Taking a Holistic Approach to Your Business Gifting Strategy Positively Impacts Your ROI
Congratulations! By reading this article, you’ve taken the initial step toward building a gifting strategy that positively impacts your bottom line. Say goodbye to reactive, last-minute gifts that go over budget and don’t represent your brand. Say helloooo to a streamlined gift-giving approach that will not only strengthen your business relationships, but reinforce your values and save you time and hassle to boot.
Step: #1: Set Your Gifting Goals & Take Stock of Company Values
As with any strategy, you should first assess your current situation and define your gifting goals as they support your big-picture business goals. Think about and then write down why gifting is valuable to your business and what you hope to accomplish with your gifting strategy. Do you want more referrals, increased client satisfaction, better employee retention, or improved client loyalty?
Next, we recommend making a list of your brand values both aesthetic and ethical. As humans we’re naturally programmed to remember stories. That’s why the most impactful business gifts are ones that have a memorable story attached. And the best are the ones that reflect your brand values because they come from a place of authenticity. Use this worksheet to help you take stock of your company values
Step #2: Identify Your Key Gifting Moments
Hang in there. This step is arguably the hardest one out of the 10. In addition, you might be saying to yourself, “Wait, I need to send more than one gift to my clients per year?” Don’t worry. First, it only gets easier from here. And second, it’s entirely possible that you may need to send only one gift per year. It all depends on your specific needs and goals. The idea here is to look at your gifting strategy holistically as it relates to your yearly business plan. OK, let’s dive in. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How many clients or employees and/or clients do you have, and how often do you need to give gifts to them in order to meet your goals?
- In your industry, what are key events and/or seasons that would require gifting, e.g., tax season, company milestone celebrations, partnership anniversary, real estate peak season, thank you, and, of course, holiday?
- What is your industry benchmark for gifting? How do your competitors gift? What would it look like if you rose above that standard?
Step #3: Prepare for the Unexpected, as well as Surprise & Delight
Life happens. So make sure you factor unexpected life events into your gifting moment calculations. You never know when your client, partner, or employee is going to get engaged, have a baby, or need condolences. In addition, take note of birthdays and other personal details. Regardless of what life throws their way, you’ll be prepared to send a gift
that’s personal, meaningful and ultimately strengthens your relationship.
Step #4: Don’t Forget About Thank You Gifts
We could have wrapped this step into the last one, but we wanted to emphasize the importance of the thank you gift. These tried-and-true relationship-building gifts are the workhorse of any business gifting strategy. Plan to send them early and often throughout the year.
Step #5: Determine Your Budget
Now that you’ve identified your gifting moments, it’s time to figure out your budget. You should plan to spend around $75 per person for individual gifts, $150 on premium individual gifts, and $20 per person for office/team gifts. This is not only an industry rule of thumb, but our proprietary research of business gift recipients also demonstrates that recipients consider these the sweet spots for business gifting. For additional information about what to spend on business gifts, check out our Business Gift Calculator
Step #6: Make Your Budget Work for You
In a perfect world we’d all have an infinite gift budget. But the reality is, most of us don’t. What we recommend here is taking a tiered approach that’s driven by what’s most important to your specific business: (a) to reach a larger group of people with smaller token gifts, or (b) reach a smaller group of people with a larger, more premium gift. Your tiered approach might look something like this: standard clients get handwritten cards, premium clients get a $50 gift, and VIP clients get $100 gifts.
Step #7: Select the Right Gift Vendor
You want to choose a gift vendor
that can easily reflect your company’s values in terms of gift selection and branding options. Use the following criteria to help you make your decision. Need a worksheet to track your data? Download our Vendor Evaluation form here
- Do they ask the right questions, listen closely, and fully understand your needs?
- In terms of gift selection, pricing, packaging, and customization options, is the vendor able to represent your brand values the way you want?
- Do they offer an account manager or gift concierge expert to help analyze and guide your gifting decisions?
- Do they provide good service? Are they flexible and do they have technical capabilities that match your needs?
- Do you need next-level, online gifting functionality that’s beyond sending a few gifts a few times per year? Read this recent Company Store case story to learn about the possibilities. Or contact us directly for more information.
Step #8: Timing Is Everything
Excluding holiday (see the next step), plan for at least three weeks for any bulk gift orders you might have. For one-off gifts, such as an unexpected client life event, a quality vendor will be able to ship your gift out the same day.
Step #9: Holiday Planning
Real talk, people! Although it may seem like it’s still the beginning of the year, in the business world, the holiday season is just around the corner. Start thinking about and planning your holiday gift strategy now and shoot to have it all wrapped up (pun intended) no later than July 31st. Yes, we’re talking to you, procrastinators! Download our Holiday business gifting toolkit here
Step #10: Measure Your Success
The final step is to think about how you will measure the success of your gifting program. If your goal was to generate more referrals or have better employee retention, did your gifting strategy work? And not just in numbers but in stronger relationships? Make a list of what worked and what didn’t and consider why. Were the items included personal? Did you get the timing right? Use this valuable information to help guide your strategy. We recommend doing this assessment quarterly so you can make adjustments in real time.
Looking for more guidance on how to build a holistic gifting strategy that positively impacts your bottom line? Get in touch with our Customer Success Manager, Liz Furmanski
or call 206-557-4525.