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How to be a Gift Boss in Your Business

So maybe you’d like to think about building a gift program for your business.

Most people think about business gifting as a once-a-year proposition when the holidays roll around. But done correctly, business gifting can be a year-round marketing tool that boosts your bottom line. We suggest taking it a step at a time, and giving each of these pieces some thought before making the leap;

Step #1. Think About Your Goals. As with any piece of your marketing plan, you should first consider your gifting goals and how they relate to your overall business goals. What do you hope to accomplish with your gifting strategy? Do you want to gain more referrals and sales, improve client satisfaction, increase employee retention or build client loyalty?

Next, we recommend making a list of your brand’s values and aesthetic. Does your business get behind particular causes? Is your look clean, modern, traditional or edgy? These are all ways that your gift can communicate your brand and values.

Step #2: Decide when you'd like to do your gifting.

Again, this is all dependent on your business’s particular needs and goals. How many clients or employees do you have, and how often will you give gifts? Are there key seasons or events in your industry that would make sense to recognize? Does your industry have specific rules or etiquette you need to follow? Do you know what your competitors do, and can you rise above them? Are many of your client or employee relationships happening virtually, thereby increasing the need to stay connected?

Step #3: Think about the "Wow!"

You also have a unique opportunity for your business to delight and strengthen relationships with clients and employees through gifting. You might want to have a plan for recognizing significant life events like engagements, new homes or new babies, or condolences, as well as birthdays, anniversaries, work milestones and so forth. And don’t forget the importance of thank you gifts throughout the year.

Step #4: Think about your budget

This clearly varies widely based on your business’s situation.

You can refer to the industry standards, which generally run between $50 and $150 per person. The average for a business gift is about $75 per person for individual gifts, $150 on premium gifts, and $20 per person for office/team gifts. This can also vary based on the importance of the occasion and the recipient’s position at the company.

You can also consider whether it makes more sense for your needs to reach a larger group with small gifts, or reach out to fewer people with a larger gift. A “tiered” approach may make sense…so, for example, a “typical” client gets handwritten note, a higher-value client gets a $50 gift, and a “VIP” client gets a $100 gift.

Step #5: Work your plan!

If you’re considering hiring a gifting company or a vendor to execute your project, you’ll want to put some time into making the right choice. Do they listen, ask the right questions and understand your needs? Can they offer quality and variety in terms of gifts, branding and packaging? Are their capabilities and turnaround times reasonable? For bulk orders, plan for at least three to four weeks turnaround time, and for the holiday season, it’s best to have your plans in the works in the summer and early fall months.

Step #6: Measure Your Success

Lastly, consider what success will look like to you. Did your gifting plan work with respect to your goals? After the gifts have been received, follow up by making a list of what worked and what didn’t, AND think about why. Did the gift contain the right items and vibe to be personal? Was it timed appropriately? What type of response did you get?

When a business decides to make the leap and work with us on business gifts, then the fun part begins when we start to work the gift design, coming up with the look of the items and packaging. And this is when we have a lot of conversations with clients about strategic branding, and why it might not be the best idea to slap a logo on every surface and item! We like to remind people that they might decide to send a beautiful wooden cutting board that their client loves…but they may not love to put it out at their cocktail party if it has your mortgage company’s logo engraved on it!

  1. Think about gifting as an aspect of your marketing. Again, corporate gifting is an opportunity to increase feelings of loyalty and connection. When you consider it’s easier and less expensive to retain a client or employee than find a new one, the return on investment is great.

  2. Use branding. Selectively. While it’s tempting to slap your logo all over your gift, it’s not always the best move. We help clients brand gifts in a way that’s subtle but effective.

  3. Presentation matters. Think about the experience your client will have when they open the gift, and use it to make a splash.

  4. Make it useful or consumable. Many people don’t need another pen or golf shirt with another company logo. Let Shelburne Gift Company help you come up with a curated gift box of items they’ll appreciate!

  5. Share some local flavor. Here in Vermont, we’re lucky this is SO easy to do.

If you know a business person who can use some assistance in creating gifts of value for their clients and associates, we’d love to help! Click here to inquire and schedule a free consultation today!


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