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Last fall I was contacted by Omicron, a leading architectural firm in Vancouver that specializes in sustainable design. They were looking for client appreciation gifts to give out at Christmas and wanted something inline with their values, gifts that were locally sourced and filled with products that would be easy to share in an office environment. I put some gifts together with local artisan and organic gourmet products and made my way down to their office in Downtown Vancouver. As I sat in the reception area waiting for the meeting, thinking through my pitch, it hit me that I was off the mark. The perfect gift was sitting right in front of me, not in my samples but in a informative display sitting in the corner. 



Telling your story to build your relationships


Giving gifts are all about building relationships. If one wants to say more than thank you, one really needs to understand their story, what a company is all about, and build those values and differentiators into the gift experience. This is a powerful way to give things that are memorable, keeping you and your company top of mind for time to come. So sitting in the corner was a display made from pine recovered from the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic we're facing here in BC. The light coloured wood has distinctive blue streaks through the wood, a reminder of the train left by these infectious insects. Taking a closer look I realized the story that Omicron was telling through the installation, that their architectural firm utilizes locally sourced materials and uses them efficiently and with attention to detail and design. Aware of environmental issues and materials challenges, the firm makes the most out of what's available. With a custom woodworking shop up my sleeve and a stack of mountain pine beetle sourced from a previous project I knew then and there that I needed to revise my pitch to best tell their story.


Organic chocolate truffles




Need I say more. Made locally on Bowen Island, my chocolatier makes absolutely the freshest and tastiest artisan organic truffles this side of Switzerland. We came up with the idea to fill these pine beetle boxes with amazing chocolates, easy to share and enjoy around the office. The Omicron graphic design team came up with a fantastic card that included


a chocolate map so people would know what they were tasting. The box was made from mountain pine beetle wood and manufactured by Tradeworks Custom Products, a social enterprise that trains women in carpentry living in Vancouver's downtown eastside, working to build confidence and self esteem. For more info on Tradeworks please see a previous post, Tradeworks Custom Products and FSC certification.


You know it works when...


It's all about building long term relationships built on quality and service, that's what Saul Good is all about. Not only in how I help my clients build relationships with their clients and employees but also in how I'm building my business. I know it's all coming together when I receive testimonials this one I got the other day from my friends at Omicron:


"We had the pleasure of working with Saul Good Gift Co. for our 2008 client holiday gifts. When we initially contacted Saul Brown we did not have a predetermined idea and he patiently worked with us to find a wonderful option that met all of our needs. When the boxes arrived they were perfect; his attention to detail exceeded our expectations! We have no hesitation recommending Saul Good Gift Co. for their creative, sustainable gifts and fabulous, friendly service."


Working with Omicron reinforced rule #3, to always like your customers. It was easy in this case and flowed naturally, helping them appreciate their clients through thoughtful gifts that tell a story and build relationships. Values based relationship development, that's where the value is truly created.