In today’s increasingly competitive global economy business gift giving has become almost critical as any company’s financial stability greatly depends on customer satisfaction and how customers feel they are being treated. John Ruhlin, the author of ‘Giftology: The Art and Science of Using Gifts to Cut Through the Noise, Increase Referrals, and Strengthen Retention’, writes in his book: “Gifts are symbols of the value you place on the relationship. When you act generously, people take notice. They’ll begin to feel appreciated, and in turn, they’ll want to pay it forward. It’s a natural inclination for us to want givers to succeed because we can appreciate the generosity that was shown to us.”
Statistically, about 75% of business gifts are given at Christmas time, while 25% are given on birthdays, anniversaries, for promotions, spontaneously or at other times of the year. A simple but effective technique for improving the impact of business gifts is to give them at times other than the holiday season – it will increase the chances that your gift will not be lost in the shuffle.
Try including the element of mystery into the gift-giving process. The study from the University of Miami School of Business Administration found that when a product that triggers more emotion (called affect), such as makeup, is offered with a free gift, shoppers are more likely to buy that product if the type of gift is unknown than if the type of gift is revealed.
According to an article in the Journal of Marketing, giving away free products or related extras creates immediate word of mouth - giving away a full product, in particular, is associated with approximately a 20% boost in overall WOM. Besides loyal customers, you can also target first-time buyers when giving away freebies to generate positive first impressions.
Consider giving gifts to your brand advocates, those customers who are usually active on social media and have a large outreach as well as those who have already previously shared their positive experiences with your brand on their social networks. It might help to bring in new referrals.
When selecting the right gifts for customers, there are a few key things to remember. The gift should have a perceived value to the customer. It should preferably be useful and have some practical purpose. It should be related to your business in some way and serve as a reminder of your company. You might also need to choose different corporate client gifts for different customer segments taking into account customer demographics. Below are 15 client gift ideas that may be helpful.
1. Free products
The simplest, yet one of the most efficient ways to show customer appreciation is gifting a free product (a full version, not a sample) from your catalogue that could naturally enhance or compliment a customer’s original purchase.
2. Free service or upgrade
For SaaS businesses, it would make sense to offer customers a month of free service, surprise them with a free upgrade that adds additional features to your product, or provide personalized product customization.
3. Branded gifts
Branded products are very often chosen for business thank you gifts. Some of the items featuring your company logo may include clothing, bags, tea and coffee cups, sports accessories, stationery and office supplies as well as fun items.
4. Industry themed gifts
Industry themed gifts (such as real estate agents giving their customers house-shaped items) are a smart choice if you want customers to think of your product or service. Those could also include or logo and match with your corporate colors.
5. Gift baskets
Well-thought out baskets filled with relevant, customized products will always make great gifts for clients for various holidays, anniversaries or any other occasions. The baskets can be filled with almost anything from gourmet foods and hygiene items to office décor and specialty accessories.
6. A gift card
If you are not sure what to choose, gift cards are a classic gift option that grants your customers the freedom to get exactly what they want from a wide range of products of either your store or your partner merchants.
When targeting female customer segments, flowers and potted plants can be great client gifts for almost any occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and specific holidays such as Mother’s Day, Valentine's Day or Women’s Day.
8. A magazine subscription
Magazine subscriptions have become a popular corporate gift choice. If you know what kind of magazines your customers would find relevant and useful, gifting a subscription would definitely be appreciated.
Books are among some of the most valuable business thank you gift ideas. Depending on how well you know your customers’ preferences, a well-considered book that relates to their professional or personal interests makes a timeless, personalized gift.
10. A gift of learning
Whether it’s online courses on the topics that complement customers’ purchase or some classes that pertain to their interests - giving a gift of learning can go a long way and resonate well with certain customer groups.
11. A gift of experience
One more option of going beyond the material items is giving the gift or experience. It could either be something health-enhancing (fitness or yoga classes), relaxing (spa day or massage), entertaining (tickets to local sport events or concerts), or anything else.
12. Birthday gifts
Sending customers gifts on their birthdays can truly show your appreciation and win their loyalty. Though the birthday gift-giving can become a mandatory obligation, as the absence of the gift in the following years might make customers feel unvalued.
13. Local treats
Locally sourced goods and services (local coffee, local farm items, local art, local crafts etc.) can make great business holiday gifts that will not only delight your customers but also help to improve your brand perception.
14. A customer appreciation event
Hosting a special customer appreciation event can also work well as a corporate gift idea for some of your most loyal customers. Such events might provide additional professional value to customers by letting them network with each other.
15. A charity donation
When it comes to unique client gift ideas, making a charitable donation on behalf of your customers and letting them know what purpose that money will serve is a truly meaningful gift option to choose, if appropriate to your business.
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