Are you looking for a way to stand out from your competitors, create the right impression with your customers and forge deeper client relationships? Then unlock the powerful possibilities of personalised corporate gifts.
Keep reading to find out why and how you should step up your corporate gifting game with personalisation. We’ll also take a dive into the science behind why people like customised presents and uncover how AI could shape the future of corporate gifting.
Why give personalised corporate gifts?
Corporate gifting is an excellent way to show your clients, employees and business partners you value them — and keep them loyal. But it's no longer enough to just send something generic. Personalisation is where it’s at, for several reasons.
1. Personalised corporate gifts show you care
When someone knows they’re valued it builds lasting relationships and creates a long-term, positive image for your brand.
2. Personalised gifts are more memorable
A gift with the recipient’s name, logo or favourite colours will be prized and remembered far longer than a bland, generic gift with no real thought behind it. It means your brand stays top of mind long after they received your gift.
3. Personalisation makes your corporate gift stand out
Play safe and do what everyone else is doing and in a sea of generic gifts you’ll just blend in with all the rest. Be bold and brave! Embedding a personalised gift with the right emotional impact into your strategy will create a lasting impression. You’ll stand head and shoulders above your competitors.
4. Personalisation builds loyalty
Personalisation strategy drives growth and builds loyalty. And the higher investment, the better the return. A recent study of marketers using personalisation as a strategy found that brands with the highest ROI (3 x or over) focused on loyalty as their top personalisation KPI.
But don’t take our word for it; the science behind personalisation speaks for itself. So let’s dig into it.
The science behind why people like personalised gifts
Personalised gifts work because people love things that are tailored specifically to them. In fact, scientific research shows our brains are hardwired to prefer personalised products.
Personalisation: the psychology
Ever wondered how, when you’re in conversation with someone at a noisy party, you can hear and focus on what they’re talking about? Even though there are many other conversations around you within earshot? It’s down to what’s known as the Cocktail Party Effect.
Discovered in the 1950s by cognitive scientist Colin Cherry, The Cocktail Party Effect is the ability of the brain to filter out a range of other stimuli and focus on one in particular. Now that’s pretty cool. But what’s even cooler, is that according to a study in Brain Research, a key trigger for tuning in is hearing your name.
It stands to reason, then, that when there’s so much noise and so many other brands clamouring for your client’s attention, naming them makes it personal. It means they tune into your company because you stand out from the rest.
But that’s not all. As well as the psychological effect of personalisation, there’s a physiological effect.
The physiological side-effect of personalised gifts
When you receive something that’s been customised, it makes you feel good. Literally. Your brain releases dopamine — the pleasure hormone.
What’s more this feel-good neurotransmitter is also involved with reinforcement. Because a dopamine rush is part of the brain’s reward system, it means you’re likely to go back for more.
So why does personalisation make you feel so good? Well, it all comes down to our need for uniqueness. As humans, we have a built-in desire to stand out and be different from everyone else. So when we receive something that’s been specifically made or chosen for us, it fulfils our desire for uniqueness. This makes the gift feel more valuable and special to us, which in turn, makes us feel more appreciated and loved.
What happens when we receive a gift we don’t like?
On the other hand, when we receive something we don't like, the opposite happens. Research by the University of Columbia shows that when people receive an unwanted gift, they feel misunderstood. Their brain activity decreases, suggesting they’re less engaged and interested in the gift and the giver.
What’s more, the brain regions associated with processing positive emotions show much less activity. In other words, when you receive something you don't like, it makes you unhappy. And no one wants an unhappy client or employee.
Creating a good customer experience
In business, reputation is everything. One bad customer experience can have disastrous consequences for your business and take time and effort to repair. In fact, it can take anything from 3 and 12 good experiences to counteract the negative impact of just one bad experience.
Why? Because bad experiences tend to have a more lasting impact on customers than positive experiences. When a customer has a bad experience, they often feel let down, disappointed, or frustrated; these negative emotions can linger long after the experience. As a result, customers are less likely to do business with that company again.
Studies show as many as 59% of customers walk away from a brand they loved after several bad experiences and 17% after just one. They may even share their negative experiences with others, further damaging a company's reputation.
So how can you replace a bad experience with a good one, fast? Friendliness and a personal touch will go a long way in our digital era.
Personalisation can repair damaged client and employee relationships
To repair the damage caused by a bad experience, your business needs to go above and beyond to create positive customer experiences. In this situation, strategic and personalised corporate gifting can be a powerful tool. It can repair damaged customer relationships and win back customer loyalty.
For example, in 2017, Hilton Hotels started sending out personalised gift baskets to guests who had a bad experience during their stay. Each gift basket contained a handwritten note from the manager, a selection of the guest's favourite snacks and a gift card for future use at the hotel.
The response was overwhelmingly enthusiastic and helped repair damaged customer relationships. The guests who received gift baskets were surprised and delighted by the personalised touch. Many shared their pleasure on social media, generating lots of positive buzz for the hotel chain.
Hilton's corporate gifting strategy was a key part of this success. The personalised gifts helped reinforce the message that they care about their guests and are committed to making things right when something goes wrong.
How artificial intelligence (AI) could impact corporate gift-giving
AI is rapidly transforming the way businesses operate, and corporate gifting is no exception. In the future, AI-powered systems could take corporate gifting to the next level, offering personalisation on a scale that’s currently not possible. It could predict gifting trends and even help you select the perfect gift for particular clients.
For example, by analysing vast amounts of data from sources like social media and purchase history, AI algorithms can predict what gifts are likely to be popular among a particular audience. That means you could create bespoke gift collections that cater directly to your clients’ personal tastes with minimal effort.
You could also use AI to make personalised corporate gift recommendations. By using machine learning algorithms to understand the unique characteristics of each of your client’s personalities and interests, AI could help you select the perfect gift for each person on your list. This could include everything from personalised gift messages to customised gift wrapping.
Then, of course, there’s virtual reality (VR). The way this works is your customers put on a VR headset and enter a virtual store where they can browse various products in a highly realistic environment. Using AI, the virtual store then tracks the customer’s behaviour.
It doesn’t just note the products they look at, it monitors how long they spend looking at each one. With this information, the AI could recommend personalised gift ideas based on the customer's unique preferences. Pretty handy, wouldn’t you say?
How to personalise your corporate gifts
There are lots of ways you can add personal value to corporate gifts. Here are some ideas:
Customise the packaging — Add a logo, a message and the recipient’s name to the packaging. This could be anything from a simple ribbon or wrapping paper to a custom-made gift box. (Just imagine how impressed your clients will be when they see their own name on the box. They may even hold on to it and re-use it as a result!)
Personalise with a handwritten note — A simple thank-you or a message about how much you appreciate their loyalty or hard work can go a long way. You could even write a joke to make them smile. In these digital days, whatever you write by hand will make the gift feel more authentic and special.
Tailor to their hobbies or interests — If you know the recipient is a coffee lover, give them a personalised coffee mug or a gift card for their favourite coffee shop. If they love yoga, how about a personalised yoga mat? Or a subscription to a yoga magazine? The key is to think outside the box and choose something that shows you’ve put thought and effort into the gift.
Don’t over brand — If you splash your logo across everything in your gift box it’ll feel less like a thank-you and more like advertising. It’s fine to add your logo, just do it subtly. Add it to one item in the box, or inside a notebook instead of on the front.
Don’t overdo it — As Seth Godin says: “Nobody wants to be prodded over and over again, have their name said to them over and over again. Instead, the personal is what happens when you are seen for who you are, and what you're contributing.”
How BOW Gifts can help
After designing, producing and delivering thousands of corporate gifts worldwide, BOW Gifts knows how to ensure clients and employees remain loyal to your brand. We can help you unlock the possibilities of personalised corporate gifting and increase your ROI.
What’s more, unlike other corporate gifting services, BOW provides the full package — from concept to doorstep. We’ll help you create a personalised gifting strategy that really works. And gets you the results you want.