How to use an idea grid to brainstorm new client gift ideas. Download a free template.

Today I want to talk about how to shake up your client gift game. It's easy to get into a bit of a rut, or struggle to come up with an original and memorable gift in the first place, but this little technique will have you coming up with new fresh ways to delight your clients in no time.

Before we get to the nitty gritty of the technique I just want to quickly go over why you should be giving your clients gifts in the first place (you might be thinking ‘isn't delivering my work good enough?'). There are two main reasons why client gifts are an amazing way to take your business to a higher level.

1 Your clients will think nice thoughts about you

Yeah, so far so simples. If you go the extra mile and do nice things for your clients, they will have extra warm feelings towards you. And those warm feelings translate directly to crazy good referrals and repeat business. Also, giving your customers a little present once they've booked with you will get them even more excited about what you are going to do for them. Plus, (especially if you are a more service-based provider with no tangible goods to deliver) after you've delivered your services, your gift will turn into a memento, which will help your clients remember how amazing it was to work with you.

2 You'll have a chance to educate your clients

This is by far the number one reason why client gifts are such a good idea. Providing enough information about your process and how you work is the absolute corner stone of having happy clients. Most complaints and misunderstandings happen because the client's expectations weren't set appropriately. This way, you will be able to give your clients all the information they could ever need in order to set their expectations when working with you, all disguised as a thoughtful present. Amazing, right?

Using an idea grid to connect things in a new way

So, let's dig into the idea grid and see how it could help you to come up with something truly original and genius. Our brain can be a bit lazy and prefers coming up with the same stuff over and over again, unless we feed it in a different way and help it connect things it might not have thought to connect before.

How to use an idea grid to brainstorm client gifts.

1 State your challenge

First, you're going to write down the challenge you're working on. Be as specific as possible. Here I've obviously used Ideas for new client gifts.

2 Set your parameters

What you want to do is to come up with different methods or ideas for 4 different categories. For the purpose of this exercise I've use form, delivery, gift and information, these being the main four elements we need to consider. You could use a grid for brainstorming other sort of things, in which case you'd just think of four parameters that applied to that challenge.

3 Fill in your variables

Don't look at the overall grid yet, just start writing one column at a time. What sort of form could the item be in, what methods of delivery could be used, what would the gift part look like, and how could the information be presented. For this grid I've used 6 variables, you could use more, but it might get harder to use, as you would end up with such a huge amount of different combinations. Simpler grids are generally better at jolting your brain into connecting the dots.

4 Start forming combinations

When you start combining things, you'll first probably take the more obvious route, like in the picture above where (very logically) I've connected a box of treats to be hand-delivered with food and recipe cards that could have info on the process in a fun way. This in itself is already a pretty decent client gift idea, but see if you could take your combinations to somewhere slightly more exciting.

What about seasonal itemconsultationnotebookvideo.  You could have a policy that if your clients book during the consultation, you will give them their gift right then. They could get a seasonal item, such as a notebook for planning their summer holiday, with a video on a usb (or a printed link in the notebook to go watch it online) of you in a beautiful holiday destination talking about how excited you are to be working with them and what they should expect. This one might be a bit far out there, but it would definitely be a really memorable one and work well for a particular type of business


To make things easier, you can download an empty Idea Grid Template to get you going. Don't forget, you can use an idea grid for any sort of challenge, not just this particular one. Have fun!

As an Inspire Your Inbox subscriber, you can download this worksheet from The Library.

(Hint: you can sign up in the green box at the top of this page, or  if you're already a subscriber, you'll find the password at the bottom of every email).

Author: Marianne Taylor

Her Lovely Heart founder Marianne Taylor is a photographer, an educator, and a lover of colour & light. Her work has been published in blogs and magazines the world over and her personal photography has been part of an exhibition at Tate Britain. To work with Marianne, see the mentoring services she offers. Or, if you like the photography on HLH, you might want to check out her Product & Lifestyle photography services to see whether you could work together to help your brand grow. She is also slightly obsessed with her two cats, Astrid & Sofia, and loves Instagram.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

6 thoughts on “How to use an idea grid to brainstorm new client gifts

  1. I like how you pointed out why it’s important to give your clients gifts in the first place as this is important. I love the thought of an idea grid and you mapped it out beautifully here!

    Posted on September 17, 2015 at 10:34 pm
    1. Thank you, I’m glad you found it useful! x

      Posted on September 17, 2015 at 11:36 pm
  2. I think this is a great idea! I can definitely see so many other applications too. As a blogger, I sometimes struggle with how to create unique products or even freebies for my readers. I will definitely be using this method to flesh out some new ideas. Thanks Marianne!

    Posted on September 17, 2015 at 11:45 pm
    1. Yay, so brilliant to hear!

      Posted on September 18, 2015 at 2:19 pm
  3. This is a brilliant idea and you outline beautifully why client gifts are so important <3 Pinning this for future reference!

    Posted on September 18, 2015 at 1:12 am
    1. I’m so glad you found it useful! x

      Posted on September 18, 2015 at 2:19 pm