In this episode, Carl Lewis chats with MK Getler, CMO of Loop & Tie, a business they jokingly call “a sustainability company with a gifting problem.”
Carl Lewis: Welcome to The Connected Enterprise podcast. I’m Carl Lewis, your host, and my guest is MK Getler from Loop & Tie. MK, welcome to the podcast. Please tell us about yourself and Loop & Tie.
MK Getler: Thank you, Carl. I’m the CMO of Loop & Tie, a business I lovingly joke with our CEO is a sustainability company with a gifting problem. We focus on disrupting the space of corporate gifting, which is traditionally wasteful.
MK Getler: Consider traditional direct mail where you sent out packages. Many people would “spray and pray,” hoping packages got to the people they were meant for. But mostly, they were unclaimed and thrown away. Loop & Tie thinks there's a more natural way to build connections with folks—one that doesn’t include environmental waste.
MK Getler: Our gift redemption experience allows people to choose the gift they want, and it's all digital, so we don’t create waste if gifts aren’t claimed. Everybody gets what they want, and you, as the gift sender, get to excite people with what they want instead of what you decide they want.
Carl Lewis: It's like Christmas shopping.
MK Getler: That's exactly it. A shopping spree.
Carl Lewis: I'm sure the last couple of years have seen Loop & Tie go through some changes. Can you tell me about them?
MK Getler: We’re so privileged to have been in the right place at the right time, especially when so few businesses were. In 2020, at the beginning of remote work and restructuring how we would connect with our colleagues, employees, customers, partners, and prospects, Loop & Tie was able to help people whose toolkits didn’t have the tools to build those connections.
MK Getler: For us, the landscape changed and unfolded positively. We helped people be meaningful and thoughtful when many felt helpless and unsure. We're excited because that lasting impact in building connections has stuck with folks, and we're positioned to foster that ability to stay in touch with people meaningfully and thoughtfully.
Carl Lewis: You didn’t struggle with things others struggled with, like going remote? You were already there?
MK Getler: We were there from the beginning. Both the gift-giving and receiving experiences are digital. Folks receiving gifts can put in their preferred mailing address and have their gift sent wherever they are or wherever is most convenient for them to receive it.
Carl Lewis: That’s good. I know someone who spent the last two years of their career in a van, so they were in many locations.
MK Getler: Have wi-fi, will work. It's part of the nomadic digital era we're in. Many of the traditional gifting solutions haven’t solved for it yet.
Carl Lewis: Absolutely. So, we're seeing the rainbow. What does the future look like for Loop & Tie over that rainbow? What’s going to change?
MK Getler: Something that won’t change is how people authentically build bonds with each other. People are being so mindful of the fact that they're seeing into people's personal lives. For example, you can see my office, and my dog might wander in. That's a side of me and my life you otherwise would not have met. That will stick with people. Over the rainbow, people will find new ways to engage and build better relationships now that we've glimpsed the inner workings of each other’s personal lives. How will that express itself? We can find exciting new gifts to offer folks that complement their lifestyles. Consider pet owners. What do pet owners want? What's the latest, coolest experience we can offer them?
MK Getler: Outside of gifting, I hope giant industry events evolve into smaller, more intimate events. The giant events are fun in the grand scheme of things, but you lose the ability to build one-to-one connections with people. We're excited to facilitate that on the other side of the rainbow and build better authentic connections for folks wherever they go.
Carl Lewis: It’s interesting you say that because my grandson is a lot more respectful of my space now than he was two years ago. Many people would see him, but he’s picked up on the vibe and stopped appearing in the background. And I haven't revealed a lot; I keep my background small and unrevealing.
Carl Lewis: How has Loop & Tie helped other businesses? You have a unique business model, and my company anticipates using your services, but can you be specific about how other companies use you?
MK Getler: Absolutely. And we’re excited to work with you and your team. People have such interesting applications of gifting for their customers and employees. For example, one customer uses us as a service-recovery mechanism. If their customer service wasn’t 100%, they use Loop & Tie to send a gift to the customer to fix any harm they may have done with a botched service experience.
MK Getler: I love talking about the service-recovery paradox and how wonderful it is for customer loyalty. It’s a surprising and delightful moment when a customer receives a gift that says, "I’m sorry we fell short of your expectations. We fell short of our own, too. Here's a gift to show our appreciation for you being a loyal customer." People seem excited about that one, and more folks are using it as part of the customer experience and solutioning.
MK Getler: Another favorite has been around the employee experience. On Employee Appreciation Day, many folks invested time, energy, and thoughtfulness into the gifts they were giving employees to say, "We appreciate you, we recognize you, and here's a token of that appreciation and recognition."
MK Getler: We believe that any time there’s a place in the customer or employee experience where you feel you can foster a tighter connection is a perfect time to send a gift.
Carl Lewis: I remember when gifting was just novelties, gizmos, and gadgets. It's grown beyond that, and Loop & Tie is bringing it to a whole new level. Do you see the gifting concept, and the gifting industry, as a growing thing for businesses?
MK Getler: I do. I see it as a critical part of growth. There’s growth that lifts all, and growth that’s growth at all costs for yourself. The traditional way of gifting was those tchotchkes we all got at trade shows. Who didn’t walk away with 15 box chargers for our phones and stress balls? Most of them ended up in the trash.
MK Getler: Our gifting model, which allows people to choose the gift they want, has a high-end experience and high-end gifts. We meticulously choose the gifts and partner with the merchants to make sure you and your brand offer the best, trendiest, most stylish gifts on the market. And social responsibility underlies our practices. We vet our vendors carefully. Is their packaging environmentally friendly? Are they striving for carbon neutrality or regeneration? Are they from historically underrepresented or marginalized communities, like women-owned, BIPOC, queer-owned businesses? We want to help them succeed and thrive in their space.
MK Getler: When you compare the gifting options, the tchotchke model is still effective because you have brand impression—but it’s only in that moment, and it's the only impression you're making. With Loop & Tie's model, you make an impression with the gift and affect the entire ecosystem of businesses you're supporting. And if they're environmentally friendly, you’re helping the environment.
Carl Lewis: I've been to many trade shows with that scenario. Not particularly at my booth, but at other people's booths, where they just don't want to haul this stuff home. I've seen people bring bags so they can get everything. They must use the stuff as gifts for their children or something.
MK Getler: We joke about that with my dad. He always said, "If it's free, it's for me," and he'd come home with his trade show loot, which we could ransack and pick what we wanted. But then, all that swag was in our hands, and the brand impression was lost for him; he was just getting free things he could bring to us. He had no emotional attachment to the brand that gave him the water bottles and stress balls.
Carl Lewis: Are there ways to incorporate Loop & Tie into our conference experiences?
MK Getler: Absolutely.
Carl Lewis: Maybe doing away with some of the gadgets everyone's so accustomed to.
MK Getler: Yes. The long-tail impact of this experience goes far beyond a moment at a booth. You have another touchpoint when someone accepts their gift and another when it gets delivered. It's an ongoing moment of interaction and impression.
Carl Lewis: I like that. Other gift agencies/gifting-type companies have a very strong seasonal business. Is that true for Loop & Tie?
MK Getler: Definitely. I've been in B2B tech for gifting for about two and a half years. Loop & Tie's seasonality is unlike anything I've ever seen. We spend a lot of time thinking about Q4. Around the holidays, everybody wants to show their appreciation for their team, employees, customers, partners, etc., so Q4 is a huge time of year for us.
MK Getler: We get plenty of folks gifting throughout the year, though. Property management, with tenants constantly moving in and out of buildings. Customer service recovery, where your customer service didn’t meet expectations. Those things are ongoing, but yes, seasonality is huge.
Carl Lewis: Very interesting. MK, where can people find you guys?
MK Getler: Our name is Loop & Tie, just like you would loop and tie a bow on a present. If you go to loopandtie.com, you can gift right away. Our product is open to anyone. In the upper right-hand corner of the homepage, click ‘Start Gifting’ to explore the collections you can send. All you need to do is enter your credit card information, and we’ll send it with our enhanced digital experience.
Carl Lewis: I know some of my friends are listening and thinking, "I have to try that."
MK Getler: It’s exciting.
Carl Lewis: Thanks for joining me today and telling us about Loop & Tie. I'm sure I’ll be using the service any day now.
MK Getler: Excellent! We would love to have you. And thank you so much for inviting me on your show.
Carl Lewis: You're welcome. And everyone else out there, do me a favor and stay connected until we see each other again.