Corporate gifts for clients: are they the secret ingredient for your business success? Gifting practices aren’t just another item on the to-do list. They’re a social contract that binds you and the recipient in a relationship. Giving gifts to your clients builds social connection, but you must be intentional about how you give.

The Role of Corporate Gifts for Clients in Business Success 

For thousands of years, gifts have been an intentional way of building community. For instance, the North American potlatch event tradition bonded communities together in a complex system of giving and receiving. These events were not only about giving gifts, they were about creating social bonds that encouraged reciprocity.

The same goes for appreciation and gift giving in your business. You want your clients and colleagues to feel appreciated, valued, and understood. You also want them to connect with you, value your product/service, and be ready to reciprocate through an ongoing business connection and via referrals. By building your business gifting, you build your business community.

Build Your Corporate Gift Giving ROI

When you give a meaningful gift to someone else, your personal connection becomes stronger. Gifting is an opportunity to increase employee and client feelings of loyalty and connection: the Business Gifting Survey showed that 81 percent of gift recipients said they felt appreciated by the giver, while 39 percent said they felt more connected, and 36 percent felt more loyal to the giver. Yet many businesses forget about this relationship building aspect of gifting and give an impersonal gift when they could do so much more.

How do you achieve this feeling of connection and loyalty? It’s not only about what you spend. According to SMBCEO, “Getting the best ROI on a corporate gift is more about being impressive than being lavish.”

How can your gift be impressive?

  • Gifts that are high-end, no matter how small. Any gift that you give should feel luxurious, not cheap. It’s better to give a small, high-end gift than a larger, inexpensive poorly-made gift. Whatever you choose should feel like it’s put together in a way that makes unboxing itself part of the experience. Incorporate elements of handcrafted or high-end luxury that your business clients and colleagues might not normally enjoy.
  • Gifts that share your personality and values. Give a little piece of yourself and build stronger connections. Recipients appreciate gifts that say something about you.

Customized Gifts Are More Meaningful 

Gifts aren’t only about give and take. They’re about giving part of yourself to another person and making that person feel deeply appreciated. When you’re considering what kind of corporate gifts to give, remember business gifts should not be one size fits all. According to the Business Gifting Survey, 83 percent of your business colleagues would prefer a unique and personal gift over cash or a gift card. It’s not just about the gift: personal, custom gifts can improve your business relationship.

However, the conundrum is that while you want to create custom gifts for each individual, you have many clients and employees, and it often takes too much time to completely customize each gift during major gifting opportunities such as the end of the year.

What can you do to create a sense of customization and meaning behind each gift?

Curate a selection of potential gifts that allows you to take the recipient’s preferences into account. For example, a whiskey aficionado will truly appreciate a Scotch kit complete with handblown whiskey glasses. However, that same gift may not make the same impression with someone who does not drink. A special plant in a creative container paired with a natural candle may be a better option for that individual.

And then, make your connection personal by adding a note for each recipient. The note should not only say what you value about that person, it should also tell the story of why you chose this particular gift. That story sticks with your recipient and continues to build a social connection.

At Knack, we’re here to make corporate gift-giving simpler. If you’re lost when it comes to your corporate gifts, we’re here to be your gift curators. Take your first step toward personal, quality customized gifts:  learn more about Knack today.