP, there were 273,700 industry conventions and 10,900 trade shows in the United States alone in 2012. The trade show and convention industry is undoubtedly a necessary part of the fabric of B2B commerce in the world, so it’s no wonder that so much money is spent preparing for these events: $280 billion dollars spent in direct spending related to corporate functions in 2012 alone.
B2B is difficult because unlike direct-to-consumer marketing, businesses are harder to advertise to by traditional means. This is why trade shows are so vital. At trade shows, corporations and brands are able to erect temporary storefronts on the trade show floor allowing them to network with their prospects like traditional face-to-face
Common giveaways are mugs, keychains, t-shirts, USB drives, pens and the like. Occasionally, businesses get a little more creative, offering something more exotic like a free back massage. The challenge is finding something that 1) creates real draw to a trade show booth, 2) advertises for the brand, 3) creates a real opportunity for customer engagement (i.e., time), and 4) is personalized enough to create real impact. Live digital caricatures are one of a few services that actually meet all of these criteria.
15 years ago, I decided to make a full-time business out of drawing caricatures for a living. This was no small task.
Very few people make their entire living based on the art of caricature but I already wasn’t making enough as a freelance artist to support a family and the idea of working a full-time job was too depressing to consider. So, I took a breath and dove right in.
One of the first places I decided to try out was at our local annual art festival in Rochester, MI called Art & Apples. It’s been around for 50 years and was close enough to my home to risk seeing if I could make it work. The first year was in 2004 and I didn’t even own a tent. However, me and fellow artist, Ben Pierrot stayed busy enough over the 3-day weekend to come back the following year. The next year, I had a tent and my business grew. Then I started opening other caricature stands in different locations throughout the U.S. I have had as many as 9 retail stands coast to coast over the past 12 years. And each year, I would return as a sponsor at Art & Apples and each September, another artist and me would draw for 3 straight days.
We became a crowd favorite at the festival. Customers looked forward to seeing us each September and we became a tradition. Heck, 2 years ago, I drew a couple at the festival who decided to hire 3 of us to draw at the wedding. A year later they came back to Art & Apples for another caricature. This time, they wanted one showing that the couple was expecting their first child! They handed me an envelope that showed if it was going to be a boy or a girl. “Whatever you do, don’t tell us! We want it to be a surprise until next week when we use your caricature for the official announcement.” There were many special moments like that one. I always looked forward to drawing friends and family each September. I enjoyed working with several different artists over the years. We always had fun even though we weren’t making a fortune. I was always able to cover all my costs and pay my artists who helped out. That, plus the annual exposure, justified all our efforts.
In 2016, we decided not to participate as a sponsor of Art & Apples due to a significant increase in the sponsorship fee. It was the first time in 12 years that we were not drawing at Art & Apples. We were not there in 2017 either. However, in 2018, Paint Creek Center for the Arts, the producer of Art & Apples, approached us about returning at our original location and sponsorship fee. We accepted. I have always looked forward to drawing in my hometown but I also liked the spirit of community I felt from my involvement with the local festival. Even though we have caricature stands in Tampa, Los Angeles, Denver and other locations around the country, I considered Art & apples to be the place where it all started. And fortunately, it now continues! We just wrapped on our weekend at Art & Apples in 2019 and we were busier than ever. Looking forward to 2020!
Last November I attended ISCACON24 which is the annual convention for the International Society of Caricature Artists. I have been going for over 10 years. One of the highlights is a VIP reception for members to mingle with the guest of honor. This time, the guest speaker was Jason Seiler who is a phenomenal painter and artist from Chicago. He decided to do a digital painting demonstration during the reception. Projected up large on a screen was the caricature he was painting while members socialized and drank over the 3 hour reception. Jason interacted with members as he painted. They asked questions and the artist would respond, all while painting a guest who was ecstatic about being painted by him. The atmosphere was very unique and enjoyable. It was from this experience that I came up with the idea to offer a similar service for cocktail receptions, corporate events, fundraisers and other related functions in which an award-winning artist could paint a guest or host while engaging with attendees during the event. Think of it; as an added feature to your hi-end event, an award-winning artist sets up and does a live painting of the host, guest-of-honor or a winner’s favorite celebrity which can then be used for a charity auction once it is finished! 7 months later, we have put the finishing touches on our brand new service with our new web page featuring 6 incredible artists who you can now book for your function anywhere in the U.S. or abroad. I am very excited about this new service and I am looking forward to seeing what these artists can do for our clients. Check out the page and Let me know your thoughts!
Over the years, Goofy Faces has had the good fortune to be involved with many great and interesting causes and movements. This Spring was no exception. The Kent County Youth Summit hired 6 artists from Goofy Faces to draw middle school and high school students while they attended the 5th annual Youth Summit which took place at the Devos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids, MI.
This year’s theme, Be the Hero, is a declaration of the collective power of this generation to take a stand as everyday heroes and to drive positive change in their community, while transforming health and wellness trends and overcoming pop culture messages that suggest that alcohol, tobacco and other drugs are not harmful. To help celebrate this point, the Summit asked Goofy Faces to draw as many heroes as they could in 4 hours during the youth summit on May 6th. To help achieve this goal, Goofy Faces provided 6 artists and 2 predawn templates of super heroes to help speed up the drawing process. The results were hundreds of happy teens who enjoyed posing for their super hero caricatures during the summit!