The Changing Psychology of Gifting | Is Your Brand on Trend?

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on December 29, 2020

Have you thought about gift giving this year? A lot of companies do because the dynamic is changing. Old traditions are falling by the wayside, as new trends take their place. So what does that mean in terms of companies and whether they should give seasonal gifts to their employees and clients?

By: Mark Jackson

The holiday season gives you a great opportunity to thank your clients and staff for their patronage and contributions to your team. In down years, this is even more important. For clients, the choice to patronize your business should be acknowledged in a defined way. Gift giving allows you a tangible way to show appreciation and help to cement the reasons they value your services. For your employees, it serves several purposes. It's personal, showcases that they are an appreciated member of the team, and the right gift choice can help boost company culture.

Gift Giving on Trend

There are definite trends in gift giving, even company gift-giving. Does anyone really appreciate a cheap pen with your logo? Like everything in business, you want to start with your goal.

Why would you want to give a gift?

Hopefully, to offer a sincere thank you to your staff and clients, but there are side benefits to gift giving as well to inspire loyalty and help your business in a few ways and we'd be remiss not to talk about them. Giving to clients is a way to help bolster loyalty and promote your business. Giving to employees and contractors is a way to sincerely thank them for a great job and to inspire a good work environment. 

With this in mind, the gift really should be tailored for the recipient. This is where companies sometimes fall short. You need to take the temperature of the room and really consider what the employee or client will appreciate. Is it a pen with your name on it? Would they more appreciate a bonus or monetary gift? Could the best idea be an item, like a unique promotional gift?

Some firms are moving to digital gifts, though I tend to think that's starting to be overdone. It was a great idea because so many people are online now, and certainly during COVID-19. Digital gifts somewhat replaced experience gifts and they are a good idea for a business that's all online. At the same time, though, a lot of people are growing very tired of digital anything. We're craving a bit of real-world experience and a solid connection.

Recommended Read: Gift Experiences Can Create an Emotional Connection With Customers

One great idea of companies is to segment their gifts the way that they do their marketing. This makes it more personal for the recipient. Gifts for your top clients might be specific and more expensive because those clients spend more throughout the year. This isn't a great concept for employees because it can cause hurt feelings and negatively impact your morale. Make sure if you're giving bonuses or gifts to employees that the process is fair and uniform, either by percentage or actual gift.

Why Gift Giving is Still a Good Idea

Some economists, like Joel Waldfogel who wrote the book Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for the Holiday, are firmly against the idea of gift giving. Though his theory on this isn't exactly something I agree with, either. He talks about gifts that aren't appreciated and the perception depending on the price tag of the gifts.

These issues are handled if you do consider the recipient first in your gift-giving choice. When you carefully consider the type of gift and it's fit for your audience, there really aren't any downsides in the process and there is a lot to be gained.

Swag Packs | Your Gift-Giving Option

Swag packs present a great opportunity for companies to tailor their gift-giving initiatives to the recipient. Your swag packs can be created based on the client or employee or because it goes with the theme of your business. For instance, an IT company might like to give Tech Packs to their clients and employees.

Contact us today if you'd like more information about promotional products that will really impress your people.

Mark Jackson is President and Founder of Promotion Resource Group Inc. PRG creates award winning brand merchandise that breaks through the bustle.