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The Strategy of Memorable Gift Giving: How to Do Corporate Gifting Right


Corporate gifting has become a $125 billion business in the US market alone. Corporate gifting is the practice of valuing and motivating employees through gifts, such as gift cards, branded items, edible treats, and non-physical favors like an eGift card or an experience. But what do employees generally think when they receive such gifts from the company they work for? 

The 2019-2020 Knack Business Gifting Strategy Report reveals that 77% of gift recipients feel more appreciated by the gesture. Sixty-seven percent believe that the giver values their relationship, and 59% think they did a great job. Forty percent report increased loyalty and a desire to work with the company longer.

However, the feeling of connectedness to the company increases by 50% if the gift received is “memorable.” So, what are the business gifting expectation gaps, and what does the strategy for memorable gift-giving look like?

The Business Gifting Expectation Gap

According to the 2019-2020 Knack Business Gifting Strategy Report, the most important factor that drives employee opinions as far as the corporate gifts they receive are concerned is the thought that went into the gift. Employees believe that it is important that the gifts received are selected for them, especially that the gift includes a personal message and has the employee’s name or initials on it. 

As for the satisfaction levels with the gift received, the most satisfied employees seemingly receive gift cards. The most dissatisfied employees are those who received company-branded items, significantly less, for that matter, than employees who received gifts of any other nature. Employees also agree that company-branded items are the least memorable gift a company can offer its employees.

The Strategy of Memorable Gift Giving

To make the best impact with its gifting initiative, any company should apparently focus on the uniqueness of its gifts, gifts with distinctive value attributes, and items that give back in some way. Another important factor to consider is that aside from gift cards, employees can only estimate the value of a corporate gift. That is why it is important that companies focus more on quality rather than quantity while making the most out of the manner in which the gift is presented to the employee in question.

The quality of the gift unwrapping experience can positively add to the value of the items within. The 2019-2020 Knack Business Gifting Strategy Report reveals that in most circumstances, employees do not expect to receive gifts that cost more than $150, while the average spending amount per gift revolves between $50 and $150.

How to Do Corporate Gifting Right

Planning and developing an effective corporate giving strategy turns out to be a little more complex than one thinks. The following best practices can be applied in terms of making the corporate gifting initiative easier for the HR and administrative staff while also creating a memorable experience for company employees:

  1. Establish a gifting initiative plan and budget: Outline the objectives of the initiative and set specific parameters for completion. For example, consider shipping fees for remote employees and packaging options for on-location recipients.
  2. Consider corporate etiquette for the gifting strategy: When giving personalized gifts, companies must ensure that gifts are maintained within the same monetary value and abide by the corporate guidelines.
  3. Practice outstanding personalization: Put the necessary time and effort in to make employees feel like the gifts were specially selected for each of them. While satisfaction with any gift may be part of the equation, memorability drives the loyalty and connectedness that create the ROI.

Corporate Gifting Trends in 2021

Gift cards are the gifting solution that always fits. They continue to be the safest and the most universally satisfying option for corporate gifts in 2021. Gift cards can be easily personalized while giving employees exactly what they want. E-gift cards seem to be the latest trend in card gifting in the corporate world, and millennials especially prefer them.

The corporate gifting business is booming. Gifting to employees is expected to grow even more in 2022, fueled by C-Suite Executives, 40% of whom plan to budget more for gift-giving strategies in the following year.

The desire to incorporate unique brand values into corporate gifts has reached its climax. Memorable gifting experiences humanize businesses while bonding and strengthening the relationship between an organization and its employees. 

Company-branded gifts have taken a major downturn. “Cheap” things with company logos on them are ranked first in the “Worst gifts ever received by a company employee.” Moreover, company-branded items drive the least satisfaction and are least appreciated by the millennial population segment. 

To learn more about developing strategies for your organization, check out The KPI Institute’s Strategy and Business Planning Professional Certification.

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