Hey HR, where's my souvenir?

    December is the time of distribution of elephants, awards, pens, calendars and cards in all business segments of the world. Most companies in the IT sphere treat this process rather carelessly and do not think that all this small things (and not small things too) are a double-edged dangerous tool that can be both a great success and a complete failure. This is a way of additional interaction with employees and customers, dialogue outside the dialogue, an important symbol, which should be primarily meaningful, and not brut with Rafaelk. In general, this is such an important topic that we decided to digress from JS and devote our Friday post to Habré to it.

    Frame from the film "The Frames" (The Internship)

    Place souvenirs in the adaptation of the employee can not be overestimated

    Do you adapt your new employees to work in the company? We are sure that the majority will answer this question positively - simply because our IT-industry is extremely sensitive to the work with the staff and has gained, perhaps, the most powerful practices of HR PR. We, IT companies, equip offices, provide mentors, develop corporate universities, arrange overseas trips and internships, practice not dismissal, but horizontal transfer, and all this with one goal: to keep the employee at any cost (especially steep). Firstly, it is cheaper to save than to attract, secondly, the labor market provides incredible employment opportunities, thirdly, at the first IT conference at each stand, the sections will be hunted right around every corner of your employee. In general, he must love you a lot in order not to change. Which meansOh damn, but they do not have these most comfortable tables in niches for singles and extroverts. Fucking open space, I will not go to them! "Or" To reach them in the same far distance, but they do not have corporate transport. And when I think about it, four pistons are eating almost golden gas ... ” In general, HR must do so that neither bends the enemy!

    So why in this process, in addition to the LCA, food, transport, mentoring, golden leadership with excellent character and the prestige of the company plays such a primitive and mundane thing as a souvenir?

    • A person remembers sensations and emotions perfectly, much more than deeds and words. This is not a cult of cargo and not greed, but a reaction of the limbic system. What you give should cause emotions, impressions. This does not mean that you need to throw all customers out of the plane with a parachute or lead the developers on Everest. That means you have to think about them. This applies to both customers and employees. Who usually chooses gifts and types of souvenirs? Either HR or the advertising department - and they do it to their own taste. For example, you are an IT company (for example, a hoster or an outsourcer DevOps), and girls from HR decided to donate champagne with strawberries to your customers and employees. Yes, in general, the gift is edible and will be quickly destroyed, but there are no emotions, no memorization, no surprise. It is best to find in the company of people of the same profile and ask what will please them. Take for example, developers. They will not be pleased with pens - they almost don’t write them, but they will be completely pleased with stickers-stickers of excellent quality and with excellent humor (they will be pasted on the lid of the laptop), calendars (desktop and wall ones - also with humor and style, and maybe even light erotica), office equipment napkins, anti-pale screens, mice, technology-mascot souvenirs (gophers, elephants, androids,bitten apples ...) or some constructors.
    • Handing souvenirs (especially a welcome kit to beginners) you signal on a non-verbal level “you are ours,” “we give you comfort,” “you are part of the team and we are ready to give you signs of this team.” Some go further and give extra meaning to simple things. For example, in one IT company, a chicken and a shell were depicted on a mug - a symbol of career growth from junior to senor. Employees of these companies are very fond of, some still keep as a memory of where their journey to IT began.
    • Corporate merch can be a great subject of incentives, especially when combined with gamification. Repeatedly, even at Habré, there were cases about how companies developed internal commendation points and censure points, which were accumulated, summed up and could be exchanged for T-shirts, mugs, caps, flash drives, etc.
    • Corporate souvenirs (merch) should be on your employees, even if they are simply present at major conferences, meetings, meetings, etc. First, it is a company affiliation. Secondly, this is some kind of advertising. Thirdly, people around you know for sure that this particular person can be asked a question about a company, a product, a job and open vacancies in a company. And you just need it.
    • Souvenirs in difficult times can encourage employees and partially smooth the negative, for example, from lower premiums. But in this case, gifts should not be expensive (so that’s where the prize has gone!), But should be unique and meaningful in order to translate corporate values ​​and demonstrate a request for trust and the ability to wait out a difficult period while working on it. It can be emotional postcards with memes about a company or a profession, mouse pads with encouraging words, some nice food (for example, good chocolate paste). Well, the presentation should be appropriate.
    • Corporate souvenir products are also a way to express appreciation, gratitude. It can be imperceptibly laid out late in the evening on the tables of employees after the project is completed and you can paste a simple paper sticker with a handwritten directorial “Thank you!” Believe me, to write even 450 such papers will take a maximum of 2.5 hours (verified). And project teams are usually much smaller. Such stickers themselves are sometimes stored for several years.
    • Use a souvenir at the interview - this is an amazing experience. Give the candidate a branded notebook and pen that will be useful to him, and then offer to take it with you. Choosing from several options, he will repeatedly stumble upon these simple things in a bag and pay extra attention to you. When it comes to juniors or interns, this trick works much more efficiently. But do not overdo it - more "binding" things will look intrusive and inorganic.

    Sophisticated work with souvenirs plays an important role in the adaptation of personnel, in creating comfort and the internal climate. The main thing is reasonableness, quality (a shabby pen and a faded sticker will upset a person), accessibility not only for the elect and genuine sincerity.

    What mistakes should not be made using a souvenir to work with employees?

    • You can not split the team, using souvenirs of a different plan: for example, topes and managers to give the clock, and the rest - cardboard coasters under the mug. Souvenirs for the same purpose should be approximately uniform in type and cost.
    • Merch should not be vulgar or look like it should be hidden or quietly thrown out. From the vivid examples that had to be taken into the hands and thrown into the nearest bin, burning from internal discomfort: a set of condoms, sweets with expired, a whip for BDSM experiments, a holder for papers in the form of a filet piece and all sorts of caps with vulgar signs.
    • A souvenir should not be given as a reward - it is just a bonus, a pleasant, non-binding surprise or sign. But the presentation of branded pens and notebooks at a general meeting looks pretty shameful. The exception is the institution of a special reward to which one should strive. Life example: one company, at the end of its work, handed over gold badges at corporate events. Everyone knew the metrics that allowed them to achieve rewards, and they were eager for them. By the way, any badges themselves are one of the nicest types of souvenirs.
    • Discard gender gifts if that does not imply company activity or a holiday. You should not give girls, for example, hands with pink tails, and guys - in the form of a muzzle from a tank.
    • Do not give gifts of political, religious or other restricted group context. This can embarrass employees and hurt their views. You can express your position verbally, if you really can’t hold ideas and opinions in yourself.
    • Have limits on the cost of souvenirs and remember that a sharp deterioration / cheapening of the bonus can be a false signal of a bad state of affairs in the company.
    • Watch for product quality - this is very important, because it is a shame to get tasteless chocolate in a wrapper with a native logo, a stained T-shirt with poor-quality coating or a disposable umbrella. Disappointment is a powerful demotivator. Life example: one well-known Russian company presented hoodie sweatshirts that looked very attractive at the autumn event. It was impossible to wear them: the inner bum wrapped around clothes, hair, nose, throat ... and the print itself peeled off after a couple of washes. Now there are a lot of competing performers - request samples and select fewer, but better. Spend an extra ruble, but it will be worth it.
    • Do not use cheap cosmetics as a souvenir - let your brand be applied to cool, if not expensive items. The same applies to food and so on. And yes, a branded souvenir (for example, a Christmas tree toy with a logo) is always more pleasant than a purchased set.

    These rules, so simple and obvious, are in fact the result of observing a multitude of companies that treated such important details and didn’t care for employees, customers, or partners. Of course, the loss is not great, but the memories are not the best.

    Corporate customer souvenir is an important loyalty tool

    Souvenirs are uniquely useful for the brand - it will be pleasant both to very large customers (they paid so much and suddenly something for free!) And very little (they remember us!). Your corporate merchandise will show off in the company and attract the attention of visitors - perhaps someone will ask whose calendar is such a stunningly stylish or interesting flash drive. And this is the primary contact. In addition to jokes, it works, because two important factors converge: we learned about you + your client is a partner / client. So, it is worth thinking about cooperation.

    Finally, you can sell souvenirs, and for this you do not have to be in the TOP-10 companies in Russia and the world - often partners want to have your own symbolism.

    And here, too, there are a few rules

    • Good souvenirs are expensive, and bad ones make it easy to get into a puddle. For example, one very well-known bank handed over to customers at presentations pens twisted out of burgundy paper with bank symbols. It was probably cheap and implied as stylish, but all the pens in the large office were sent to the trash: those who like to chew on the caps, quickly gnawed at them, those who like to twist it broke, and the rest of the paper case was filthy. Let's return to the issue of high prices. You will have to invest in the manufacture of a souvenir, its packaging, delivery, and preferably a non-trivial presentation (to stand out among the heap of donors, for example, on the New Year). If your client has not used the souvenir, consider it all in vain. A good example: the company in 2010 gave flash drives and said that they contain secret information. A flash presentation of corporate services and rates was recorded on flash drives. Of the 200 recipients, more than 100 called / wrote and said that the presentation was cool, 23 bought services. The party of aluminum flash drives with drawing got out at times. The presentation was not worth anything - the staff did it themselves.
    • Souvenirs should correspond to the image and level of the company: that is, if you are a well-known giant and are presenting a silicone key chain, or a branded chocolate bar, this is a fiasco. On the contrary, if you are a small design bureau and give Moet to everyone, it will look like a desire to “get out of the skin” or provoke the question of how much margin you get from transactions to allow yourself to be so generous. The good news is that you can always think of an inexpensive option and serve it under a creative sauce. For example, donate branded notebooks in an unusual way as an incentive for inspiration or donate business books that are designed to become a source of knowledge for growth in the new year, etc. Example: one company presented to partners on a huge block of flipchart paper. At each meeting, At each meeting, at the bottom of each sheet, participants saw a logo and a slogan. And the meetings were different, the coverage was quite good.
    • Your own product can be a good souvenir. You can do something special if you are talking about a physical object or donating free upgrades, licenses, etc. on the New Year. One company, for example, sent desktop calendars-mini-planners to its customers.
    • The most dangerous type of souvenir is charity: to present a certificate that the money for the gift was transferred to the foundation, shelter, WWF, etc. The very idea is good and cool, but, alas, there are often entrepreneurs who do not accept charity in any form and despise those who are engaged in “this nonsense”. This may change the attitude towards you for the worse. This, of course, in B2B. But in the field of B2C it might work great - for example, you can insert into the mobile application the announcement that you abandoned the corporate party and supported the children's robotics / tigers and bison / donated 5 tablets, etc. In the mass segment, such corporate charity comes more successfully.

    Separately, it is worth saying about calendars - RUVDS experience

    It has long been verified that cool calendars surprise and delight customers, employees and partners. Therefore, we decided to remove our version of the Pirelli calendar and got an interesting experience that we want to share. We write it down according to the producer Maria from Sunlaboratory Production.

    The process of working on the calendar can be called more than creative. It was some kind of mystery or even mystery. We shamans as best we could. The work involved professionals from various fields, people of different creative professions.

    As in any work of art, and that is how we modestly consider our creation, everyone can find their own meaning and interpret it in their own way. This suggests that when viewing photos, the imagination has a place to roam, and this is exactly what we wanted, because every page will be admired for a month. I wish it was not just not annoying, but caused certain emotions. Each month carries with it a special plot and semantic load. We tried to make a small story in each photo, our own story.

    When RUVDS ordered us this project, we came to a common concept for a long time.

    Since I originally wanted to get an art photo with fashion elements, like in glossy magazines, plus at the same time, since the company deals with IT technologies, and this is a direct association with technologies and the world of the future, the futurism style was taken as a basis, which later also added cyber punk. And of course, in order to attract the eye of the consumer, all models must be sexy enough, and the plot must be with a slight erotic overtones. Femininity, sexuality, tough urbanism and the aggressiveness of technology. In general, all this was put together and now you can evaluate how we did it!

    The shootings themselves were a very interesting process, the team got together super creative. The costume designer was the designer who created the costumes for the Burning Man festival, the photographer and the production director - people who worked on more than one extraordinary project, mainly in the field of music festivals and the film industry, so we are not used to stamping commerce to order, paramount for Us is a flight of creative imagination! Among the models you can also meet girls of different creative professions, bloggers, DJs, actresses and even our makeup artist, who have been working as a model for many years, have also appeared. We are very grateful to RUVDS for the opportunity to engage in this project, which was for us another development step towards the eternal movement forward.

    A lot of photos and backstage in the photo.

    But the result (clickable). How do you? (We will play a certain number of calendars among those customers who paid for services in December) And the most important thing, of course, is normal human relations in the company, interesting tasks, decent wages and career growth. All the rest is just a bonus for these most important components of a great company.


    In the comments I want to continue the conversation about souvenirs. Let each of you tell (and better show), what was the coolest and most awful souvenir product you had to get or just see? Such is Friday's near-flood.

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