Add Corporate Gifting to Your Annual Business Plan: Here’s Why and How

As your company begins to develop strategies for the year ahead, you should consider corporate gifting as an integral part of that strategy; not only is it an effectual, accessible addition, but it’s also a worthwhile one that your company deserves.

Add Corporate Gifting to Your Annual Business Plan: Here's Why and How

A Guide to Understanding the Essence of Corporate Gifting

Most companies understand the basics of corporate gifting — it’s in the name, after all. However, there is nuance to corporate gifting that separates strategic and effective corporate gifting from the typical gift-giving exercise because it’s something you’re obligated to do.

The “Thought” Counts

Corporate gifting closely resembles personal gifts in that it is the thought that counts. A corporate present should show the recipient that your business put thought and care into the purchase. 

It reveals how well you know your employees or clients and symbolizes care, respect, and appreciation. 

Will a long-term client or employee with a dairy allergy appreciate a chocolate hamper? It can be overlooked the first time you give such a gift; perhaps you didn’t know. Unfortunately, the second time, it diminishes the relationship and does more harm than good, as it blatantly disregards the recipient.

To avoid making such a mistake, you can ask a client or employee about their preferences, as a corporate gift does not need to be a surprise. 

It’s Uniqueness

Although corporate gifts are often purchased en masse, they can still feel unique to the recipient. Therefore, alternating or changing the gifts is essential to ensure you’re not repeating presents. 

Seasonal gifts are essential to avoid the feeling that your corporate gifts are a common, systematic practice as they break the monotony to introduce new gifts in corporate hampers that better reflect your brand. 

How to Incorporate Corporate Gifting in a Strategic Annual Plan

So many businesses don’t see the fruit of an effectual corporate gifting strategy because they do it haphazardly. That doesn’t have to be the case for your business if you learn how to incorporate corporate gifts in an annual plan.

When adding corporate gifting to your strategy, you should segment your gift-giving; the most vital step is purpose. You can only leverage gift-giving if there’s a reason you’re doing it. To give your corporate gift strategy efficacy, follow the four steps below.

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Step 1: Develop Your Company’s Annual Strategy

The first step to incorporating corporate gifting in this year’s strategy is setting up your company’s annual strategy.

With a list of goals — like hiring more employees, increasing sales or revenue, reducing customer churn, develop and implementing an employee incentive program — you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Divide Those Goals into Quarterly and Monthly Milestones

With a list of your overarching 2023 goals, you should filter those goals into quarterly and monthly milestones, as this will help you stay on track to reach your goals and make planning corporate gifting easier.

Step 3: Consider Corporate Gifting’s Role in Achieving Goals

Give your corporate gifts purpose. Consider the function of the gift and what the objective of giving it will be.

Ascertain the type of gift that will:

  1. Help increase sales or revenue
    1. Free gift with (X) amount purchase 
    2. Discount Voucher for future purchases
    3. (For service-orientated business) free service or reduce cost with early payment/commitment
  2. Assist in acquiring productive employees
    1. Onboarding Hamper (sweets, treats, branded mugs/cups/lanyards)
    2. Appreciation Gifts 

(reward for hard work, productivity, sales, teamwork, attendance, etc.)

  1. Reduce Customer Churn
    1. Gift boxes for holidays, birthdays, and milestones.
    2. Gifts to apologize for negative encounters
    3. Customer satisfaction gifts
  2. Incentivise Employees
    1. Weekly or monthly hampers as awards (subscription gift boxes)
    2. Birthday gifts
    3. Annual awards

Step 4: Create a Calendar for Corporate Gifts

When you give gifts is as important as what you give. 

If, for example, the objective of a gift is to increase end-of-year sales or contract renewals. You should schedule those gifts for the middle of the final quarter and not wait until the end of the fourth quarter to start handing out gifts. 

Plan to give a gift when companies and clients are making decisions, typically at the beginning or middle of the fourth quarter.

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Your calendar should be strategic, aiming to contribute to the quarterly and annual goals, as gifts rarely have an instant ROI.

Monthly Gifting

To ensure you’re not overspending or underspending on gifting, your monthly calendar is the most accurate overview of your corporate gifting strategy.

Birthdays

Gifting large clients — the owner or contact point — on their birthday is an easy way to ingratiate your business in the hearts of minds of clients.

The same goes for employees.

Awards/Rewards

Rewarding clients for loyalty or employees for good work should be done monthly. However, not every client needs to be rewarded every month. Instead, your business can gift after or before a significant purchase or during decision-making seasons.

With employees, gifting monthly — like during an office meeting or brainstorming session — helps to attract loyalty and incentivises other employees to co-op those traits to also become an award-winning employee. 

Quarterly Gifting

For quarterly gifting, your business’s primary focus should be advertising campaigns and milestones.

Advertising Campaigns

When setting out your quarterly advertising campaigns, especially ones to draw in new customers, set corporate gift-giving as a way to reward loyalty. Most existing customers may feel frustrated at promotions aimed at getting new customers. So during such campaigns, support efforts by gifting your regulars.

Milestone Gifts

Gifting clients or employees who have been with your company on the anniversary of their first purchase or employment date is another way to display your appreciation and help achieve goals like reducing churn. 

Annual Gifting

Every year there are the same gifting seasons that pop up. These gifts are unlikely to change each year.

Bank Holidays

Gifting your clients and employees during Christmas is the least your company could do because, during these gift-giving holidays, most of your competitors will be ramping up their generosity toward clients and employees; if your company isn’t doing similar, you run the risk of falling behind. 

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Major Holidays

St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and other religious holidays may not be bank holidays but the festivities around those days makes gift-receiving expected and appreciated.

Incentive Gifts

Even if your company doesn’t host an annual prizegiving or award ceremony, you can gift as incentives at the end of each year in the form of less cost-intensive gifts. Think of these as stocking fillers; they’re still appreciated and can be just as useful and appreciated as an end-of-year bonus or raise. 

How to Give Corporate Gifts

Before you think giving corporate gifts is easy, it can become challenging very quickly, especially considering the nuance of gift-giving.

Once again, in the same vein that personal gifts convey the unspoken, so do corporate gifts.

Gift Employees Based on Company Structure

If managing a corporation with 100+ employees, focus on gifting according to an employee’s role in the company. If you have the budget, you can gift each employee an elaborate gift during major holidays. However, that isn’t always feasible, so you should develop a gifting hierarchy that shows the value and worth an employee brings to the company through their gifts.

Create Some Variety

Repeating gifts makes the exchange feel clinical rather than an accurate reflection of the relationship and its value. Therefore, when adding corporate gifts to your annual strategy, you should make a concerted effort to change the type of gift. You can do this methodically by ordering different gift hampers during different seasons, varying your selection of gift boxes or hampers, or discussing your needs with your corporate gifting service provider. 

Partnering with a company to give gifts, leaving the ball in their court to create individual unrepeatable gifts with your budget.

Having a partner to navigate corporate gifting when inserting it into your annual business plan will make the process uncomplicated. You can contact the Gift Me Up team for assistance with your business’s corporate gifting strategy.