Gifting has always been a part of the corporate culture, whether it is for high-value clients or as a part of the employee recognition programs for special occasions or holidays or for brand/product launches.
In the current uncertain economy, many corporates are rethinking their strategies for corporate gifts. Many are cutting their overall budgets and either slashing the number of people being gifted or the cost of the items being gifted.
The gifts need to reflect how much you appreciate the person you are gifting to. Today’s culture of gift cards (even worse e-cards) and standard items like stationery and mugs make the entire process impersonal and cold. Yes, gift cards are a smart option if there are too many people you are gifting to, but it also tends to spell out in monetary terms exactly how much you value the person being gifted.
So let’s be smart and plan your gifting in advance.
Divide your client base into a minimum of five categories depending not just on their current business value but also on their future potential. Also sub-divide them based on the age group, gender, and tastes. This will help you decide your budget allocation more wisely.
Once you have the sub-categories divided, it is easier to look for gifts that will be personal and will fall within your budget. Most companies maintain some amount of data about their clients but speak to your front-end people who deal with these clients on a regular basis before settling on a gift category.
Do not courier or have your gifts delivered, have your front end team hand deliver it at least to your category 1 clients. Always have a personal note included in the gift; sometimes the words are more important than the gift itself
During the holidays everybody is gifting and usually, you have a pile of gift baskets, chocolates, etc. that no one pays attention to. Why not gift a little early, your client might actually remember the gift. Why make it only about holidays, send them gifts in installments as a company did with a knife set. They send the block first and then delivered different knives and tools over a period of time, keeping the excitement alive for that period.
Also look at getting something that reflects how your company is different from others, for example, if you are known for creativity then a piece from a local artist or even giving your gift in a unique box may set you apart. An advertising company gave chocolates in a box that was shaped in the form of the client’s logo.
All of these will not cost you much if you plan in advance, most companies offer 10 to 15 percent discounts for companies ordering in advance. Get your staff to help; they know your clients best and will enjoy the process of planning and purchase. Go online for choices of items and lower costs.
Remember gifting is about building relationships, the more thought that goes into it, the better the relationship.