Corporate Gifting Trends to Guide Your Strategy

Richie Pusateri

Corporate Gifting Trends to Guide Your Strategy

Reciprocity is key.

It's one piece of wisdom that continues to hold true now more than ever for go-to-market teams. When you think about it, it's the idea behind lead magnets and educating through content such as thought leadership and best practice guides. Consumers in the digital age have grown wary of relentless advertising; in Nielson’s most recent Trust In Advertising Study, 88% of respondents stated that they trusted recommendations “from people they know more than any other channel.”

88% of respondents stated that they trusted recommendations “from people they know more than any other channel.”

Insights such as these highlight the need for businesses to take a more personal go-to-market approach that prioritizes good faith, personal connection, and the power of word of mouth.

However, this doesn’t mean that digital is dead—in fact, Nielsen also found newer digital advertising channels such as esports sponsorships, podcast ads and brands integrating with video streaming to be quite effective. It does point to a changing market, one in which organizations that adapt will create meaningful connections that will lead to increased brand trust and word-of-mouth recommendations.

It's no secret that one the best ways to build relationships and create memorable experiences is through offline channels. Through gifting and experiences, organizations can expand their brand beyond existing digital marketing strategy, creating a comprehensive approach for revenue teams to leverage human connection. A solid corporate gifting strategy offers a tangible reciprocal value to engagement and has the power to add a meaningful personal touch to relationships—which can be greatly beneficial to organizations looking to set themselves apart from the competition.

At the heart of it, that’s what Offline Marketing Automation is: a way to set your organization apart and create meaningful connections that drive engagement and loyalty and, in turn, revenue. Many organizations have begun to embrace the benefits of integrating offline channels recently, and a quick look at some gift industry statistics will show how corporate gifting trends have shifted the past few years in favor of increased gifting efforts.

In fact, according to a survey released by Coresight in 2021, the corporate gifting market in the U.S. was expected to reach an astonishing $242 billion by the end of 2021, and was projected to continue to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 8.1% through 2024.

The Growth of The Corporate Gifting Market

Amid the pandemic and subsequent changes to the way we conduct business and lift, many organizations found themselves operating in a changed landscape. Marketing pivoted to become increasingly digital, and much of the workforce began to work from home. The corporate gifting industry correspondingly has been booming as organizations have ramped up gifting efforts. This rise in gifting is reminiscent of the course that marketing automation has taken, as technology has improved and consumers and businesses alike have been increasingly plugged into an online world.

As automation of marketing granted businesses new opportunities for growth, offline automation now offers businesses new opportunities. As workers, clients, customers, and organizations are increasingly interacting virtually and online, gifting is a way through which organizations can keep a human presence in outreach efforts—and the corporate gifting market has expanded to reflect organizations embracing gifting in recent years.

The corporate gifting market’s size, while expanding, as research such as Coresight’s shows, has left plenty of room for further growth. While Coresight’s $242 billion estimate of the gifting industry by the end of 2021 is massive, corporate gifting is estimated to be worth only a fraction of the total US gift market size, including personal gifting. And the gift market in general seems to be growing—not just in the U.S. In fact, the global gift card market, according to research from Allied Market Research, was valued at $619.25 billion in 2019 and expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 16.2% from 2020 to 2027.

Insights From Corporate Gifting Reports

As the corporate gifting industry continues to grow, much can be learned from studies and reports that give an insight into what works, what doesn’t work, and what corporate gifting companies are getting right about outreach. Corporate gifting reports that deal with corporate gifting specifically used for employee gifting offer us insight into the ways employee gifting fills an important role in business, especially in an evolving business world where more and more employees are working from home.

Gifting reports such as Coresight’s 2021 Unwrapping the American Corporate Gifting Opportunity offer us insight into the corporate gifting industry’s growth, opportunities, and expected growth, and reports that deal with strategy in corporate gifting, such as Knack Shop’s 2019-2020 Business Gifting Strategy Report, offer us insight about the specifics of gifting strategies and the use cases within organizations.

When it comes to employee gifting, one thing we can take from Mrs. Prindable’s 2021-22 Employer Gift-Giving Report is that employers have a huge opportunity to revitalize their workplace culture through gift-giving. With only 24% of respondents who work remotely from home reporting that they “expect to receive a gift from their employer this year,” organizations have an opportunity to break expectations and surprise employees.

When it comes to the growth of the gifting industry, corporate gifting statistics have been telling. Knack’s 2019-2020 report showed 40% of c-suite executives saying they were going to increase spending from 2018 to 2019, and only 6% of total respondents saying they were going to decrease spending in that same period. What’s more, Coresight’s 2021 report showed a majority of respondents answering that they gifted the same as usual or gifted more than usual since working remotely due to lockdowns. 

Corporate Gifting Survey From Knack Shops

Knack’s 2019-2020 Business Gifting Strategy Report has been particularly illuminating and shows the ways in which gift industry trends manifested in 2020. Knack Shops, a vendor through Postal’s Marketplace conducted this study, which took corporate gifting survey answers from over 1,000 individuals who had received a business gift from a partner or employer within the last year. One thing that remains true is senders and recipients alike believe that gifting is important for strengthening connections in business. According to the report, 94% of executives surveyed believe that personal relationships are important to business success—and they aren’t alone. 77% of recipients answered that business gifts made them feel appreciated—and 67% said that they believed that the gift demonstrated that the giver valued their relationship.

94% of executives surveyed believe that personal relationships are important to business success

The report also gave us some illuminating personalized gift industry statistics. When asked why gift recipients experienced negative feelings, the top answer was “giver didn’t put much thought into the gift.” The adage “it’s the thought that counts” seems to hold up as much in corporate gifting as it does anywhere else. This is where organizations can shine, using personalized and custom corporate gift boxes.

When it comes to gifting executives, the report showed that for executives, it isn’t simply a matter of finding luxury corporate gifts. C-suites were found to be more likely to care if a gift that had “value attributes,” such as being sustainable, made in the U.S., or giving back. 

Corporate Gifting Trends From 2021

As the world began to adjust to changes from Covid and more of the workforce became remote or hybrid, 2021 saw some important trends and changes in corporate gifting. Gift industry trends in 2021 reflected the world brought on by the pandemic and lockdown orders in many ways. While for one thing, corporate gifting took on a new importance as a way to bring remote teams closer together and retain employees, there were also some continued efforts among gifters to make positive environmental impacts in gifting with eco-friendly packaging and products being popular.

2021 also proved to be a time during which people began to adjust to virtual meetings and remote work environments, and corporate gifting trends in 2021 reflected this, with things such as virtual events becoming more common, and gifts to go along with virtual events becoming more popular as well. Branded corporate gifts also became a popular way through which organizations were able to expand their brand and presence, even with more workers operating remotely from home. With many workers adjusting to a new work-life balance and operating from home, food gifts also became some of the best corporate gifts for employees.

Additionaly, corporate gifts for clients during covid became an important way to stand out in marketing even among lockdown orders. Gifting companies with wider ranges of offerings also became critical to success, allowing senders to employ the best corporate gift ideas for clients as possible. To learn more about client gifting uses cases, be sure to read our blog post.

Corporate Gifting Trends in 2022 and Beyond

Corporate gifting trends from 2022 point to an industry that’s poised to continue growing rapidly, and corporate gifting becoming increasingly important as time goes on. Gift industry trends in 2022 seem to reflect that organizations have started to embrace corporate gifting research which points to personalization being important to recipients, with the personalized gift industry having grown fourfold in the last five years alone.

On top of personalization, sustainability, and environmental consciousness in gifting have remained important factors that senders and recipients have a continued interest in. While having offline marketing channels has always been important, 2022 has proved a pivotal time during which it’s become crucial to have an offline strategy as the online business world has become inundated with digital outreach. Moving forward, offline strategies will likely continue to be one of the most important way organizations can set themselves apart, for go-to-market teams as well as internally.

Corporate Gifting Benefits

Corporate gifting benefits go far beyond simple positive sentiment in relationships. Corporate gifts for employees boost morale and productivity, and corporate gifting platforms used for marketing enable teams to stand-out with an offline gift marketing strategy. Luxury corporate gifting companies can enable organizations to successfully make an impact with VIP recipients and stand out among the rest when reaching out to executives.

With the business world increasingly online, it’s the offline outreach that stands out and makes impressions. Whether it means offering remote team members working from home comfort, or offering reciprocity to prospects who’ll be more inclined to set up a serious meeting after receiving a delightful gift, that’s why corporate gifting is important—it has the power to break through the digital noise.

Corporate gifting can also be implemented and scaled easier than ever before. Through Offline Marketing Automation platforms such as Postal that offer automation features, gifting can be achieved at scale, customized and kept personal.

If you’ve been looking to scale your gifting strategy and keep a personal touch in your gifting efforts, access a huge range of gifting companies and vendors all from one easy-to-manage easily CRM integrated place, or automate your gifting process so that you don’t miss a beat, be sure to reach out today and get started with Postal’s Offline Marketing Automation platform.

Corporate Gifting Best Practices
Richie Pusateri

Rich graduated from Cal Poly in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Concentrating in Marketing. He is a B2B marketing enthusiast with a passion for storytelling through relatable content and memorable experiences. Rich was one of the first founding team members of Postal.io when he started as an intern in 2019 and now holds the Content Marketing Manager role. When he isn’t creating content to tell the story of Offline Marketing Automation, you can probably find him on the ocean. Rich holds a U.S. Coast Guard-issued captains license and owns a small local business—Central Coast Fishing Charters out of Morro Bay, CA. He currently lives in Shell Beach, CA with his brother Dominic.