The Sweet Spot - Just the Right Gift at Just the Right Time

The Sweet Spot: Just the Right Gift at Just the Right Time

Building Relationships through Just the Right Gift at Just the Right Time

Some days are just hard. It doesn’t matter what you try, nothing seems to work. Your task list keeps growing instead of getting shorter. You find no joy in what you do.

But other days it all comes together. You love what you’re doing. You are good at it. You can see it makes a difference. That is when you have found The Sweet Spot, according to Dr. Christine Carter, Happiness Expert. (Also sociologist, author, speaker, and senior fellow at UC Berkeley’s

Greater Good Science Center. But isn’t the title ‘Happiness Expert’ more fun?)

She refers to The Sweet Spot as that place where your greatest strengths and your greatest personal power overlap with ease, where there is little resistance or stress. Oh … doesn’t that sound sweet?1

What about in the business world? Does The Sweet Spot exit? Many business gurus agree that it does. While some advocate a seemingly complicated method to find it, Marketing Strategist Michelle Hunter has a simple and actionable approach. Your Sweet Spot is the intersection between what you do best and what your clients really need.2

When you can simplify, streamline, and systematize offers within your sweet spot, everything gets easier in your business. Not only is marketing easier because you know what to talk about, your business is easier to run because you focus on what you do better than anyone else. Suddenly you’re more profitable, less stressed, and actually loving your business.

Sounds great! But how do you get there? Two of Dr. Carter’s recommendations for your personal Sweet Spot are just as applicable to your business life. Decrease busyness and strengthen your relationships.

When we are overly busy, we are often overwhelmed. We go into cognitive overload, making us exhausted and unproductive. This also has a tendency to isolate us, which is the exact opposite of what we as human beings need. Our sense of connection to others brings us ease and strength.

We can help with both of those. We are professionals in the field of branded promotions. We already have the knowledge that will make your next campaign successful. We know what items are trending and which categories are favored by different groups. Plus, we have long-established supplier relationships in place so you don’t need to try to learn the industry to manage your program details. Use our Sweet Spot to enhance yours.

Recent changes to the U.S. work structure also changed the relationship component of business. Work-from-home models which were originally pandemic necessities have now become hybrids or permanent work structures.

A Gartner survey of company leaders found that 80% plan to allow employees to work remotely at least part of the time after the pandemic, and 47% will allow employees to work from home full-time. In a PwC survey of 669 CEOs, 78% agree that remote collaboration is here to stay for the long-term.3 In a recent McKinsey and Company survey, employees agreed this is a great idea, with only 37% of employees wanting to work fully on-site compared to 62% before the crisis hit.4

Employees want to be remote and companies say they will let them. So how does your business keep your employees engaged? Or how do you reach your customers and prospects if they aren’t where you are used to reaching them?

Technology helps. Business adoption of web conferencing was up 10%, and frequency of use also increased. By midyear 2020, 81% of businesses were using real-time messaging apps with the growth trajectory continuing to accelerate.5

Interestingly, another sector that grew during the disrupted business structure was corporate gifting, with 35% of respondents to a recent survey saying they gifted more frequently since the surge in remote work. Respondents said corporate gifting had increased in relevance, citing a need to stay connected with employees (66%) and clients/prospects (59%). More than half of all respondents said their corporate gifting budget had also increased, sometimes using the cost savings from reduced utilities and overhead due to fewer on-site personnel.6

This trend looks to continue, with more than 7 in 10 respondents expecting their gifting frequency post-pandemic to increase or stay the same as current. While the holiday season remains a strong trigger for 55% of corporate gifters, employee appreciation gifts are more frequent at nearly 2/3 of respondents, and not confined to any particular season. Similarly, appreciation for existing clients and business partners, used by just under half of respondents, is a year-long cycle.

These occasions for gifting are mirrored in the respondents’ purposes for gifting. The top 5 advantages of gifting all related to strengthening relationships and making the recipient feel valued. Even though there are direct monetary benefits of corporate gifting, such as lead generation and improved sales, the survey showed these to be significantly overshadowed by emotional and sentimental benefits.

The human connection is a powerful motivator. According to a recent Fortune article, our disrupted culture has changed what we see as the role of business. It is no longer only transactional, we are now competing on the nature and depth of our relationships.7

Those relationships grow deeper with the perfect gift. 83% of consumers say they are more likely to do business with brands who have given them promotional products.8 Gifting a quality product also enhances your company’s reputation with the recipient.9 Promotional products give your brand staying power, with 57% of consumers saying they have kept their favorites for five years or more.10

Let our team help you develop just the right campaign to build your business relationships. Our Sweet Spot is purposeful print and promotional campaigns that get results with your customers. We have thousands of options in every category, backed with research and decades of experience to know which gifts resonate with different audiences.

All of this lets you get back to your Sweet Spot, growing your business in what you do best with what your clients really need.

Give your Proforma professional a call today to get started early for the holidays, or for any gifting occasion.


  1. “Three Easy Ways to Find Your Sweet Spot,” April 3, 2015, Christine Carter
  2. “Positioning: What’s your Sweet Spot?” Michelle Hunter, 2021, Designing to Delight
  3. “Remote Work Statistics: Navigating the New Normal,” Emily Courtney, FlexJobs
  4. “The Future of Work is Far from Settled,” July 14, 2021, Covid 19: Implications For Business, McKinsey & Company Executive Briefing
  5. “Workplace Communications Trends in 2020: Tracking Shifts as Remote Work Becomes the New Normal,” Spiceworks Ziff Davis
  6. Unwrapping the American Corporate Gifting Opportunity, Deborah Weinswig, June 29, 2021, Coresight Research
  7. “How the Best Leaders Help Companies Build Deeper Connection in a Work-from-Home World,” Dov Seidman and Angela Ahrendts, April 2, 2021, Fortune
  8. Mapping Out The Modern Consumer, 2017 PPAI Consumer Study
  9. 2019 Consumer Study, September 2019, PPAI Research
  10. Global Ad Impressions Study 2020 Edition, ASI Research

AboutMatthew Shumaker

Matthew Shumaker is the Marketing Specialist at Proforma. He brings 13 years of experience in direct response marketing, email marketing, content marketing, and product management. Matthew graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Managerial Marketing.

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