What are Deal Toys and Financial Tombstones?

Businesses are always looking for ways to reinforce connections with other businesses and to celebrate their achievements.

Gifting financial tombstones and deal toys can be an incredibly powerful way, to leave a lasting reminder of your brand in the offices (and minds) of the companies you’ve worked with. We’ve written this guide to help anyone interested in financial tombstones and deal toys. We’ll discuss the following in this guide: 

Where does the term Financial Tombstones come from?

Try not to be too confused by the word ‘tombstone’, as this sometimes brings up bad connotations. Here, the word ‘tombstone’ comes from the late 1800s, when the printing industry referred to advertisements that had no illustrations and were the width of one column as ‘tombstone advertisements’. They were called this because some people thought that the adds, with their bold writing and lots of space in between the lines resembled tombstones.

This name carried over to the financial industry, when it became a legal requirement when completing a larger business deal with another company to print a tombstone advertisement in a newspaper to provide the public with the basic details of the deal. These became known as ‘financial tombstones’ and they were required to list the participants of the deal in order of importance, according to their role in brokering the deal. 

Over time, companies began experimenting with financial tombstones, looking for clever ways to transform them into mementos for all the key players in their various deals. A trend started where they were presented in acrylic and these are the financial tombstones or deal toys as we know them today. 

What’s the Difference between Financial Tombstones and Deal Toys?

There aren’t essentially any meaningful differences between financial tombstones and deal toys. The terms are usually interchangeably. It used to be the case that more people in the UK referred to them as financial tombstones and, across the Atlantic, in the USA, they referred to them as deal toys. But the term ‘financial tombstones’ has risen in popularity in the US in recent years. If there is any difference between financial tombstones and deal toys, it may just be that there is more emphasis on the ‘toy’ aspect of the design with bespoke deal toys. However, most of the time, deal toys and financial tombstones are exactly the same thing. 

What are deal gifts and Lucite tombstones?

If it wasn’t already confusing enough that financial tombstones and deal toys refer to the same thing, they are also sometimes called ‘deal gifts’ or ‘Lucite tombstones’.  They are called deal gifts because some companies would rather distance themselves from the term ‘toy’. The term ‘Lucites’ has been adopted from the Lucite brand — a leading producer of acrylic material favoured for its clarity, warmth, and weight. Lucite is the high-quality clear acrylic material most regularly used to make financial tombstones. Given that they can be referred to as many things, for the purpose of this guide, we’re going to simply refer to them as financial tombstones.

A Memento: Why give out Financial Tombstones?

Transform the finality of a closing deal into an ongoing relationship.

Now that you know exactly what financial tombstones are, you might be wondering what benefits they offer businesses who choose to give them to the individuals and companies they deal with. Different companies might have their own ideas about the benefits of gifting financial tombstones, but we feel that they provide companies with an incredibly powerful way to establish and maintain relationships with other companies. 

Financial tombstones are also a fantastic way to acknowledge individual talent and hard work — to reward various key people involved in a big deal. Not only is this great for morale, it’s also great for PR as this helps your brand connect with key professionals as well as the businesses they work for. If these individuals go on to higher positions, with greater influence, there’s always a good chance they’ll keep their financial tombstone and remember your company.

For hundreds of years, businesses and organisations have sent over tokens of appreciation to other businesses they’ve worked with. At one point, in Britain, companies were known to send grandfather clocks to other companies! Thankfully, most businesses today are more interested in financial tombstones.

The main reason to send any kind of gift to a company you’ve recently worked with is to consolidate your business relationship. After a deal goes through, companies usually go their separate ways. But we don’t think there’s any good reason to allow that business relationship to disintegrate.  If you make an impression, then there’s a much better chance they will want to deal with your company again. Financial tombstones can be the ultimate memento of a business deal and gifting the perfect design can give leave a lasting impression on them. 

Extremely elaborate, impressive business cards

If designed correctly, a financial tombstone can be a striking piece of 3D design. Most financial tombstones will have the names of the companies involved with the deal and a few other details; but, other than that, they can be incredibly creative and aesthetically pleasing works of art. It might be useful to think of financial tombstones as elaborate business cards that are usually kept in a display cabinet or set out in the middle of the office for the staff and visitors to appreciate. If you get the design just right, you can ensure that your company will be a talking point in another office for years to come! 

Design is so important with financial tombstones

Great design is crucial if your tombstone is going to be pride of place in your client’s or partner’s office. This is why midton focuses so much energy on our creative team. We put a lot of effort and emphasis on getting to know our clients’ brands and the brands of the companies they work with. We believe that the companies’ brands and the nature of the deals they make together should inform the design of each financial tombstone we create. 

Putting such emphasis on design helps midton’s financial tombstones resonate with people in a way that other financial tombstones won’t. We think it’s these extra details and design elements that really grab people’s attention and keeps our clients on their radar, and this is the whole point behind financial tombstones! We pride ourselves in our incredibly fast turnarounds, but we always ensure the brand identities and the nature of the deal are paramount. If you’d like to find out what kind of financial tombstone we can make for your business, please don’t hesitate to start the conversation.