Corporate gifting is the most powerful way to win the heart and mind of your VIP.
You can leverage a corporate gifting strategy to transition a prospect to become a client, or you can gift a current client to increase the lifetime value, or you can gift an employee to increase their loyalty to you.
In this article, we’re going to cover what you need to know in order to deploy a successful corporate gifting strategy.
The 7 Essential Elements to a Good Corporate Gifting Strategy
Now that you know what corporate gifting is and why it’s important, we’re going to share the 7 essential elements of a great corporate gifting strategy.
At GIFT∙OLOGY, best-in-class doesn’t necessarily mean expensive. Instead, we ask ourselves other questions:
Will this gift stand the test of time?
Will it be something that passes down from generation to generation?
Is the recipient’s experience with the company going to be remarkable?
For us, Best-in-Class is truly a high bar.
Think about a beautifully designed piece of luggage. A family typically buys luggage once in their lifetime and when the parents are finished traveling, they pass it down to their children to use.
Have you ever received a gift, like a wine decanter, that you’ve thought was nice at the time, but now sits in your curio collecting dust?
That’s because a wine decanter isn’t practical.
If you’re going to have a glass of wine for yourself or with friends, you’re going to pop open a bottle and pour it directly into the glass. You’re not going to pour it into a wine decanter first.
The benefit of gift-giving is that every time a person uses their gift, they will think fondly of you. Your gift will do the heavy lifting of relationship building for you. If the person never uses your gift, they will forget about you.
A practical gift is something that is going to be used 3-5 times per week.
A cutlery set is a perfect example of a practical gift. Your recipient will use cutlery multiple times per day to prepare their meals.
And every single time they use it, they will think fondly of you, your company, and your relationship.
At GIFT∙OLOGY, we define luxury as something the recipient will love, but wouldn’t get themselves.
For instance, everyone has a desk in their office, but how many people have a Varidesk?
A Varidesk is one where the recipient can control the height of the desk with the push of a button. So if they wish to sit, they can have the desk on “low” mode. And if they wish to stand, they can push a button and the desk raises to “high” mode.
Most people wouldn’t buy themselves this type of desk.
But almost everyone who receives one absolutely loves it.
A great corporate gift is one that is personalized. On the gift, they have a personal inscription, a monogram of the recipient’s name or initials is handcrafted, or has an origin story.
Think about how powerful your cutlery gift will be with an engraving like “I wanted you to know that our relationship means a lot to me” on every single piece of the set.
Your gift will leave a positive imprint every time your recipient uses it and reads the engraving.
Include Inner Circle
One of the single most powerful, and perhaps most neglected parts of corporate gift-giving is the ability to reach the recipient’s inner circle.
A great corporate gift must enhance the lives of the spouse, kids, or assistants.
Going back to the cutlery set. Not only will your recipient use the gift, but every single member of the recipient’s household will use the gift as well.
Imagine receiving an email from a prospect saying “I’m sleeping with your best salesperson – my wife.”
This is a text message that our founder actually received from a prospect in our sales pipeline. And I’m proud to say – he’s still our client.
But it’s not just us. I can’t tell you how many times a prospect’s significant other has received an amazing gift and has become the catalyst for landing huge deals.
5 words about you from anyone in your client’s inner circle is more valuable than 500 words from you about how brilliant you, your product, or your service is.
A great corporate gift is part of an overall gifting strategy. Most gifters will send one gift and call it a day.
However, the most successful gifters will buy gifts with a continuity theme because they know that 1+1>2.
The more times that you reach a person with a great gift, the stronger the connection you will build with the recipient.
One of the reasons we love luggage as a great gift is because it gives you the opportunity to reach out to the person 3 or 4 times.
First you can start with the carry-on/personal bag. Then you can move on to the stowaway bag. And finally, you can give them the big bag that they need to check to complete the set.
You’ve reached out to them 3 separate times to strengthen the relationship with you.
And finally, you will want to include a handwritten note with every gift that you send.
“Handwritten Notes are Magic”
Wufoo is a software company that creates online forms. When they first started out, they would send a handwritten note to every single one of their new users.
Even as the number of users grew, they kept the tradition of sending handwritten notes to users. And even though they couldn’t send them to EVERY customer, every person in the company would spend a couple of hours per week writing notes.
The people who received these notes felt so special, that they’d post images of their personalized note.
Unsurprisingly, these notes went viral.
In a world of autonomous thank you emails, the handwritten note creates a lasting impact on its recipient. When was the last time you posted an image of an automated thank you email?
The “Don’ts” of Corporate Gifting
Now that you know what makes a great corporate gifting strategy, let’s quickly go over what not to do.
Only Gifting on the ABC’s
The first big mistake many gifters make is gifting only on the ABC’s: Anniversaries, Birthdays, and Christmas.
That’s because you want your gift to stand out on its own.
When you gift on the ABC’s, your gift will get lost in amongst the other gifts. There is a chance that your recipient will forget about it.
Or more likely, your recipient will be feeling fond about all of the gifts that they receive that your gift will lose its impact.
For a gift to have maximum impact, it should arrive in the recipient’s hands on a day when they aren’t expecting it.
Another big mistake that many gifters make is that they gift food.
There are three reasons you don’t want to gift food:
- You may not know your recipient’s preferences. So if you gift a food that your recipient doesn’t like, then you will have wasted money.
- You don’t know if your recipient, or anyone in their family, has food allergies. Not only will you’ve wasted your money, but if someone has a food allergy while eating your food, then this will leave a negative impression on them.
- Food is perishable. If your recipient doesn’t eat the food in time, then you will have wasted money.
Gifting Gift Cards
Gift cards are so cold and impersonal.
Sure the person who receives it is going to be appreciative at first, but then the gift card is going to go into their digital wallet to be used at a later date, and they will forget who gave it to them in the first place.
There won’t be anything tangible to attribute your gift to. And your money will have made absolutely no impact on the recipient.
So many people want to give iPhones, or laptops as gifts. Here’s why we don’t recommend them.
- They become obsolete very easily. This goes against our first rule of being best-in-class. Can you see your grandkids using your current smartphone?
- They probably already have one, so the gift isn’t going to be a luxury.
- They’re very hard to personalize. Can you imagine trying to put an engraving on the back of an iPhone with assurances that it won’t break?
Put your Company Logo on Your Gifts
Let’s just state for the record: we HATE swag!
How many people are going to be excited to wear a shirt with your company’s logo on it?
How many people are going to be excited to show off a mug to their friends if it has your company’s logo on it?
These are the types of gifts that your recipients receive all the time and at best are tossed in the bottom desk drawer and at worst are thrown directly in the trash.
A gift that advertises your company is going to be meaningless to your recipient.
Click here to schedule a 1 on 1 laser call with us so we can kick off your corporate gifting strategy immediately.