It may seem early, but this is the time of year companies decide what kinds of gifts to give their people. U.S. companies spend billions annually trying to show their appreciation to customers, employees and partners. But the simple fact is, most fall short of creating a memorable gifting experience.
That isn’t to say customers don’t appreciate all those tins of popcorn or the holiday poinsettias! And it doesn’t mean employees don’t enjoy getting a holiday turkey. The real question becomes, was the effort worth it? After all, it was a logistical nightmare to distribute those turkeys. And getting those popcorn tins to all those sales reps certainly was no picnic. But in the end, did the customers remember what you did? Did the gift make the employee feel better about the company?
Of course, everyone appreciates the gesture, but the challenge is to make the gift something meaningful. Today, many companies look to gift cards to help them. It seems reasonable to give someone a gift card and let them choose the whatever they want. But, on the downside, a gift card may be perceived as impersonal, requiring little to no effort or thought.
Some companies like to give restaurant gift cards to encourage people to take their family to dinner. That can make it a more memorable experience. But when you have a geographically-dispersed population, you end up selecting national chains to ensure coverage which can make it a less unique experience.
One of the more interesting things we have seen is clients choosing to use awards that allow them to provide a special experience of presenting a gift package. It allows participants to choose from a selection of gifts designed to fit different ages and lifestyles. This provides a memorable gift for the customer or employee, reduces the administration for the corporation, as these are normally packaged by third-parties, and allows the company to focus on making the experience of receiving a gift truly memorable.
But time is running out! The holidays are right around the corner. Start planning your gifting program now.
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