When thinking about gifts, Internal Marketing and HR teams often have to solve many problems at once. Everyone wants to create a valuable gift and bring joy to other colleagues, which is a great challenge for them. Simple branded things such as pens or towels are not something that would fulfil these requirements.
We approached this problem from a different perspective and decided to please our colleagues by showing them that the gift they receive carries Vacuumlabs’ values and actually helps others.
What is the message of a gift?
In the modern age, it becomes harder and harder to create a gift that stands out. A good start is, therefore, to think about the message of a gift. We give it to others because we want them to smile, bring them happiness, ease their life or motivate them to do something they wish to do. Our idea was to express our values in a real-life form rather than stamp some random things with our logo.
A true Vacuumlabs’ team member can work from anywhere in the world and helps those who need it. Drawing on the former, we started to think about a gift that would encourage our colleagues to travel and explore the cities where we have offices. We also wanted to donate part of the budget to those who need it, as a way of supporting society.
Avoid being self-centric but retain the gift value
You can be the kindest person in the world but your gift will always be constrained by a certain budget. That especially applies if a part of the budget is to be donated, as it directly decreases the physical value of the gift. But in reality, the value of the gift increases if it has a message. It’s important, therefore, to ask yourself two questions to avoid donating the whole budget:
- Can you afford such a donation?
- Is it going to affect the gift itself?
The next step is to choose someone who will really benefit from the donation, and to not ruin yourself financially.
Support someone with ambition
We came across Maty, an ambitious young boy with Asperger’s syndrome who draws city transportation maps. He then designs t-shirts, shoes, backpacks and other things using his maps and sells them through his project Maappi. Maty donates part of his profits to other children with Asperger’s and raises awareness about his condition, as well as the conditions of others. He dreams that one day, people in Prague will wear his products.
We immediately fell in love with Maty and his project, and came up with an idea to connect our values with his designs. What kind of gift would connect those ideas together? We needed to answer this question so we called our colleagues for help.
Include colleagues in the creation process
When brainstorming the gift, more people means more brainpower. It also makes other colleagues feel good if they participate in the process and add their insight into the gift creation. Everyone’s input is useful. Colleagues from other teams also see challenges the firm faces from many different perspectives. For example, they can gather feedback from team members if they desire fancy slippers, a creative branded hoodie or, perhaps, a quality course.
Combining the steps, we came up with an idea to create a pack that would carry our values and also help Maty with his project Maappi. To support our colleagues’ travel between our offices, we collaborated with Maty and put his beautiful maps on five unique backpacks: one for each city where we have an office. On top of that, we added a guide with interesting places in every city, compiled by colleagues from all five offices across the countries. We asked everyone to participate in the process and hand us their tips. Also, each recipient found a thermos to keep drinks warm on their travels.
We also donated part of the budget to Maty. Together with other donations and his profits, he managed to raise enough money to open his branded shop in Prague and sell his products in the offline store. We are thrilled that we helped him in making this huge step and that we spread the idea through more than 200 Wanderers’ packs that our Vacuumlabs team now proudly uses.