What is Corporate Gifting?
Corporate gifting means the practice of creating a point of interaction between your business and stakeholders of your business by sending them gifts- either tangible such as physical products or intangible such as tickets to concerts. The stakeholders could be your clients, employees, suppliers, or prospects. You could also send corporate gifts to your client’s family too. (Why would you do that? Keep reading to find out!)
The purpose of the corporate gift could be different things, from welcoming someone to your business to honoring someone for certain desirable behaviors such as making a purchase. Almost everyone is familiar with ABC gifting, that is, gifting on anniversaries, birthdays, and Christmas. But did you know engaging in generic ABC gifting may not be as fruitful as you thought? For your corporate gifts to bear the results you want them to, there are some elements that they must possess, which we talk about later on in this article.
Why Is Corporate Gifting Important?
57 percent of gift recipients say that corporate gifts can affect their impression of a business in both positive and negative ways. Corporate gifts help you celebrate the people who make your brand the way it is today. If strategized correctly, they can help you gain a myriad of benefits.
Corporate gifts help your company foster relationships with clients by showing them just how much you value their support. They can also help you empower your employees and convey a sense of gratitude for their contribution to your company. They also go a long way in converting leads to clients.
Personalized gifts show clients and leads that you spent time getting to know them, which they appreciate. Moreover, rewarding employees for special occasions of good work or company milestones help them feel like a significant part of your company’s journey, which can enhance their loyalty.
Gifts with an emotional element can also make the stakeholders’ experience with your company a memorable one, as supported by studies.
The 7 Key Ingredients to a Successful Corporate Gifting Strategy
Below are 7 items that we refer to as the “GIFT·OLOGY Checklist”- and now you are in on the secret too.
Your gift should be the best-in-class
Get your clients and employees what they deserve- the very best. Best-in-class simply means products that are of the highest quality. Such products will last forever- and no, we aren’t kidding; we really do mean forever. You want to give your client a corporate gift that will end up becoming a family heirloom. (This is one good reason you should never send food). They would use it; their children would use it; their grandchildren would use it. And all the while, they would be thinking of you and your company. Best way to instill brand loyalty across generations, isn’t it?
You might be thinking, “Well, that’s easy; I’ll just get a high-end item, whatever brand people are talking about nowadays. Surely high cost means high quality”. Sadly enough, it doesn’t always work like that.
For example, you may think Montblanc is the best-in-class when it comes to fountain pens. Even the cheapest Montblanc fountain pen costs hundreds of dollars. Surely with such a hefty price tag comes high quality? Unfortunately, that is not necessarily true.
The gift must be practical and fit for frequent use
Sending your clients practical corporate gifts does not mean getting them mass-produced products like Yeti hard coolers or duffel bags. Think about it. How often would your clients go on camping or hiking trips that would require a hard cooler?
Your gift is practical if it is something that your clients or employees would use 3 to 5 times a week. Why is this important? Frequently using your gift means that they would be thinking of your brand. If that happens as much as 3 to 5 times a week, it will go a long way in ensuring their loyalty to your brand.
Get the recipients luxury gifts – but practical luxuries
Trying to be cheap when it comes to corporate gifting often leads to companies giving generic knick-knacks as corporate gifts that the recipients quickly forget about the senders of. Such gifts are often thrown in a corner somewhere in the recipient’s house with hundreds of other such cheap gifts from other companies and promptly forgotten about. If your clients do not have a positive impression of your gift, the gift will not serve any purposes you intended it for. So, being cheap is not a lucrative policy when it comes to corporate gifts.
Note that we mentioned the phrase “practical luxuries”. You should spend when it comes to your clients, but you should spend on something that is still practical.
Gift the recipient something that they normally would not buy themselves- but something that they would absolutely love to have. One example would be coffee mugs customized with your client’s name. People don’t usually go around putting their names on mugs themselves, but they would surely like and use such mugs if someone gifts customized mugs to them.
Personalized gifts are in
This ties in with what we said in the paragraph above. Personalized gifts give the recipients the impression that you care about them. It shows them that you put in the effort to make them feel special instead of just sending the same generic trinkets to everyone you gifted. This helps you improve your brand image and strengthen your relationships.
Plus, every time someone compliments the gift and your client’s day gets a little brighter, they will be thinking of you. (Great job, because that good feeling just became associated with your brand in your client’s mind!)
Make sure to include your recipient’s inner circle
If you can get your recipient’s friends and family to love you, then congrats, you will have earned the recipient’s love as well. If your gifts can make the lives of your client’s spouse, children, or even their assistants a bit easier, it will be more effective at capturing that client’s loyalty than any other referrals ever could.
Most business executives do not realize this. When your employee’s spouse tells them about how great your gift looks, trust us when we say that your client will not easily forget you.
Your gifts should promote continuity
Gifts that are part of a broader theme are said to create continuity. If you have gifted your client an engraved knife set, consider getting them a flatware set the next time.
Gifts that create continuity serve as multiple points of interaction between your brand and the client and maximize brand exposure. Gift marketing is a rare form of marketing that gets more valuable with time.
You should send your continual gifts 2 to 3 times a year over a span of at least 3 years. We at Gift·ology have received some of our best contracts from clients we have been gifting for 6 to 7 years. Why? This is because when these clients talk about us, they don’t just casually mention our name and leave it at that. They talk about how amazing their experience with us has been.
Add a handwritten note for a personal touch.
This is a small gesture that goes a long way in both corporate and personal gifting. I would be lying if I said I don’t keep the notes I receive accompanying gifts from both my friends and companies I have been doing business with for a long time. Although simple, notes convey a sense of love and nostalgia and are very intimate in nature. Your clients will appreciate your sitting down to write a handwritten note just for them.
You might have noticed that we keep suggesting personalized gifts that evoke emotions. Studies support our recommendations: The customer lifetime value (LTV) is 306 percent higher for emotionally connected customers than customers who claim to be satisfied with the brand.
Emotionally connected customers will recommend your brand an average of 71 percent of the time, which is much higher compared to other satisfied customers who will recommend your brand 45 percent of the time.
Types of Corporate Gifting
Corporate gifts can have different purposes and applications. Below we tell you about 4 of those.
Marketing gifts are way more effective at building relationships than emails. Just like you, your competitors are also trying their best to establish relationships. Sending marketing gifts is a great way to separate your brand from the crowd. Marketing gifts can be anything, from E-gifts that allow access to certain content, referral awards for recommending your product, to cool earphones your clients can use daily. Think about the industry you are in and the type of client you are trying to attract before deciding on marketing gifts.
Sales Prospecting Gifts
Using corporate gifts to convert leads to customers can have an immense impact on your effectiveness. You could give small gifts after a meeting or demonstration has ended to make the leads’ experience with you memorable. Gifts like that can act as your brand ambassador even after the meeting has ended and influence the leads’ decision-making.
If the gift is personalized, even better! The lead will appreciate the effort you have clearly put into learning about them.
Corporate Gifts for Clients
Sending corporate gifts to your existing clients can go a long way in improving the durability of the relationships you share with them. Customer retention is easier and cheaper than customer acquisition. The costs needed to acquire a new customer take a long time to pay off. Loyal, satisfied customers are willing to spend more at businesses. Thus, you should take customer retention very seriously.
While deciding gifts for clients, keep in mind the 7 ingredients we talked about in the earlier section. A good gift can meet and exceed your expectations about ROI from the gifts you sent, whereas the best a bad gift can achieve is nothing.
Corporate Gifts for Employees
You have probably heard “happy employees lead to happy customers” a million times by now. That is because it is very true. In a 2006 study, every 1 percent increment in ACSI customer satisfaction led to a 4.6 percent improvement in the company’s overall stock market value. So, this is not an area anyone should ignore.
Sending employees personalized corporate gifts is a wonderful way to make their experience working for you a pleasant one and assure them that their contributions are being valued at an individual level. Satisfied employees will be motivated to bring their level best to work and help your company achieve its goals.
How Can I Make Sure That My Corporate Gifting Strategy Is Successful?
As we have seen earlier in this article, corporate gifts can make or break your brand’s impression in front of your stakeholders. Whether you want to leverage this touchpoint and achieve something truly beautiful is up to you.
If you decide to utilize this point of interaction to the fullest, as our clients, including The New York Times, Forbes, Inc., have, GIFT·OLOGY is here to help you. We will come up with a corporate gifting strategy that is not only perfect for your brand but will also help you achieve 10X ROI. Yes, that is how rewarding a well-thought-out gifting strategy can be. We make sure our gifts tick all the checkboxes of a great strategic corporate gift. All you would have to do is invest 5 to 15 percent of your net income.
Not sure yet? No problem. Feel free to try our free 30-minute strategy session with us that is guaranteed to enhance your loyalty program and experience the magic of Gift·ology yourself.
is GIFTOLOGY’s Social Media Coordinator and media specialist. He has traveled to 40 states, multiple countries, and prefers romantic comedies over action films. He is a firm believer that people remember how you made them feel, not what you said. Follow his Instagram as he capture’s other entrepreneurs pursuing their big dreams.