Add a gift program to strategic planning
It’s no secret that developing and implementing a corporate gifting strategy is crucial for any business’s long-term success. Without a proper strategy in place, companies may find themselves haphazardly handing out branded merchandise, cash, or gift cards without maximizing their budget—all things you should try to avoid when it comes to giving gifts. When delivered with the right amount of choice, a corporate gifting strategy is a great way to thank customers for their business, employees for their service, and deepen client relationships.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are three factors to consider when it comes to planning a corporate gifting strategy: timing, choice, and budget.
The most popular time for companies to gift is during the holiday season, at the end of the year. Even though we encourage clients to include a holiday gift program in their strategy, it shouldn’t be the only time of the year recipients feel rewarded. Gifting only once per year can be a pitfall to your program, becoming expected and rarely excitable.
If you want to inspire recipients, try gifting them at various times throughout the year. An easy way to determine the timing is to think of the recipient and the reason for giving them a gift, such as a work anniversary, birthday, or professional achievement.
The next important element of your gifting strategy is the gifts themselves. With over a decade of experience, we know there isn’t one gift everyone’s guaranteed to love. Cash, gift cards, tchotchke, and branded merchandise are often thought to be time-saving and budget-friendly gifts, but they feel cold and thoughtless to a recipient. Thus, they’re easily forgotten about or go directly into household spending.
Don’t rely on practical gifts to improve company morale, keep motivations high, teams incentivized, or great work recognized. Instead, let them choose. Our variety of aspirational brands and products invite your recipients to select a gift they want and will enjoy long after the gift experience ends.
Lastly, when it comes to procuring and establishing a gifting strategy, some companies look for items they can purchase in large quantities (i.e., bulk orders of koozies, pens, and coffee mugs). As the Gift Experience Experts, we don’t recommend this one-for-all approach. Instead, try connecting with your accounting or finance department to determine how much you should and can spend. This way, when it comes to delivering on your intent, you’ll know the appropriate spend amount that works best for the company, strategy, or program.
Setting a budget based on multiple facets of your program and professional relationships can also be a good place to start. Such as:
- Years of continued support (clients, vendors) or service (employees).
- The nature of the program (i.e., incentives, milestones, retention). Take into consideration the outcome and desired results you want to achieve, then create your budget based on a percentage of your results.
- Consider the value of the relationship. Is it a relationship that you invest a lot of time and energy into, or a fleeting partnership that’s one-and-done? Determine your budget based on a percentage of those qualities.
- You can also set a budget based on what you can reasonably afford. Relationships are valuable—don’t overspend and also don’t underspend.
If implementing a corporate gifting strategy feels like an overwhelming task—let Cultivate help. We’ll provide you with real-world, proven solutions that improve the way you gift, maximize your budget, and increase your program’s impact, benefiting more than your bottom line.
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