Corporate gifts have been part of the culture of impressing bosses, clients and colleagues for years. With new and creative corporate gift ideas arising each year, it becomes more and more obvious that they are an undeniable part of building relationships, forging memorable brands and, most importantly, expressing gratitude and appreciation to those who help to keep your business running.
While corporate gifting is often a client-centred activity, it’s becoming increasingly popular to gift co-workers and employees with the occasional ‘desk drop’, as well as business partners and senior stakeholders in the workplace with larger gifts. Business gifts are often a way to bridge gaps and break barriers between employers and employees, and a means to maintain loyalty and trust in other business relationships.
Why you should invest in corporate gifts
If you’re still not sure why corporate gifts are important for your business, or you need a little nudge before you allocate some of your already tight budget to pricey presents and flattery, here’s why you should invest in corporate gifting.
Increasing brand loyalty and client retention
It may be easy to think that clients don’t really need to be thanked, since they are the ones on the receiving end of a service that they need. When a client chooses to work with you, however, it’s logical to assume that you were only one of their many options. The truth is, there are several other businesses who perform the same functions that you do, and thanking a client for choosing to do business with you, in a sea of competition, proves that you don’t take them for granted.
Going the extra mile with a meaningful gift can be the difference between you and the company they did business with last year. But apart from it being a thoughtful gesture, a corporate gift for a client is a sure way to keep your brand in their mind and solidify their loyalty. Some good opportunities to send a gift to a client include the ‘anniversary’ (when they’ve been a client for a certain amount of time and have displayed exceptional brand loyalty) and special occasions like New Year’s. For a new client, a corporate gift can also be sent as a welcome to the ‘family’.
Standing out and stay top-of-mind
Branded corporate gifts can often be a little cliché. They’re also a really good way to ruin an otherwise perfect gesture. But when they’re done right, they can leave a lasting impression in the minds (and hopefully hearts) of clients or partners. Branding a corporate gift is both an act of marketing and gift-giving. As such, it is best left in the realm of external parties like clients, as opposed to colleagues or employees. They already work there; there’s no need for them to take the company home.
When coming up with branded corporate gift ideas, keep it useful. Make your gift a constant reminder of the brilliant service you offer, with items that they will see and use regularly, such as stationery (notebooks are a classic option) or gadgets like high-quality headphones or power banks.
Building personal and meaningful relationships
Gone are the days when doing business simply involved buying and selling. With ever-rising competition and each industry evolving at unprecedented rates, it is becoming increasingly important to establish meaningful relationships with those you do business with. Human beings are, for better or worse, emotional creatures. And corporate gifting is an apt means of saying, “You’re more than just a number here”. No matter how big or small, a corporate gift is an undeniable relationship builder that bridges the gap and lifts the veil between a business and its client. As such, it is also a means of building trust, which is easier to do when the ice has been broken.
Boosting employee morale
“If you don’t create a great, rewarding place for people to work, they won’t do great work.” – Ari Weinzweig, co-founder of Zingermans Deli
Clients aren’t the only ones who need to feel appreciated. The truth is, without your team, you wouldn’t be raking in customers as efficiently as you have been. Brilliant employees, no matter their individual roles, are the core of any business operation. And, as in any other human relationship, feeling underappreciated is massive motivation to cut ties. While it’s not the only thing that plays a role, gifting your colleagues and/or employees is a significant way to keep morale and job satisfaction up while encouraging loyalty to your company.
Treat employees to seasonal desk drops (small tokens of appreciation placed on their desks) like chocolate eggs before Easter weekend, calendars or notebooks at the beginning of a new year, or gourmet hot chocolate to welcome winter. When thinking of occasion-specific desk drops, remember to consider religious and cultural differences that may or may not make it appropriate to celebrate the occasion at the office.
Partnerships are a great source of business growth, expansion, new ideas and other strategic benefits. As with client relationships, they ought to be valued. When it comes to corporate gifts for business partners, it is best to send them as a celebratory token of appreciation, such as after closing a major deal, reaching a project milestone or on the anniversary of your partnership. For special occasions such as these, a corporate gift will be a clear reminder that your partners are in no way taken for granted, and that you want to continue the relationship.
The golden thread that trails between corporate gifting for clients and colleagues is goodwill. While business will always be business, it is important to remember that business always involves real people, and that these people like to be spoilt (who doesn’t?). By spending a little extra on making people smile, you’re likely to improve job satisfaction, workplace culture, brand loyalty and strategic partnerships in your company. So, next time you catch yourself neglecting the all-important business of flattery, remember that it could significantly change the way your business functions.