How corporate gifting may benefit your business
Employing a corporate gift strategy is one of the best investments your company can make. It helps businesses connect with their audience to create awareness of their brand and make them memorable with promotional marketing campaigns that drive results.
This is why a great best practice is to create a “gift strategy” for both your internal clients (employees) and external clients (clients), each year.
What are Corporate Gifts?
Corporate gifts are a great way to show appreciation (thanking customers for their business or employees for their service) and deepen client relationships. They also improve employee morale, keep employees motivated, incentivized and appreciated. Corporate gifts are internal or external gifts provided by the top management or executives to other people. Internal gifts are defined as gifts that are given to staff, managers, executives, or between shareholders. They are exclusive gifts to everyone involved in the operations and decision-making strategies of the company. External gifts are gifts the company gives to clients. The gifts could be given to the client if the client is new to the company. External gifts can also be given if the company wants to reward the client for the years the client has remained in relation to the company. The benefits of corporate gifts are numerous. Internally, they help with company cohesion and reward all or specific workers for their hard work. Externally, corporate gifts attract and maintain customers and build brand image, recognition, and loyalty.
Benefits of Corporate Gifts
Brand Recognition – When corporate gifts are given externally, these gifts help clients associate brand image, loyalty to clients, and can often attract new customers. Long-lasting and useful products such as writing instruments, leather goods, key chains, table clocks or timepieces with the company’s image on them, will consistently remind the person using these products of the company.
Client Development – This is a good tool to attract new clients and further develop a long term business relationship. Take the example of a trade show, if free gifts were presented, not only would customers who made a connection want to reach further with that company, but more customers may have been attracted to the booth to begin with. With a gift at hand, the customer now has something visual to remind them of that company.
Employee Appreciation – When corporate gifts are given internally, they help workers recognize their part in the greater whole of the company. If a specific worker deserves an award for their hard work, a corporate gift to that person can help build the morale of the worker and make him or her feel like their work is noticed by management and executives. Even executives and shareholders can enjoy the benefits of internal gifts. Especially with shareholders, corporate gifts act as internal rewards for their investments and keen decision-making. When presented at shareholder meetings, these corporate gifts can help the shareholders feel their investments are worthwhile and are appreciated.
How Corporate Gift Strategies Benefit Your Company, Clients, and Employees
If you don’t have a strategic plan, you place your company logo on your “gifts”, you only give gifts around the holiday season and do all of this without a budget, you may want to rethink your strategy. This is the opposite of what you should do when it comes to giving gifts. The main benefits of having a corporate gift strategy are you will surprise and delight your customers and will show them you really appreciate and value the relationship. Overall, your clients will be happier and you will be kept on top of their minds as a result of your strengthened relationship. When it comes to gifting to employees you can increase employee morale, happiness and work ethic when you recognize employees with a gift or award. As a result, you have the ability to show appreciation for a job well done. You can also recognize top-performing employees and encourage friendly competition with an incentive program. Not sure where to start, here are two things you should take into consideration when it comes time to plan your next corporate or employee gift strategy.
The most popular time companies typically give gifts are at the end of the year holiday season. This can be a pitfall to your gift strategy because it can become “expected” if you give clients and employees a gift the same time every year. If you want to be different, surprise and delight and really make an impact, think of other random times you can give gifts. You can also choose to send a series of gifts over the year to show even more appreciation. Be careful of this route, you don’t want to give gifts toooften. An easy way to determine the timing is to think of the customer and the reason for giving them a gift (ex: giving a gift to thank them for their purchase)
When you are giving a gift to a client or employee, you should look for higher ticketed items opposed to items you can purchase in large quantities to get a price “break”. In order to find out how much you should (and are able to) spend, you want to make sure you create a budget. This way, when it comes down to purchasing the gift, you will know the appropriate spend amount that works for your company, strategy and/or program.
Here is some inspiration for setting a budget in case you are not sure where to start. Set your budget according to:
- Years of continued business (clients) or years of service (employees),
- The nature of the program. Take into consideration outcome and desired results you want to achieve and create your budget based on a percentage of your results,
- Customer lifetime value. Think about how much your client is “worth” — more or less how much is the relationship worth to you? And, determine your budget based on a percentage of those qualities,
- You can also set a random budget based on what you can reasonably afford (remember: relationships are valuable — don’t overspend and also don’t under-spend)
Finally, like anything else, there are a few things you should be aware of that could put a damper on your gift-giving strategy:
- Make sure you do your research to see whether gifting is allowed at the company you are giving gifts to (ex: industries like financial services, insurance and medicine are a few that have restrictions).
- Do your research on your client to find out what they like and don’t like (you do not want to give a wine gift to someone who doesn’t drink wine!).
- Give a gift to show gratitude. Do not give a gift before asking someone to do a big favor (this more than likely will look like a bribe)
While corporate gift strategies and incentive programs are not necessary, there are many benefits to incorporating them into your business. Plus, they can have a lot of impact on the way you show how much you appreciate and value your clients and employees. If you decide that gifting should be a part of your company’s strategy take time this year to make sure you have a strategic plan or program in place. This will help you achieve the results mentioned above that will overall help you grow your bottom line.
By Maani Hatami