December 2016
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Corporate Gift Giving: Art or Science?

Business professionals have been giving gifts to their clients since the beginning of business. Are we just "being nice" or is there a science behind it?

Corporate gifting today is a proven strategy. The Promotional Products Association International reports that 96% of end buyers regard gift-giving the same way that suppliers and distributors do: as a way of building relationships and retention. According to the survey, the top 2 reasons for giving gifts to business contacts are to 1) thank customers and 2) build goodwill.

Because corporate gifts are such a big segment of the promotional products marketplace, it's natural to make that connection. Corporate gifts are also a large segment of the incentives, rewards & recognition space. Name-brand merchandise items make powerful corporate gifts.

W hy use name-brand corporate gifts?
  • the perceived value is built in
  • opportunity to pair your brand with the brand of the gift
According to PPAI, 28% of business gift survey respondents say they turn to distributors when they're looking for corporate gifts. That leaves a pretty big untapped market that may not be aware that distributors also offer name brand corporate gifts.

Proceed with caution

Before you decide on a business gift strategy, make sure you know your client's policies. Some of the excesses of previous decades still inform gift policies today. Your client may have a supplier manual that outlines what is acceptable. If not, ask around before you put your client in the embarrassing position of having to refuse or return a gift because it's against policy.

There are some general rules of thumb to follow:
  • nothing too lavish that could be perceived as inappropriate
  • no gift giving during a bidding period (even at Holiday time)
  • nothing too personal
  • gifts of food that a team or department can share may be appropriate
  • nothing too expensive (most companies allow gifts of loosely defined "nominal value" that is usually perceived around $25 or less).

Here's how the IRS defines a "gift", and  8 Tips to Determine whether your gift is taxable.

 

According to the Small Business Merchandise Market Study commissioned by the Incentive Manufacturers & Representatives Alliance, over 58% of small businesses use merchandise for customer gifts - and 61% of them are sourcing gifts at retail. Great growth opportunity for Distributors!  Go get 'em!

Issue: 13
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Happy Holidays!!

 
Thanks for reading our newsletter this year!

Wishing you a happy, safe and healthy holiday season!

GIFTS ARE NOT JUST FOR THE HOLIDAYS...

While the majority of businesses give customer and employee gifts at the end-of-year holidays, giving gifts at other times of the year can ensure that your's stands out and doesn't get lost in the holiday shuffle.

Some favorite less traditional gift giving occasions include:
  • Thanksgiving
  • Valentines Day
  • Employee/customer anniversary
  • Birthday
  • Company anniversary or milestone
  • Labor Day
Use your imagination and give gifts to your customers on special occasions that have meaning for them.



 
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