Our last blog post gave you insight on the positive influence gift giving can have on building business relationships. But as we mentioned, not all gifts are received the same. Surely you’ve received a few gifts that left you less than enthusiastic. While there is a wrong way to give, research shows that we actually tend to underestimate the positive impact of giving thoughtful gifts on establishing connections and strengthening relationships.
The 2019-2020 Business Gift Survey surveyed over 1,000 business gift recipients across the U.S. to reveal their true feelings on the corporate gifts they’ve received. The report found variations in responses by region and between generations. Here are some of the key takeaways from the report.
What you give does matter. Over 70% of business gift recipients experienced negative feelings related to receiving a gift, with the most common sentiment being that the “giver didn’t put much thought into the gift.” More than half of business gift recipients don’t remember a personalized note given with the gift, and this has a negative impact on their fondness for the gift itself.
Of the C-Suite executives surveyed, 94% of respondents believe that personal relationships are important to business success. 89% believe that business gifts bring people together and 83% believe business gifts generate measurable positive ROI, in addition to intangible benefits such as demonstrating company ethos and values.
Memorability is what drives the connectedness and loyalty that create ROI, so you want to choose a gift that stands out. 77% of respondents said business gifts made them feel appreciated. 67% think that the gift reflects that the giver values the relationship. While 40% reported feeling more connected to the giver after receipt, that number jumped to 50% when the gift was considered “memorable.” Some of the most important elements that make gifts “memorable” are that the gift feels specifically chosen for the recipient, it includes a personal message and/or the recipient’s name on it, and if the gift gives back to a social cause.
One trend that continues to grow is using business gifts as an opportunity to reinforce company ethos and values. Some of the most desirable business gifts are those that fit certain “value attributes,” with the most popular attributes being gifts that are made in the USA, are handmade or artisan, come from a small and local business, and gifts that give back to a social movement.
You should ALWAYS send a personal note along with your gifts. This is especially important for clients in the Midwest, but will enhance recipients’ reception in any part of the country. Also keep in mind that what you give might be shared with others outside the company: 45% of Millennials are known to display their gifts on social media.
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