In 45 years, the landscape of promotional gifts and accessories has been radically transformed. “The multiplication of advertisers, media, and special offers create a chaotic vision with less and less loyal, or at best, multi-loyal consumers,” explains Frédéric Delloye, owner and Director of the company for 20 years.
A shaken environment
The advent and boom of digital technologies increased the global level of competition and accelerated the price war. “They also favoured the emergence of new, more demanding, better-informed consumers who expect new experiences, are crazy about new technologies and concerned about sustainability,” emphasizes Laetitia Faure, founder of the Urban Sublime trends agency. “As regards promotional gifts, like loyalty programmes, one of the keys is that relevance comes before opportunism… The future of customer loyalty is not a card, but a relationship.”
In parallel to this transformation of demand, the supply chain has also been experiencing an unprecedented change. As can be seen with packaging manufacturers, all players in this sector have to deal with increased costs in China. “If we resist increased prices too much, we increase risks – quality, environmental, ethical risks. So, we must adapt, and we have started restructuring our supply chains,” explains Frédéric Delloye, who is convinced the country will remain the world’s factory in this trade.
The “phygital” era
As a result, Anaïk (47 million euros of turnover and 27 million items delivered in 2017) rethought their whole offering to create a positive, long-lasting link between brands and their customers. The company invented and registered the concept of “Smart Gift”, a gift in line with the digital era based on five features:
- S for “Smart”, meaning elegant, chic, and refined, but also intelligent
- M for “Measurable”. The objects offered should generate a positive emotion which should be measured, together with the consumer satisfaction index, and of course, the KING of promotional offers.
- A for “Action”. If the brand encourages an action in exchange for the object and the customer responds to this incitement, by giving her opinion or forwarding it to her friends, it significantly strengthens the impact of the operation.
- R for “RSE” (CSR). It is essential to preserve people and the environment.
- T for “Traceability”. Consumers want to know what they buy and under which conditions the objects they receive as a gift were manufactured. They also want to be reassured about the presence of chemicals and health preservation.
The Anaïk offering is now composed of “phygital” (physical and digital) products combining physical objects and ad hoc interactive digital solutions that strengthen the relationship between the brand and customers.
Ecological and societal transformation
To meet their customer and consumer expectations, Anaïk initiated an ambitious CSR policy in 2007. It is based on four top priorities:
- Improving working conditions in plants by implementing a social audit plan and corrective actions to be followed up
- Eco-design, in particular by using organic cotton, recycled cotton, and recycled polyester
- More environmentally friendly transport choices (railway transport or barges), in particular to reduce CO2 emissions
- Clean packaging: paper and FSC cardboard in particular, cotton pouches, etc.
Just like for the whole industry, most products manufactured by Anaïk are made in Asia. “Today, over 80% of our turnover comes from products manufactured in plants audited in accordance with the ILO (International Labour Organization) conventions,” the company explains. An Anaïk expert based in Shanghai and specialized in social audits meets partner suppliers every week and supports plants with their progress strategies before they are audited by an external body. Support plans are set up and followed up by Anaïk teams in China.
To design and deliver products as close as possible to every market’s needs, Anaïk – the company already has commercial offices in London, Paris, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Dubai, and New York City – also intends to boost their global development. Sales managers act as intermediates, both to inform designers about each market’s specific expectations and to present creations to their customers.
The company has just created new positions within the North American team to set up a real subsidiary composed of seven people, Anaïk America. “This new step already helps Anaïk better serve French customers settled in the United States and gain new customers on this continent,” Frédéric Delloye rejoices.
“Beyond promotional gifts, we aim to become an emotional marketing leader. We have reinvented the gift: today, it needs to be beautiful, chic, and elegant, but also smart, shrewd, and useful. It has to generate measurable customer satisfaction and a positive impact on sales. Plus, it should be interactive: we should ask for customers’ opinions and get them involved, but also remain responsible and transparent. ‘Made in Anaïk’ rhymes with the guarantee of a product fitted with a personalized digital solution which both preserves the environment and humans, of a product that is completely traceable, and of our adherence to the most demanding anti-corruption practices,” concludes the CEO.