The Corporate Holiday Gift is a Brand Choice

Effective strategies for giving the right holiday gift to clients…

Holidays are great opportunities to reconnect with your customers and clients to reinforce your appreciation for their business and to celebrate your partnership and business commitment.  Giving a holiday gifts can help remind customers about your product or service too.

Use a gift giving opportunity to reconnect with your lead sources, but don’t be overbearing with your message.   Over branding can take away from the message of the holiday.  Respect the importance of the holidays and use promotional item with branded content tactfully, so commercialization will not come before the meaning of the celebration.

Client gift giving is a way to help customer retention.  Gifts can leave a lasting reminder of your business by their physical presences long after the holiday is gone.  When it take years to get a new customer, months to retain them, and seconds to lose them, you need to put effort into choosing the right gift.   Studies suggest that it is 7 times more costly to acquire new customers than it is to keep your existing customers happy, making gift giving worth the investment.  And gifts rarely make people sad, but a gift lacking thought will get noticed.  You don’t want it to be like getting the perfect shirt in the wrong size… because even a small disappointment is…disappointing.    Customer loyalty is critical to the success of any company, so make sure your customers know they are appreciated with a gift that makes a good impression.

Companies can use gift giving  as a way to celebrate a new purchase, a renewed contract, or an acknowledgement that a client has remained loyal in conjunction with the holidays.  ”Wishing you a happy holiday and thank you for your continued business” is an appropriate sentiment.   While it is not  inappropriate to combine holiday wishes with a thank you, I believe companies get more impact from separating  a holiday wish from a “thank you”.  Sending separate messages give you more opportunity to create what we call “touch points”, but sometimes businesses just can’t find the time to devote during the busy holiday season and combining the messages makes sense.

A gift that simply recognizes something important in your client’s own personal life is another tactic that business gift givers consider.   For example, when your client has recently taken up golf and you give the electronic office putting cup.  This kind of gift implies a deeper personal connection based on your knowledge of their out-side-of-work life.  Your gift will always send a message…and thoughtful gift giving takes time and consideration.  It is in your company’s best interest to put thought and time needed into gift giving, because gifting is an important company investment and needs serious consideration.

It’s also important to understand the gift culture of your client.  There is gifting etiquette to consider when working internationally and some corporation have policy in place for accepting gifts.  Know that there are some unwritten social rules for giving also…

  • Get a gift, give a gift: gift exchanges must be reciprocal (will receiving a gift make your client uncomfortable?)
  • Even-Steven: gift exchanges must be of equal value. (will you be competing with a client that may out-gift you?)
  • Once begun, never undone: gift exchanges, once established, must not change.
  • Come one, come all: gift exchanges must extend to every member of a relationship category (what about the Assistant that gives you access to your client?)

There are many resources and businesses that support corporate gift giving, but very few actually deal with the psychological and business strategy of giving.  Soul of Brands, believes that giving should be a part of your brand DNA, regardless if it is a gift for client or apart of your corporate community outreach and support.  We see gifting as a business objective, where thought and deed connect.  As part of our client strategy every “touch point”, including giving, is covered in our market strategy and the brand’s image is connected.

For businesses that don’t have the resources they need during the holidays to make gift giving a company priority, Soul of Brands can help.  From concept to wrapping paper, our marketing team assures client’s gifts are impactful (providing strategy), and that the purchase, packaging, and delivery is executed.

Letting your customers know they are important helps keep your brand at the top of their Holiday List when purchasing decisions are made.  Knowing your customers well and knowing what gifts will speak volumes to their loyalty is key to your organization.

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