Gifting's Golden Rule

“You get what you give.”

Simple in practice and in theory, it’s a concept that’s familiar to us - often guiding our personal relationships and pursuits. Yet when it comes to our professional lives, this altruism takes a back seat to what is considered business-as-usual, with budgets, sales goals and scheduling stresses playing at the forefront of our minds. How ironic is it, then, that the solution to a business’s many pressure points lies in the very concept we tend to ignore?

There’s a reason why corporate gifting is an ever-growing $21 billion industry in the US alone, sharing over 7% of the total advertising market: when done right, thoughtful, unique gifts provide an emotional connection between brand and client. This connection lays the groundwork for meaningful relationship building, which in turn fosters client loyalty, an increased ROI and a strategic stake in the market for your business. In a world that is constantly consumed by product placement, advertisements and impersonal promotional “freebies”, your target audience’s “attention can be regarded as a form of currency” - paying dividends when captured with generosity and sincerity through the act of giving.

Incorporating your business’s gifting strategy into long-term goals and priorities is a critical business investment, with 83% of business gift recipients stating that they are more likely to do business with brands they’ve received products from than those they did not. Personalized, heartfelt gifts that are sent at the right time (think: year-round opportunities) reinforce the reciprocity theory, which lies at the very essence of our social cognition. As John Ruhlin explains in his book, Giftology, “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.” Thus in giving, we receive.

This Golden Rule is the secret to successful corporate gifting.