How small businesses can use business gifts to build relationships with customers

  • November 22nd, 2021 at 11:09 am

It’s peak time for unwrapping your business gifting strategy.

Not only are we approaching the traditional season of gift giving and merriment but after the year(s) we’ve had – locked down, locked in or locked out – it might be timely to refresh relationship marketing tactics.

We’re all looking for something more these days. If COVID-19 has shown us anything, it’s how much we value connection and community.

The pandemic has also highlighted the issue of trust – in our leaders, in our health system and in science.

Relationship marketing for businesses is driven by the goals of nurturing connection with customers or clients, building engagement with our community, and establishing our businesses as valued and trusted providers of goods and services.

Why does business gifting work?

Exchanging gifts is in our DNA. We’re social beings. We need each other.

Gift giving strengthens the relationships that help us work better together in families, business and communities. It’s an expression of what evolutionary biologists call ‘reciprocal altruism’ where we do something for the greater good.

In business gifting, we might give away something to our customers but what goes around, comes around. Your brand shines a little brighter. Business relationships are reinforced.
Everyone wins through connection, community and trust.

When is the best time for business gifting?

Your strategy will depend on your business and the shape, structure and nature of your work as well as the type of relationship you enjoy with clients and customers.

For example, a professional service-based business might use gifting to thank clients at the end of a project, contract or fixed term.

For other businesses, recognising customers at traditional and seasonal events such as Christmas or on individual milestones such as birthdays might be more appropriate.

Are there business milestones such as anniversaries or awards where it might be prudent to thank key clients for their contribution to your success?

How much does business gifting cost?

Corporate or business gifting to clients and customers is less about the dollars and more about reflecting your brand, its value and the quality of its products and services.

You’ll want your spend to suit your marketing budget, but it will also need to be
proportionate. Remember the gifts of Cartier watches to Australia Post executives that turned into a fiasco?

In general, consider buying premium or luxury products that sit towards the top of a lower cost price range. And don’t forget to factor in extras costs such as quality packaging and timely delivery.

What do business gifts look like?

Again, it depends on your business, how well you know your clients, the nature of the relationship and the reason for the gift.

To make an impression, can your gift hint at your own business story? Is it unique? Does its purchase support another local or small business? Is there an opportunity to personalise these gifts?

Little Cocoa is a Gold Coast chocolatier specialising in unique chocolate gifts for corporate events and business gifting.

Make a great impression on your clients with a quality chocolate gift from Little Cocoa.