It’s True, Gifting Is Good for Business

Logically, you know that gifting plays a valuable role in your business relationships. And there’s no shortage of data that demonstrates what companies intend to give or spend on business gifting annually.

But where is the data that captures how the recipients of business gifts feel about what they receive? And how does a gift impact their behavior toward the business giving the gifts?

With no such data readily available, we went after it on our own. We engaged a third-party research firm to conduct our inaugural Knack Business Gift Satisfaction Survey. We surveyed 500 people across the U.S. who work full-time and had received a gift from a business partner in the past year–and the results were illuminating.

Good news for everyone sending business and year-end gifts this season: you can maximize the ROI of your corporate gift-giving strategy by paying attention to a few key insights.

What We Learned From Our Survey

At the highest level, we learned this about business gifting:

  • How gifting can support business growth
  • What to give to make a gift more memorable
  • How much to spend on your holiday business gifts, per person
  • How these statistics vary across regions of the U.S.

To learn more and apply these findings to your corporate gifting plans, download the full 2018 Knack Business Gift Satisfaction Report here.

We also summarized a few important survey insights for you below.

Survey Key Takeaways: 10 Ways To Do Better At Business Gifting

Giving Works as a Brand Touchpoint. 

business gifting tips by Knack

We learned that 81% of recipients felt appreciated by the gift giver. Since appreciation drives connection, and connection drives loyalty, that’s a strong endorsement for using your gifting strategy as a brand touchpoint. As such, make sure you use the opportunity to select products that reinforce your brand’s values. For instance, you can select gifts from merchants that embrace a give-back mission or use sustainably sourced products that align with your brand, or your recipient’s.

Gift Memorability Influences Customer Engagement.

Recipients who reported receiving a memorable gift are 33% more likely to state that they feel more connected to the brand. That’s plenty of customers you can continue to engage through a single gift, if it’s chosen wisely. The annual holiday gift, or one that acknowledges an important milestone, is an expression of gratitude that will be even more meaningful if the gift is unique, chosen exclusively for the recipient, and includes a thoughtful message.

Food Is Popular but Add Variety for Greater Memorability.

While we’re talking about your gift’s impact, we learned that adding in one or two non-food items to the gift can increase its memorability by 30%. If you enjoy giving wine or spirits, consider including a carafe or a set of hand-blown barware. If you’re assembling a box of snacks, tuck in a set of fun napkins or small metallic bowls. Hard goods stick around and remind your recipient of your company long after the snacks are consumed.

Target $100 per Gift for Greater Satisfaction.

We learned that $100 is the national average price point for a business gift that satisfies recipients. Interestingly, if the bulk of your business clientele is based in the Northeast, expect to spend $50 more on average than gifts for clients in the West and South. Read the full report for specifics on the appropriate spend in your region, and spending guidelines for other types of gifts.

The Wrong Gift Can Ding Your Brand.

Over 57% of recipients stated that gifts “can impact their opinion of the business partner both positively and negatively.” What this means is that if you give a gift that really clicks with the recipient, your brand perception gets associated every time the gift is used. On the flip side, send a gift that’s impersonal or not relevant to your recipient and you risk hurting your own brand’s reputation.

Cash Is NOT King for Business Gifting.

business gifting tips by Knack

This was one of our biggest revelations: 83% of recipients prefer “unique and useful” items over gift cards that give cash or store credit. This tells us that people want something with zing—a gift that’s got an extra special touch, carries an emotional story that connects you to the giver, and that will be something they’ll use. This could be common office or household objects with a luxurious or innovative twist or handmade goods made with exquisite care and craftsmanship. A good rule of thumb? Think gifts that recipients wouldn’t buy for themselves.

Include the Boss in Your Gifting Plans.

The team at the top of the organization also appreciates receiving a gift, and can move the needle even further for your brand. We found that 95% of C-Suite gift recipients report being satisfied with their gifts—more than any other level of recipient (directors, managers and entry level). You don’t need to spend more on them, just be sure to include them on your gift list, even if you don’t interface with them as often as direct contacts.

Gifts with Logos Are Not as Satisfying.

People have strong opinions about branded gifts or company swag. As much as you love your logo, putting it on a product and giving it as a gift is not as satisfying for the recipient as you might think. Only 9% of recipients say that gifts with logos make them feel special. Our report suggests other, more gracious ways to include your brand in a gift experience, such as branding the outside of the box or the gift’s packaging. 

Include a Personal Note to Reinforce the Connection.

business gifting tips by Knack

We were very surprised to learn that 53% of recipients didn’t receive a personal message with their gift. That’s a missed opportunity, givers! Even a simple note that acknowledges the recipient’s role in your business’ success will help to deepen their connection to your brand.

Most People Need Help with Gifting–and That’s Okay.

If you feel overwhelmed by gifting, you’re not alone. A surprising 69% of respondents say that they would like to give more personalized gifts but it’s difficult to do so. We’re here to help. We offer a free personal concierge service to help companies like yours create a gifting plan that will accomplish your goals and meet your budget. No strings attached, so let us know how we can help.

In conclusion, unique business gifting done well can positively impact both your brand’s perception and bottom line. It’s a worthy investment of your time that has a noticeable effect on your business relationships–and, armed with our survey insights, you’ll find it easier than ever before.

Download the full 2018 Knack Business Gift Satisfaction Report here.