Brand Matters: Ready. Set. Gift!

The calendar year continues to fly by and we are quickly racing toward the holiday season. Christmas and the New Year are still months away, but in the world of corporate gifting and today’s crazy climate, it’s never too early to start thinking about gifts! 

Corporate gifting can be twofold: it can mean giving gifts to employees to show recognition and appreciation, or it can mean giving gifts to clients or vendors as a way to show them they are valued members of your process.   

In this blog post we’ll explore gift giving on a corporate level, including why it’s important, when you need to start, what it accomplishes, and more. 

  1. The Time is Now 
  2. The Gifts They’ll Appreciate 
  3. Building Relationships Through Gifts 

1. The Time is Now 

We’ve all been there. It’s December 23 and you realize you’re missing that one present for that one important person in your life. So, you run to the mall, pick something up at the last minute, and have it wrapped and ready to go for Christmas – that’s a luxury you don’t have in the business world.  

It’s no secret that supply chain issues have been a major theme for the last couple of years; within that time span, whether in your personal or professional life, you’ve more than likely placed an order for something that arrived much later than anticipated. You’re not alone – in a recent study, 82% of people said they were concerned that ongoing supply chain disruptions will ruin their life plans, such as birthdays, holidays, trips, and purchasing necessary items.(1) 

Shortages of workers, distortions to typical demand due to changes in customer purchasing behavior, and other factors have set most manufacturers and distributors back and caused delays in every industry. When you place holiday orders it’s wise to keep that in mind. It’s especially true if the items you are ordering are customized. It’s a bad look on you as a business owner if a gift for your client with a season’s greetings card attached shows up to their door in late January. Leave yourself plenty of time so that if there are extra unexpected delays, your order can still be fulfilled in a timely fashion. 

Another reason now is the time to start thinking about holiday gifting is if you want your employees or clients to be able to select their own gifts. If you have them pick what they want from a certain website or catalog, you want them to have enough time to decide and get the selection back to you so you can then place the orders quickly. This is one area where if you’re early you’re on time, and if you’re on time you’re late. 

2. The Gifts They’ll Appreciate 

Giving these gifts a personal touch can be the thing that really elevates their impact on the recipient. Just like with a gift to a family member or friend, try to select something that shows you know your client or employee. Don’t buy a bottle of alcohol for someone who doesn’t drink. Maybe you heard a client mention how much they love coffee – it’s the little things that make a thoughtful gift.  

The amount spent on a per gift basis is also surprisingly high. Most companies in a GiftNow study spent between $25 and $125 on a corporate gift, with the largest percentage reporting the sweet spot as being between $75 and $100.(2) You don’t have to break the bank, but make sure the gift is more than a key chain or a bottle of hand sanitizer. 

Whatever you decide, gifts are a powerful relational tool and the thought behind them can matter more than the monetary value. 

3. Building Relationships Through Gifts 

The corporate gifting market is expected to hit $242 billion this year, with about 60% spent on gifts to clients and partners outside the organization and 40% for internal employee recognition and awards. In a study, GiftNow identified three reasons why, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, corporate gifting is on the rise. They found businesses are doing it to keep employees motivated during difficult times, stay connected with clients/prospects, and because of new gifting opportunities like digital conferences or events.(3)  

In a largely remote and flexible world, the importance of connection with employees and clients is more apparent than ever, and gifts are a great way to maintain those connections. According to a study conducted among 300 corporate gift buyers, 80% of respondents claimed that gifts have improved relationships with coworkers and clients. Additionally, 48% of the companies said gifting had delivered a substantial benefit, as it made recipients feel valued, improved customer loyalty, and improved employee retention.(4)  

Corporate gifting is like anything: the more you put in, the more you get out. The more effort you put into them, the further it will go toward establishing those key relationships with important clients or maintaining good relationships with your employees. 

The Takeaway 

Gift giving at the corporate level is a trend that isn’t going away. It’s expected to grow at an accelerated 8.1% compound annual growth rate through 2024, so it’s important to get on board with giving.(5) Whether it’s a high-end client or a loyal employee, they will appreciate the thought you put in and the effort you went through to recognize them, particularly around the holidays. And remember, you don’t want to be late with this. Be proactive and start getting orders placed now, because the holiday season will sneak up on you in a hurry. Ready. Set. Gift! 

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