Just in Time for Christmas, Make the Lowly Gift Card the Most Exciting Present Under the Tree

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Tired of giving -- or getting -- gift cards for Christmas? Fear no more! With a little bit of creative thinking and a few items out of your junk drawer or closet, innovation guru Rich Harshaw reveals 22 ideas for making gift card giving (or receiving) fun and exciting this year.

Rich Harshaw from Monopolize Your Marketplace turns his marketing prowess toward innovating and transforming the worst thing to happen to Christmas -- the gift card -- into a unique marketing opportunity.

You might not think that a 10-inch tall red ceramic Buddha head makes the perfect Christmas gift -- but you'd be wrong. Same goes for a jar of mangled eye glasses, a stack of 100 old wire hangers, or a jumbo-sized box of Cheez-Its. According to marketing expert Rich Harshaw, you can make the most boring Christmas gift going -- the gift card -- far more fun, exciting, and interesting by wrapping it up with something related that gives the receiver the element of surprise we all long for on December 25th.

"In my opinion, nothing says 'I refuse to put any energy or effort into our relationship quite like the gift card,'" says Harshaw. "I don't care how old you are, everyone still likes to get an actual present for Christmas. Something that you can shake, rattle, and roll… and wonder what the heck it is. That's what make Christmas fun. Not a $50 gift card to Pottery Barn."

Indeed, Harshaw contests that ratcheting up the fun can be as easy as looking around in your closet for some of your old junk and packaging it with the gift card. For instance, he says to gather up all your old cell phones and wrap them in a box as a "defacto gift card" for the person you'd like to give a cell phone to. Or if you want to give a restaurant gift card, purchase some inexpensive toy food, or wrap up the gift card with a huge box of Cheez-It crackers from Costco.

Harshaw got the idea one year when he gave his mother the aforementioned Buddha head for a birthday present in place of a Target gift card. He inserted a note that instructed her to return it to the store for a credit toward whatever she wanted. Everyone got a good laugh -- but to his surprise, his mother actually opted to keep the Buddha head, saying that the fun memory was worth more than $22 worth of cat food and deodorant at Target. That motivated Harshaw to crush up several pairs of dollar-store eyeglasses, put them in a jar, and wrap it under the tree for his wife for Christmas two years ago -- instead of simply giving her a gift certificate for Lasik.

Harshaw's online article gives business owners and gift givers alike over twenty unique and fun ideas for making this season's gift giving more fun. They also includes several ideas of how to use this idea to give fun gifts for things that you wouldn't normally give for gifts, such as dry cleaning, auto repair, financial planning, and tutoring. To read more, please visit http://www.mymonline.com/dec08___innovative_gifts___members and read Gift Card Revenge.

If you would like more information about this topic, contact Chad Miller or visit http://www.mymonline.com.

Rich Harshaw is founder and author of Monopolize Your Marketplace located near Dallas, Texas. He helps businesses improve their sales and profits through innovative thinking and superior marketing strategies.


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Chad Miller
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