The Esquire Gift Model is a strategy used by businesses to build relationships with customers through the provision of thoughtful and personalized gifts. The Esquire Gift Model is a strategic framework that was first introduced by David Aaker in his book, Building Strong Brands.” It is a powerful approach to building brand equity by identifying and leveraging the unique strengths and characteristics of a brand.
Esquire magazine has used this approach to great effect to build relationships, create loyalty among its readers and to build a strong brand identity by sending carefully selected gifts to its subscribers on a regular basis.
The Esquire Gift Model
At its core, the Esquire Gift Model is based on the idea of a gift – a special offering that a brand can provide to its customers that sets it apart from competitors. This gift is not just a product or service, but a unique benefit or value proposition that a brand can provide to its customers. The gifts are personalized based on the interests and preferences of each subscriber, and are intended to surprise and delight them. They may include anything from a high-quality leather wallet to a vintage bottle of wine, depending on the subscriber’s interests.
The key to the Esquire Gift Model is that the gifts are not simply promotional items or freebies. They are thoughtful, high-quality gifts that are tailored to the individual recipient. This creates a sense of exclusivity and makes the recipient feel valued and appreciated.
The Esquire Gift Model consists of four key components:
- Brand Identity: The first step in the Esquire Gift Model is to develop a strong brand identity that reflects the unique strengths and characteristics of a brand. This includes defining the brand’s values, personality, and positioning in the market
- Brand Essence: The brand essence is the heart and soul of a brand – the unique value proposition that it provides to its customers. This essence should be simple, memorable, and relevant to the needs and desires of the target audience
- Brand Architecture: The brand architecture is the way that a brand is structured and organized, including its product and service offerings, pricing, and distribution channels. The goal of brand architecture is to ensure that the brand’s offerings are aligned with its brand essence and identity
- Brand Extensions: Finally, the Esquire Gift Model involves leveraging the brand’s unique strengths and value proposition to create new products and services that build on the brand’s existing equity. This can include brand extensions into new markets, as well as new product and service offerings that are aligned with the brand’s core values and essence
Applying the Esquire Gift Model
To apply the Esquire Gift Model to your own brand, it is important to understand each of these four components in detail.
The first step in the Esquire Gift Model is to develop a strong brand identity that reflects the unique strengths and characteristics of your brand. This involves defining your brand’s values, personality, and positioning in the market.
To develop a strong brand identity, start by defining your brand’s mission and vision:
- What is the purpose of your brand?
- What do you hope to achieve?
- What values do you want to embody?
Next, develop a brand personality that reflects your brand’s unique identity. This can include characteristics such as warmth, reliability, and innovation.
Finally, develop a clear positioning statement that articulates how your brand is different from competitors and why customers should choose your brand over others.
The brand essence is the heart and soul of your brand – the unique value proposition that it provides to its customers. To develop a strong brand essence, start by identifying the key benefits that your brand provides to customers:
- What sets your brand apart from competitors?
- What unique value do you offer?
Once you have identified your brand’s unique essence, distill it into a simple, memorable statement that captures the core of what your brand represents.
The brand architecture is the way that your brand is structured and organized, including its product and service offerings, pricing, and distribution channels. To develop a strong brand architecture, it is important to ensure that your offerings are aligned with your brand essence and identity.
Start by reviewing your existing product and service offerings:
- Are they aligned with your brand essence?
- Are there any offerings that are not consistent with your brand values?
Next, consider your pricing and distribution strategies:
- Are they aligned with your brand identity?
- Are there any changes you can make to better align your offerings with your brand essence?
Finally, the Esquire Gift Model involves leveraging the unique strengths and value proposition of your brand to create new products and services that build on your existing equity. This can include brand extensions into new markets, as well as new product and service offerings that are aligned with your brand’s core values and essence.
When considering brand extensions, it is important to keep your brand essence and identity in mind. Any new products or services should be consistent with your brand’s unique value proposition and should reinforce your brand’s identity and values.
Case – Apple
One example of a brand that has successfully leveraged the Esquire Gift Model to create powerful brand extensions is Apple. Apple’s core brand essence is about creativity, simplicity, and innovation. They have consistently leveraged these values to create new products and services that reinforce their brand identity, such as the iPod, iPhone, and MacBook.
Apple has also been successful in extending their brand into new markets, such as wearables with the Apple Watch and home automation with HomeKit. These extensions are consistent with Apple’s core brand values and help to reinforce their position as a leader in innovation and simplicity.
Case – Birchbox
Birchbox is a beauty subscription service that sends personalized boxes of beauty samples to its subscribers each month. The company has used the Esquire Gift Model to great effect, sending high-quality, personalized gifts to its subscribers on special occasions.
Warby Parker is an online eyewear company that has used the Esquire Gift Model to create a memorable customer experience. The company sends personalized thank-you notes and high-quality cleaning cloths to its customers after they make a purchase.
There are several benefits to using the Esquire Gift Model as part of a business strategy. These include:
- Building customer loyalty: By giving personalized gifts to customers, businesses can create a sense of loyalty and build stronger relationships. Customers who feel appreciated and valued are more likely to continue doing business with a company over the long term
- Increasing brand awareness: The Esquire Gift Model can also help businesses to increase their brand awareness and recognition. By sending high-quality gifts to customers, businesses can create a positive impression and generate word-of-mouth buzz
- Standing out from the competition: The Esquire Gift Model can be a powerful way for businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors. By offering personalized, high-quality gifts, businesses can create a unique and memorable customer experience
While the Esquire Gift Model can be an effective approach to building a strong brand, it is important to consider some of the potential disadvantages and challenges associated with this strategy. Some of the potential disadvantages of the Esquire Gift Model include:
- Limited scope: The Esquire Gift Model is focused primarily on developing and leveraging a brand’s core strengths and value proposition. While this can be effective for building a strong brand identity, it may limit a company’s ability to explore new markets or product categories that are not directly aligned with their core strengths
- Risk of brand dilution: When companies extend their brand into new product or service categories, there is a risk that they may dilute their brand identity or confuse customers with new offerings that are not consistent with their core values. This can be particularly challenging for companies that have built a strong brand identity around a specific product or service category
- Difficulty in execution: Developing and launching new products or services that are aligned with a brand’s core values and value proposition can be a complex and challenging process. It requires a deep understanding of the brand’s identity and values, as well as a strong product development and marketing strategy
- Potential for brand fatigue: If a brand relies too heavily on a single core product or service category, there is a risk that customers may become fatigued or bored with the brand. This can limit the brand’s ability to attract and retain customers over time
- Dependence on a strong brand identity: The Esquire Gift Model relies heavily on a strong brand identity and value proposition. If a brand does not have a clearly defined identity or value proposition, it may be difficult to effectively leverage the Esquire Gift Model to build a strong brand
If you are interested in using the Esquire Gift Model as part of your business strategy, there are several key steps to follow:
- Identify your target audience: The first step is to identify the customers or clients that you want to target with your gifts. Consider their interests, preferences, and needs, and think about the types of gifts that would be most meaningful and appreciated
- Select high-quality gifts: The gifts that you choose should be of high quality and personalized to the individual recipient. Avoid generic, promotional items and instead focus on items that are thoughtful and meaningful
- Develop a gifting program: Develop a program for sending gifts to customers on a regular basis. This could be monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending on your budget and resources
- Track results: Finally, track the results of your gifting program to determine its effectiveness. Monitor customer feedback, retention rates, and overall satisfaction to determine whether the program is helping to achieve your business goals.