The impact of corporate gifting in business

By Natasha Heiberg

Adapted from http://www.blog.markex.co.zw

There is no doubt that gift giving is another way to strengthen bonds with family and friends, but it can also help establish and enhance critical business relationships- both external and internal – making it a cost-effective means of recognising activities that benefit the business.

“From major clients and potential customers to employees, the basic reason for corporate gifting is to affirm relationships and enhance the personal connection between the giver and recipient, even in a professional environment,” explains Joshua Low, event director for the Markex show at Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery.

Research conducted by the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) revealed that businesses in the habit of giving away gifts were twice as likely to increase their chances of being contacted by the recipients as compared to those that did not have a gift programme.

Events like exhibitions are certainly beneficial to businesses that want to keep up with the latest trends in promotional gifting and give their brands good exposure. Especially, considering that 80 percent of consumers own between one and ten promotional products and that 60 percent of these people, will keep a promotional product for up to two years – this according to the Markex blogsite.

A survey undertaken by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) last year stated that the corporate gifting trend amongst US companies was towards fewer gifts but of a higher value, something that is expected to continue in 2016, as well as the following:

  • Unique creations and ideas – creating something distinctive will make brands more memorable and top of mind for gift receivers;
  • Quality – it is easy to compromise quality in these tough economic times, but gift recipients do care about the quality as these items will last longer and be associated to the brand and allows for more brand exposure;
  • Relevance – gifts should be representative of something the brand is known for like the slogan, the products and services, or messaging;
  • Increased presence of the logo – probably the most timeless of them all. Logos are very important, as they are the ultimate reminder of the brand to the gift holder.

According to Engagement Strategies Media (ESM), there are thousands of corporate gift possibilities and the following will remain on the “most wanted” list for 2016:

  • Food items are very popular as corporate gifts as they tie in well to holidays and can be taken home and enjoyed with friends and family;
  • Liquor and wine are old favourites depending on the client’s preferred wine or whiskey collection;
  • Office-related items, such as pen sets and notebooks, are safe bets that reflect practicality and good taste;
  • Tickets to sporting events and live entertainment often make great gifts. Scarce seats for popular shows and events provide a thrill and can make you a hero in the eyes of a client; and
  • Gift cards have much appeal if you want to take much of the guesswork out of giving.
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