How Corporate Gift Strategies Benefit Your Company, Clients, and Employees

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.

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.

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. I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but this is the opposite of what you should do when it comes to giving gifts.

The main benefits of having a corporate gift strategy is 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 top of mind 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 3 things you should take into consideration when it comes time to planning your next corporate or employee gift strategy.

Timing

The most popular time companies typically give gifts are during end of 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 too often. 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)

Decoration

Consider how you are decorating the item you are giving away. When you are giving a corporate gift or employee gift, it is not a gift if you print your company logo on it. When you place an imprint with your logo, marketing message or call to action (CTA), this is an imprint. In this case, you are not showing appreciation, you are advertising!

If you truly want to give a gift, make sure it is personalized not imprinted! There are many gifts that you can personalize with your client or employees name or clients logo. It is highly suggested that if you want your customer or employee to feel appreciated and like they actually received a gift, that you personalize instead of “print” on the gift.

Budget

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” (ex: pens that cost $0.50, koozies and other branded items that cost less than $5 each).

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 is 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.