The return on investment of corporate gifts linked to thoughtfulness

It’s corporate gifting season, and companies large and small are once again closing their books under a cloud of uncertainty as they make this annual decision about how best to thank their customers, suppliers and most important employees.

The effort and expense of figuring out how much to spend and what to give can not only overshadow the spirit of the gesture, but can also become a stressful and time-consuming cost center that carries an inordinate risk of backfire if mismanaged.

“The corporate culture has kind of sucked the soul out of the gift. It’s become transactional. Everything exists on Excel [spreadsheets] and in doing so has rendered it quite thoughtless and worthless,” Jonathan Legge, co-founder and CEO of Ireland-based global corporate gifting company &Open, told PYMNTS.

What’s worse, Legge said, is the fact that most corporate gifts end up in a landfill, a painful and poorly kept secret in an industry he says has traditionally been super wasteful.

In short, corporate giveaways are broken, Legge said, and badly need a reboot.

“So our manifesto, and what we’re looking to fix, is to bring thought and attention back to corporate gifts and make them joyful and easy for both sender and receiver again,” he said. he declares.

You should not have

At the heart of this overhaul, Legge said, is choice — as in making donation decisions easy for businesses and the financial commitment that comes with them simple and justifiable. It’s a change, especially for SMEs, that means allowing companies to make ad-hoc decisions rather than year-round contracts.

This gift choice and flexibility, if you will, also involves increasingly important ESG considerations so that the values ​​of the giver and recipient are not compromised or in conflict. In some cases, this literally includes giving a recipient the option to say, “You shouldn’t have,” and turning their gift into a donation to charity.

To accommodate all of these nuances and complexities inherent in this process while reflecting the current economic climate, &Open has launched On-Demand, its new self-service platform that facilitates B2B gift giving for the holidays and beyond.

“What’s interesting about the economic headwinds you’re talking about is that we’ve seen a kind of reluctance to overcommit,” Legge said. Instead of committing for a year, he said, companies are looking for ways to be more punctual in their approach.

“[Businesses are] begin to understand what it is [gifting] role could be for their business because each brand has different relationships they seek to nurture,” he added. “A key part of why &Open’s on-demand service is coming out now is to navigate this shift in mindset,” which he characterized as a desire to experience freebies and find out for themselves- same.

Math

As much as the donation is ideally supposed to be devoid of financial and other considerations, it is actually a business decision, and very much subject to the same return on investment (ROI) measures as any other business expense.

While the calculations, so to speak, or cost-benefit analysis of gifts vary widely, Legge has many examples of clients whose gifts have given back, such as a 12% increase in revenue after six months of giving, or a 200% ROI increase on the back of a European furniture company then sent flowers to customers who had made a purchase within a month. Although the results differ, Legge tends to take a more holistic view of the give-and-take aspect of the process.

“Donations work,” he said. “It takes time to build ROI because we need to have long-term relationships in place, and they need to be comfortable sharing metrics with us,” he said.

“I think everyone intuitively understands that giveaways work,” he added, noting that by “works” he means “creating loyalty and, yes, improving the bottom line.”

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