When Why and How – The Basics of Corporate Gifts

A Crash Course in Corporate Gift Giving

giftCorporate gift giving is an age-old practice to build meaningful relationships with your customers and partners. Small business owners, or people who are new to the concept of corporate gifts, may not know what to make of the endless assortment of available gifts. When and why should you give gifts? How do you know what gifts to give?

Gifts for Clients

The majority of business gifts are given directly to a company’s biggest clients. The reasons are many. Maybe you want to thank them for their loyalty. Perhaps the purpose is to strengthen relationships and make it more difficult for them to switch business partners. It always comes down to improving B2B bonds.

A gift is not the same as a reward for performance. Ad specialties, for instance, sometimes come with caveats. They are not recognition rewards either, which differ in that recognition is part of a pre-existing reward system of tiered gains. A gift is probably the most important and cost-effective method for retaining relationships and improving future business.

The results are hard to ignore, too. The PPAI studied corporate gift giving and found vendors were twice as likely to get future business from recipients compared to vendors who gave a thank you card or nothing at all. Sometimes businesses with strong B2B relationships have joint holiday picnics where both sides exchange gifts. This is a tactic similar to team-building exercises: people get to know each other on a first-name basis and have fun sharing sincere gifts and gag gifts.

Employee Appreciationchinese-takeout-container.jpg

Gifts to employees are so common in smaller companies, many employees now expect to receive token appreciations during Christmas, and sometimes their birthdays. Cash bonuses and gift cards are the most popular choice. If a bonus is out of the question, employees still appreciate small gifts of value, cards and candy, or gift certificates to local businesses.

Service Providers

Service providers include anyone that helps assist a business with its day-to-day operations. These might include service technicians, consultants, postal workers, or delivery drivers. These gifts are given on major holidays or even the conclusion of major projects. Pixar, for instance, provides a cash bonus for all its employees and any external players that help launch a new movie.

The key here is to create buy-in for your business for personnel not on your company’s payroll. Personalization goes a long way to including them into your family, especially for those who go above the call of duty to deliver exceptional service. Retailers are known for giving rewards and gift cards to places that help set up marketing events, including table and chair rental companies and the business that hosts the event.

CLICK HERE for more corporate gift ideas.

Additional Resources:
The 8 Essentials of Corporate Gift Buying
Present Perfect: The Art of Corporate Gift Giving
When to Give Business Gifts and Who to Give Them to


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