Editor inbox's are flooding with last-minute Mother's Day gift guide pitches, email newsletters are focused on "10 Gifts Mom Will Love," and each time I get an email, I take a mini half-a-second pause. Because I am an incredible gift-finding daughter who no longer has a mom to buy presents for. And while it's just a day, the corresponding marketing for weeks prior to that lovely Sunday are consistent reminders of how much has changed since my mom passed away in 2007.
However, last week I received an email from Awamaki Lab, an incredible fair-trade clothing NPO in Peru recently featured on the Urban Outfitters blog, asking for donations through Global Giving to support the women in their organization. The email invited donations as gifts, but also "in tribute to someone," and I immediately thought yes! Thank you for giving me a way to celebrate Mother's Day and my mom (who had a treasure trove of Alpaca sweaters from the summer she spent in Peru) by helping the mission to provide a stable source of income for indigenous women weavers and mothers. I promptly donated in tribute of my mom and shared via Facebook and Twitter. So thank you to Awamaki, for being the only company I have seen to yet encourage me to honor my mother in this way.
Certainly this can be more straightforward when dealing with charitable gifts, but I think there is something valuable in looking at the potential customers outside of the traditional market - whether for Mother's Day or some other oft-promoted holiday. And I wanted to share this idea, because it certainly wasn't on my radar until it happened to me!
So here is a simple gift guide tip: find a way to connect your product or service to those who might, for whatever reason, not be shopping for their mom this year. In doing so, you have an opportunity to acquire not only a customer, but her heartfelt appreciation and powerful word-of-mouth.