What to spend on holiday business gifts by region

The Best Business Gifts by Region: What to send to delight your recipients all around the country

As part of our quest to better understand what business gift recipients really want, we wondered if preferences and price points would vary by regions of the country. We looked at the data from our 2017 Knack Business Gift Satisfaction survey and found fascinating insights about the best business gifts by region.

If you’ve got gifts to send to clients across the country, the data indicates that “one size fits all” is not an effective approach. For the most meaningful and memorable gifts, consider tailoring your gifting spend and strategy to regional tastes and desires.

Since our full survey report taught us that gift satisfaction is tied to the uniqueness of a gift, and that gifting can impact client loyalty, knowing what to give by region can be especially helpful in both delighting your recipients AND improving the ROI of your gifts.

How Much to Spend on Business Gifts by Region

One of the key insights related to the average cost per gifts per region was that recipients in the Northeast expect you spend more on them — $25-$50 higher than recipients in other regions. So plan accordingly if you’re shopping for corporate partners and clients in the Eastern Seaboard.

Here’s what gift recipients expect their business partners to spend on holiday gifts:

What to spend on holiday business gifts by region

What to spend on holiday business gifts by region

If you’re looking to celebrate business events like a work anniversary, an acquisition or hitting a big revenue goal, you’ll need to spend another $25-50 per gift across the board to commemorate the occasion:

What to spend on gifts for business milestones by region

What to spend on gifts for business milestones by region

See more averages for gifts related to work anniversaries and promotions by downloading the full report.

Key Business Gift Giving Takeaways by Region

Business Gifting in the Northeast: Bring Your A-Game

Average gift price: $125

  • If your business partners are in the Northeast, prepare to be fully caffeinated and limbered up
    because expectations are high and the competition is creative.
  • Northeast gift recipients are 2-3 times more likely to report that other business partners are already giving “truly unique” gifts with “interesting stories I’ll remember.”
  • Food is an acceptable – but ho-hum – gift to Northeasterners, while gifts of wine will insult no one.
  • This is a region where creativity and even humor are most appreciated. So put on your thinking caps here, and if your gift has a give-back component, even better, since 60% of Northeasterners categorize such gifts as “most preferred.”
  • Despite the investment, your hard work will pay the most dividends in the Northeast. Northeasterners are tied with Southerners in reporting a change in behavior due to a business gift, and they’re also the most likely in the country to report being “satisfied” with a business gift.

Consider these gift sets for clients in the Northeast:
Lagniappe Syrah & Appetizers

red wine appetizers gift

Lagniappe Syrah & Appetizers Gift Set

A Legacy of Spies Book Lover’s Gift Set

A Legacy of Spies book gift

A Legacy of Spies Book Lover’s Gift Set

Women Around the World

women empowerment gift

Women Around The World Gift Set

Business Gifting in the South: Mind Your Manners

Average gift price: $75

The good news is that recipients in the South don’t expect their business partners to spend as much money as recipients in other regions. However, recipients in the South have a higher expectation that the gifts they receive will have been chosen “just for them.”

  • Gifts of food are most common here, so make your food gift stand out by including a durable item like linens, barware or serving utensils so they’ll remember you long after the edibles are gone.
  • It really is the thought that matters in the South – selecting thoughtful items and adding a personal message is your winning strategy here. And your thoughtfulness will pay off, with 43% of recipients in the South reporting that they feel “more loyal to” and “more likely to do business in the future” with business partners after receiving a gift.
  • Southern recipients are the most likely to be insulted by gift items from business partners that contain company branding, so keep your logo on the box, not the products inside.
  • Stay away from humor in the South – it’s a double-edged sword. Done well, your gift will be highly memorable, but because only 4% of business gifting in this region utilizes humor, the risk is high if the humor falls flat.

Consider these gift sets for clients in the South:

Sunday Morning Pancakes

pancake mix gift for anyone

Sunday Morning Pancakes Gift Set

Weekend Warrior

outdoor backpack gift

Weekend Warrior Gift Set

Stylish Desk Staples

Desk accessories gift for her

Stylish Desk Staples

Business Gifting in the Midwest: Tough Cookies, Clear Opportunities

Average gift price: $100

  • Midwesterners are the hardest to satisfy with business gifts, but the opportunity here is that the competition has dropped the ball in this region.
  • A full 65% of recipients in the Midwest don’t remember their recent gifts from business partners, even from those who included a personal message. They also reported the highest number of gifts without a message, so don’t forget the note with this crowd.
  • They most prefer gifts that give back, with 68% of Midwest recipients categorizing such gifts as “preferred” or “most preferred.” But interestingly, 0% of Midwest recipients (yes, 0%) report receiving gifts that “gave back to the world in some way.” Hello, opportunity to shine!
  • If you can’t give items that give back in some way, food gifts are a safer choice than wine gifts in this region, since Midwesterners are the most likely to rate wine gifts as “least preferred.”

Consider these gift sets for clients in the Midwest:

Blue Skies Ahead

recycled cocktail gift set

Blue Skies Ahead

Be Fierce Book Lover’s Gift Set

Be Fierce Book Lover's Gift Set

Be Fierce Book Lover’s Gift Set

Eco Chic Entertaining

eco friendly cocktail gift set

Eco-Chic Entertaining Gift Set

Business Gifting in the West: Feed Their Minds, Not Their Bodies

Average gift price: $75

While Westerners appreciate gifts from their business partners, they are least likely to report a change in behavior due to a gift from a partner. So worm your way into their consciousness by giving gifts they’ll use in all their endeavors, leaving a lasting impression of your brand in unexpected moments.

  • Don’t monogram – Westerners are the most likely to categorize gifts with their name or initials on them as “least preferred.”
  • Food gifts are less desirable to recipients in the West than in other regions, with nearly half rating food gifts as “neutral” to “least preferred.” In fact, “consumables” overall (food & wine) are least impressive to Westerners.
  • Westerners are least likely to report that they’ve recently received a business gift they would call “unique” so here’s the opportunity in the West: seek out interesting and useful items.

Consider these gift Knacks for clients in the West:

Coffee & Cream

coffee and two mugs gift

Coffee & Cream Gift Set

Just Hangin’ Around

multicolored hammock and blue metal water bottle

Just Hangin’ Around Gift Set

Take a Personal Day

wellness gift

Take A Personal Day Gift Set

So what are our tips for sending the best corporate gifts, after all that information? Lighten up, get personal, and spend accordingly to satisfy your business clients. They are the people that make your business tick, after all.

Don’t forget to talk with one of Knack’s free, personal gift concierges to help with your 2017 holiday shopping. We make it easy for your brand to leave a good impression with every gift you send–no matter where you need to send it.