In the corporate world, the concept of business gifting is as old as business itself. Companies use gifts to reward clients, give thanks to valued employees, and to help bolster relationships. The corporate gifts industry is worth an estimated $125 billion each year, and this interesting market sector is expected to grow in the coming decades. A recent research study conducted by a well-known corporate gifting company sheds new light on the practice of business gifting, providing insights to those who wish to incorporate this strategy into their annual operations.
The Value of Business Gifting
Whatever the gift, the primary goal of business gifting practices is to show clients gratitude. Many companies thrive by forging long-term relationships with their clients, and this can mean going the extra mile to let those clients know a company values the relationship. The research study, called the Business Gift Satisfaction Survey, illustrated the intrinsic value of gifting. In the study:
- 57% of survey respondents indicated that corporate gifts can influence the opinion of a business partner.
- Almost 95% of corporate executives believe that gifting creates and nurtures a deep personal connection with business partners.
- 80% of executives indicate that business gifts have both tangible and intangible benefits. Tangible benefits include positive return on investment (ROI), while intangibles may mean a more favorable opinion of the gift-giver and his or her company.
Best Practices for Business Gifting
In corporate gifting, there are many factors that can influence the practice itself as well as its reception by gift recipients. Industry analysts stress that gifts should target quality over quantity; higher-value gifts should be directed to executives and business leaders in order to generate the positive opinions so crucial in relationship building.
The study unveiled a “sweet spot” in spending levels for gifts. In the study, survey respondents indicated that a gift value of between $50 and $150 was most effective. Executives and the most valuable clients should receive gifts on the higher end of the pricing range, while lower-priced gifts are more suitable for those less important to the overall business relationship.
Other takeaways from the survey show that:
- Gift cards are a popular choice for business gifts, but do not have the level of personalization necessary for building relationships or conveying the proper levels of appreciation for valued business relationships.
- Presentation matters – in business gifting, an elegantly-wrapped and –boxed gift stands out, and can increase the gift’s perceived value in the eyes of clients.
- Branded gifts are not a good choice – the temptation is for gift-givers to include their company’s logo or branding on gift items, but the survey indicates that this practice may backfire. Prominent logos are often perceived as marketing tools rather than gifts thanking the recipient for his or her business over the years, and can negatively impact the perceived value of the gift. If a logo must be included, it should be unobtrusive and/or hidden.
- Gifts that are personalized produce the greatest ROI – gifts that include the recipient’s name or initials tend to be more memorable, and therefore more valuable, than anonymous gift items. Value-added attributes also contribute to a greater perceived value; attributes like artisan-made items, gifts produced in the U.S.A., or those supporting minority-owned businesses can create positive impressions far beyond their monetary value.
Corporate gifting is a time-honored practice that tells recipients that you value the relationships you have built. Gifts do not have to be expensive, but they should create a lasting positive impression that goes beyond their monetary cost. For unparalleled assistance with corporate gifts and apparel, do not hesitate to contact Siegel’s Corporate Gifts.