Let’s take a moment to talk about corporate gifting.
Most companies are familiar with the concept of “corporate swag”. Whether it’s the gift bags they distribute at industry conferences, the branded stationary they share with employees, or the “bonuses” used to preserve customer loyalty.
Used correctly, a corporate gift is an excellent way to build powerful business relationships. According to one study, 80% of respondents said using corporate gifting improved their relationships with employees and clients. 48% reported that their gifts made recipients feel more valued, while 43% said they improved customer loyalty, and 41% said they led to better employee retention.
Unfortunately, corporate gifting isn’t always an easy strategy to get right. A boring branded pen won’t fill your customer with love for your business. The best gifts are personal, customized, and brimming with unforgettable brand appeal.
Here are our top tips for customizing your corporate gifts.
How to Customize Your Corporate Gifts
Corporate gifting has come a long way from the days of pens, notebooks, and mugs. These days, there are all kinds of ways to connect with your employees and customers through incredible gifts. Personalizing or customizing your gifts to suit the needs of your target audience is one of the best ways to make sure you have a lasting impression, for all the right reasons.
The challenge is figuring out how to make your gifts really stand out.
Here are some of the best strategies.
Focus on Products with Real Value
We’ve all collected numerous branded pens and mugs from different companies over the years, but few of these products actually inspire any real sense of loyalty towards the brand. The aim with corporate gifting should always be to make an emotional impact on your audience. That means thinking about what your recipient could really benefit from.
According to one study, when a business gives a recipient a gift that has real value (rather than a generic item), and the gift includes the branding of the business, 9 out of 10 consumers are more likely to recognize and recall the company.
Start by defining the people you’re going to be giving your gift to. If you’re sending a client gift to a customer, what do they value most about your business and brand? If you’re sending gifts to an employee, how can you make them feel proud of working with you? Empathy is a big deal for employees today, so it might be worth sending a gift which promotes wellness or good mental health for your staff members, to show how much you value them.
Add Your Branding (The Right Way)
One of the most obvious (and important) ways to customize your corporate gifts is by including your branding. You need to brand the gifts you’re sending to customers and employees, so they remember to associate the happiness they feel from the product, with your business.
Adding your logo is a great way to do this, but be careful not to go over the top. Plastering your logo all over a shirt or blanket is a good way to ensure your customers might want to avoid using it. Instead, keep it classy with a small logo, and maybe a reference to your company’s slogan.
You can also get creative with other ways to showcase your brand. For instance, maybe you can adapt the colors of the product you’re sending to your brand palette with Pantone color matching. You can think about customizing the packaging with your brand too. Custom presentation boxes are a great way to remind your recipients who their gift came from.
Include Bonus “Extras” Alongside a Main Gift
Not every company will have the budget to send whole gift baskets brimming with branded products to their employees or customers. However, you might be able to include a little something extra, just to show you’re willing to go above and beyond for your community.
For instance, if you’re sending your customer a branded t-shirt or sweatshirt, include a lanyard for the next time they visit one of your events. If you’re sending a care package, include little extras, like snacks, or lotions for the perfect evening of self-care.
One of the simplest, and most affordable ways to enhance the emotional appeal of your corporate gift, is to add a custom “thank you” note to each gift. A hand-written or personalized message from the owner of the company can go a long way to developing a strong human relationship with your audience. Even the smallest “extra” item can make a huge difference to memorability.
Showcase your Brand Values
Want to customize your corporate gifts and remind your audience of what makes your company special all at the same time? Use your gifting strategy to reflect your brand values. Think about how you can highlight what makes your business special with the gift you choose.
For instance, a real estate agent sending a gift to a client who recently gave them a large commission could create a house-warming package which includes a customized wooden spoon for baking, a set of oven gloves, some fresh soup or snacks, and a fluffy blanket.
If you want to remind a client of the compassionate side of your business, you could focus heavily on products associated with self-care and relaxation, like scented candles and cushions.
If you’re trying to showcase your luxurious side, you could opt for spa-style products and moisturizers. Ask yourself what you want your customers to associate with your brand, and use those concepts to plan your gifting strategy.
Use Quality or Functionality as a Differentiator
These days, there are countless ways to send corporate gifts to both employees, and clients. That means it can be really difficult to “reinvent” the wheel with your customized presents. However, you don’t necessarily need to choose something brand new to make an impact.
Instead, you can differentiate yourself by choosing a commonplace, practical, and functional item, with a high level of quality. For instance, don’t just send your customer a branded pen, send your artistic client a branded art set, or your literature-focused customer an embossed quill.
Look for ways you can take a more common gift and turn it into something special by implementing your brand’s unique personality. For instance, if you’re going to send your customers a care package, fill it with foods from your local area, or focus on organic and fresh ingredients only. Quality can go a long way towards making your gifts stand out.
Why you should associate the company name with a gift
Corporate gifting is a popular strategy in today’s marketplace. In fact, the market for corporate gifts is set to reach a value of $312 billion by 2025! Why? Because gifts pay dividends. Both customers and employees alike are increasingly searching for companies who show empathy, care, and respect to the people they work with.
A corporate gifting strategy allows you to develop a deeper emotional connection with your audience, while simultaneously improving top-of-mind brand recollection. If you customize and brand your gifts correctly, you’ll remind your client of you every time they grab a blanket, enjoy a delicious bowl of soup, or make their favorite meal.
Receiving a physical gift triggers a psychological response called the “Endowment effect”, which means your customers begin to associate your brand with a product, and how it made them feel. If you delight your customer with an eye-catching and personalized gift, they’ll associate your business with that positive feeling, and be more likely to invest in you going forward.
How gift-giving invests in a professional relationship.
The studies into corporate gifting speak for themselves. 57% of consumers say receiving something from a brand makes them feel more valued. Corporate gifting also triggers reciprocity, meaning consumers are more likely to want to do something positive for your business in return, by investing in your products and services.
In fact, corporate gifting can support all kinds of professional relationships with:
- Prospects: Corporate gifting is an excellent way to demonstrate your unique values and personality to customers who have yet to purchase something from your business. They remind would-be clients to consider you whenever they want to make a purchase, and boost your chances of sales.
- Clients: Appreciation gifts given to valuable clients can significantly improve your chances of client satisfaction and retention. If your customer sees you value their patronage, they’re more likely to stick with you for longer. Giving your clients gifts can even make them more likely to advocate for your brand.
- Employees: Showing your appreciation to your employees with a corporate gift makes them feel like a more valuable member of the team. This can improve your chances of talent retention, and ensure you have what it takes to attract new candidates in the future.
Customize your Corporate Gifting Strategy
Corporate gifting can be a difficult thing to get right for beginners. However, if you customize your strategy correctly, make your brand stand out, and focus on delivering value to your recipients, the pay-off can be phenomenal.
Spoonful helps you make the most of customization; download our brochure!