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While sending gifts to employees, customers and prospects at the holidays seems a natural business practice, there are strong evidence to support that sending gifts outside of the holiday season can be even more effective, engaging, and personalized.
That’s because there are challenges to sending gifts during the holiday rush, according to the experts at the Forbes Magazine Business Council.
It’s estimated that about 60% of annual corporate gifts are sent during the holidays when every other company takes up a share of the office counter, there’s not much room for other gifts to stand out.
According to a recent McKinsey article “The multiplier effect: How B2B winners grow,” successful B2B companies are focusing on hyper personalization. Personalized marketing and sales interactions have become a differentiator for successful B2B organizations: 77% of companies that use a direct one-to-one personalization see an increase in market share. Instead, sending gifts could feel less personalized and more generic if sent during the holiday rush.
In addition to hyper personalization, B2B marketers often find success with customer nurturing techniques that elicit “surprise and delight.” By the very nature of the season, holiday gifts are generally expected, but getting a gift unexpectedly can deliver a meaningful experience that will benefit customer relationships.
Sending traditional holiday gifts can dampen the key objectives of corporate gift-giving: breaking through messaging clutter, displaying personalization and eliciting surprise and delight.
Thinking beyond the holidays? Our experts here at All Star Incentive Marketing offer these suggestions:
1. Celebrate their milestones, not everyone else’s.
Through effective data collection, B2B businesses now track client anniversaries, product launches, promotions, seasonality and press. When you send a gift that recognizes customer achievements, you can deepen and nurture the relationship.
Sending a gift that celebrates a client during their time of success will stand out from more cluttered times. Corporate gifts can honor anything: birthdays, personal and professional milestones, or just because. Aligning your gifting strategy with important dates for the client provides unique opportunities to get in touch, surprise and delight and strengthen your business relationship.
2. Lean into the New Year.
For the reasons mentioned above, sending gifts during the busy holiday season can be a challenge. But this provides B2B businesses with the opportunity to surprise and delight with something different yet still festive.
You can avoid the mid-December check-out with a New Year’s gift. Themes of kicking off the new year with success resonate as employees return to work in early January. Employees are well-rested and geared up to face the new year with increased energy and commitment. A corporate gift basket that supports a positive start to the year sends the message that you have your client (or team’s) back after most year-end gifts have been forgotten.
3. Leverage the other special days on the calendar.
Every month gives an opportunity for businesses to honor, celebrate or reward. On April 18, you can send a gift for Customer Appreciation Day. In March, acknowledge female leaders with a Women’s History Month curation, or “show the love” to clients with a cheeky Valentine’s gift in February.
You can also leverage dates that are meaningful to your own company to celebrate with your closest clients. You can show gratitude for customer loyalty during an anniversary celebration or keep your closest stakeholders in the know with the latest news, like a rebrand announcement.
There are multiple months to share your company’s values and celebrate both clients and employees, like Black History Month (February), Asian American Pacific Islanders Heritage Month (May), LGBTQ Pride Month (June), National Hispanic Heritage Month (mid-September to mid-October) and National Native American Heritage Month (November).
By choosing from a whole year’s worth of occasions, you can set yourself apart from other companies, make deeper connections by leaning into unique holidays and, most importantly, your message will break through.
By choosing alternatives to the “present rush,” with client-specific occasions, or myriad alternative holidays, your company’s gifts can be much more effective and make a positive, definitive statement.
At All Star Incentive Marketing, our corporate gifting experts work tirelessly throughout the year crafting thoughtful, effective strategies aimed at building employee, customer, and business partner relationships. Contact us to learn more.