456583945Each year around the holidays, we send out greeting cards to friends, loved ones and business associates. Sometimes, gifts are sent along to colleagues and clients to make our communications more memorable amid a season that’s packed with forgettable presents in predictable packaging.

But over in United Kingdom, one company sent out gifts that are making such a huge impression that their idea became a viral success – and began selling out once the company put their popular idea on the market.

The story:

Pauline Ashford and Mike Kennedy of Grey London had a unique idea when they were brainstorming about what kind of corporate gift they should send out this year. They sent out small packages of Beard Baubles, which are little Christmas tree ornaments that are meant to be worn in a man’s long beard (although, as their Twitter account shows, they also work for dressing up your furry pups). The idea comes in part from the upswing of “hipster beards” in 2014, as well as the hair growth behind Movember (when men are encouraged to grow a mustache for one month in the name of men’s health). The novelty was so popular that people began to ask where they could purchase more of the Beard Baubles, which is when Ashford and Kennedy paired up with the Australia-based charity Beard Season to produce and sell more of the trinkets worldwide. Proceeds from the sale of Beard Baubles (currently sold out) go toward melanoma research.

The takeaway:

What does this mean for your business? First of all, it’s yet another reminder that it’s important to think outside of the box. No one needs another pen, paperweight or mug (unless you have a really, really special idea for it). Grey London may have also been inspired by the flash trend of “beard flowers” that cropped up this year; by adding a unique twist, you can capitalize on the momentum of a popular idea without too much heavy lifting. It’s also important not to take yourself too seriously or too literally; sometimes a good laugh is all it takes to stay in someone’s thoughts for a long, long time. Lastly, your marketing gift doesn’t need to be expensive; the important thing is reaching out in a way that keeps your line of communication open with your recipient, reminding them of your relationship and thanking them for everything you’ve already achieved together (unlike many parts of the year, when your discourse is focused on starting new business).

What did you send out this year? We’d love to hear what’s going on in the world of corporate gifts in 2014. Feel free to leave a comment below.

From Mad 4 Marketing, we wish you the very happiest of holidays and an inspired new year!