I Gift Therefore I Am – A Philosophy of Corporate Gift Giving at Christmas
Or is it “I Am Therefore I Gift”?
Dono ego, cogito ergo sum
This isn’t the only question businesses wrestle with when it comes to giving gifts at Christmas. In fact, most businesses don’t ever even think about that question.
But every year businesses big and small ask themselves again if it is really necessary to give gifts during the Holidays to customers, clients and/or employees.
And the answer is YES – it really is important to give gifts and here are 4 reasons why:
- Conspicuous by your Absence – Is there a concrete payoff to your business for giving gifts? Maybe – maybe not. But there is a big cost to not giving them. Customers and clients have long memories about select things and getting (or not getting) a gift at Christmas is one of them. When they are doing an inventory of all the chocolates/calendars/gift baskets/gift certificates they have received from their suppliers and vendors they will notice that you didn’t show up.
- You only get so many chances – If we agree that the purpose of giving gifts at Christmas to customers and clients is to say “thanks” for their business (this is the subject of a whole other Blog article) then we should recognize that we only have so many opportunities throughout the year to say such a formal and deliberate “thank you”. Every day we say “thanks for the order”, “thanks for being patient”, “thanks for for the chance to quote”…A year-end gift is our chance to say a cumulative “thank you for trusting us with your business, your reputation and your customers” and to reinforce in our customers’ minds that we want to be trusted again next year.
Win friends and influence people – Principle Two of Dale Carnegie’s famous book is “Give honest and sincere appreciation”. “There is one longing, almost as deep and ingrained as the desire for food or sleep, that is seldom gratified: the desire to be important.” (Hubspot Blog). Or as William James puts it:
If you can help fulfill that need just by giving a gift at Christmas you’re not just doing your business a favor…you’re doing the whole human race a favor!
It’s cheaper to retain a customer than gain a new one – And not only is it cheaper to keep customers and make them happy, those happy customers deliver a higher ROI than new customers. Some companies wring their hands at Christmas and complain about the cost of Christmas gifts for customers and clients but they have no problem spending thousands on an advertising campaign. Articles suggest that it costs 5-7 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. A definitive thank you in the form of a Christmas gift at the end of the year is a cost effective way of securing an important relationship.
Giving gifts at Christmas to customers and clients is a sound business practice that has bottom line benefit to your business. Read our other Blogs about corporate gift giving - ideas for gifts, discussion of how much to spend...and join the conversation by commenting below.
Written by Gingerbread World's owner - Tamara Roehr - who also wrestles with gift giving rationales and ideas for her own businesses!