Name a multi-billion dollar market that has desperately needed an injection of innovation for as long as you can remember. The answer? Corporate gifting. According to a recent study, business gifting alone represents $125 billion dollars annually. That massive number doesn’t even include programs like employee gifting.
Despite the good intentions behind corporate gifting programs, there are many reasons they have gained a stodgy reputation over the years.
The gold watch during the holidays, the extra-large t-shirt at a trade show and the logoed coffee cup for a business prospect have long been the corporate gift staples. But are they really appreciated? The availability and scale of gift options for companies and managers to give has been limiting, leaving much to be desired.
Customization has been another major challenge. For too long, corporate gifting has subscribed to a “one size fits all” approach and lost sight of the fact that we are all individuals. Often those gold watches, t-shirts, or coffee mugs have hit the mark for only a small percentage of the recipients because size, color, and usage preferences are seldom great matches. It has always been a constant guessing game. Is he a large? Does she want red, blue, or black?
Many corporate gifting entities give logoed swag because they want recipients to remember their brand every time they wear that fleece or drink from that mug. That’s great, but what if you could do more?
Gifts like these may always have had the best of intentions but likely didn’t elicit a positive and emotional response for the receiver or create a lasting memory. That behavior is what gifts should do. The gift should be about connecting the giver and the recipient. The problem is the current tools and methods used to execute in the business-to-business gifting world do not do that.
And today there’s a shift towards virtual events, conferences, and work. This means companies must now grapple with identifying, customizing, and delivering gifts in a time of digital engagement.
You should treat your corporate gifting strategy like you treat your business strategy — be customer-, employee-, and prospect-focused, give them what they want and need to be successful, and you’ll be rewarded.
Corporate Gifting Solutions Can Do Better
Corporate gift technology solutions have come in all shapes and sizes. Historically, they have catered to broad audiences, specific use cases, and experiences. This tugs on the customization challenge for interested companies wanting to offer gifts because it has forced them to make the hard choice of selecting one platform or a limited selection of gifts. Or they accept the hard reality that if they are set on wanting to provide a greater selection of gift options, they would need to manage multiple providers, which generates unwanted work hours and headaches.
“If organizations needed to issue gifts at events, they chose one platform. If HR departments sought gifts to augment employee appreciation or wellness programs, they chose another. And the list goes on. It’s created a complicated, siloed platform ecosystem that doesn’t need to be this way if technology was applied differently,” says Soren Mills, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Loop Commerce.
The platform limitations, the logistical headaches, and the lack of creative gift selections have strayed corporate gifting too far from its fundamental objective — to establish and strengthen the peer-to-peer connection. However, this objective is much more achievable now. Thanks to a more intuitive application of technology to solve these decades-long challenges, we can deliver a better experience for giver and receiver — be it business-to-individual or business-to-business.
What is the more thoughtful approach to gifting and gift management, white-glove service, and scale of options?
Technology Made Easy for the Gifter
Corporate gifting through GiftNow provides gifters a powerful, digital solution that does all the legwork for the gifter and delivers delight to the recipient. And, it brings a wealth of new gifting options to the table; meaningful gifts from a broad variety of premier retailers.
“GiftNow represents the future of corporate gifting, and it’s a welcomed change to what we’ve been accustomed to over the years,” – Bill Murray, Vice President and Head of Payments at Fanatics.
GiftNow’s cloud-based architecture provides massive scalability that is a major benefit to corporate gifters of all sizes. Working with GiftNow, the corporate gifter gains access to name-brand merchandise from a variety of apparel and big box retailers. A broad variety of SKUs provide the gifter with far more than just one or two standardized product choices. By utilizing this digital gifting solution, there is no longer the need to maintain gift inventory or ship swag to a trade show. Instead, the merchants maintain the inventory and, once the recipient accepts their gift, it ships to their address of choice.
GiftNow also offers a concierge service for corporate functions — the sales organization, marketing department, HR, customer experience and customer service — to enable a more seamless and effortless end-to-end gifting process. The concierge service helps to curate gift selections that are business-appropriate and aligned to the corporate function’s program and deals with the logistics on the backend.
Merchants and Retailers Unlock New Opportunities and Experiences
On the fulfillment side, this new model of corporate gifting can also unlock new possibilities for merchants and product providers. These partners can raise brand visibility and stand up a completely new channel at-scale for bulk and repeat purchases through an extensible digital platform purpose-built for corporate gifting. Merchants and retailers can get access to a new set of shoppers they may not have otherwise connected with on their own unless they spent the marketing dollars to do it. And, even with that, they may lack the infrastructure that makes it work. GiftNow solves both of these challenges.
At a recent event involving a major Fortune 500 brand, attendees had a sports experience of a lifetime that offered a personal touch. Attendees could scan a QR code available at their tables, create and receive a customized jersey from their favorite sports team. GiftNow’s platform powered the full experience.
“It was critical to Fanatics that the experience we offered in our gifting suite at the Coca Cola Invitational golf event was the most innovative and memorable engagement we could possibly deliver. The only platform and team that met our high bar for innovation, speed to market, flexibility and quality of the differentiated experience we were seeking was GiftNow,” said Bill Murray, Vice President and Head of Payments at Fanatics. Between the platform and team that helped execute the program, the event was a huge success.The GiftNow activation went great and the Fanatics gifting suite was the most popular experience at the event.”
Similar experiences powered by the GiftNow platform are underway with other leading companies like CommerceNext, who seek customized and memorable gift experiences that can scale.
“CommerceNext is working with GiftNow to utilize their corporate gifting service for giving gifts to the attendees at our regional dinners, conferences and virtual events,” says Scott Silverman with CommerceNext. “We believe that our events and conferences are great opportunities for networking, information-sharing, and learning. Now, we’re putting the icing on the cake with everyone receiving a nice gift.”
GiftNow Makes Corporate Gifting Fun and Meaningful
Corporate gifting’s fundamental objective has always been to help establish and strengthen a peer-to-peer connection — be it business-to-business, business-to-attendee, or business-to-employee. Let’s bring corporate gifting out of the dark ages with the help of more intuitive digital gifting technology.
Welcome to corporate gifting with GiftNow. It’s just good business.