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Expert Consumer Research from Covance Food Solutions

‘Tis the Season: What’s Your Holiday Gift Strategy?

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By Jonathan Price

This season means many things when you are a business owner. Year-end reporting and ROI delivery from all your teams, strategic planning for the upcoming New Year, budgets, numbers, staffing and lots of people taking time off for the holidays. Not to mention the infamous holiday office party. The other item on the checklist is holiday gifts: for employees, clients, prospects.

In a study by the Advertising Specialty Institute they found that only 62 percent of businesses they surveyed were planning to give gifts to the above audiences. If that sounds low to you, it is. The survey cited was closed on October 27. That means the remaining 38 percent just hadn’t made any plans yet for gift giving. Like them, many of us are caught up in the busyness of the season and may have put this task off until last minute. Thus, we need something that can be delivered quickly and still get our message across.

Let’s take a couple steps back. Why are we giving the gift in the first place? For employees, it’s easy. Boost morale, a “thank you” for a job well done. After all, without them, your company probably wouldn’t exist. With unemployment rates dropping and the demand for good employees rising, it’s a good idea to reward your employees and keep them around. Think about how hard it is to buy one person just the right gift. How much harder is it to make that connection with 500, 5,000 or even 50,000 employees?

These companies need a quick solution that goes beyond a tchotchke with a company logo slapped on (which will often find its way to the “round file”) or the frozen turkey or popcorn tin which poses a delivery nightmare. For progressive employers, an instant, digitally delivered reward makes the most sense for making sure a diverse, and sometimes far-flung, employee base receive their gift in an effective, efficient manner.

A gift card that is delivered virtually and instantly can have many benefits beyond a simple year-end “thank you” to employees:

  • Delivers seamlessly to the recipient’s platform of choice: desktop, tablet, mobile
  • Fills demand for instant gratification and ease-of-use
  • Fills demand for options and choice – recipients can use the gift for what they want, when they want
  • Allows options for customization and personalization based on company branding
  • Reinforces a company’s brand internally as progressive, savvy and technology driven

In addition, rewards are proven to increase engagement across the board. Sending a virtual gift card to employees gives employers an opportunity to push messages out internally that will actually be consumed. For example, you can consider including a message from the CEO in the gift card delivery email, providing a recap of the year and a look to the future, taking advantage of a chance for a meaningful touchpoint with their employees.

For clients and prospects, a virtually delivered gift card provides many of the same value propositions. It gives you another connection with them, a chance to reinforce your branding, message and create goodwill. In a competitive marketplace, you should get your company in front of those who matter most at any appropriate opportunity.

So, if nearly 40 percent of you are late to the game here (see above), pushing send on an instant delivery gift card is not just an option that saves time. It can meet your target audience of employees or clients on their own turf by providing mobile options that are instantly redeemable, while conveying your important messages – among many other benefits. They’ll think of you at the holidays and all year long… synergy, all the way around. Season’s greetings!

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One response to “‘Tis the Season: What’s Your Holiday Gift Strategy?

  1. a timely reminder and some good advice. BUT forty years of recieving and giving corporate gifts to staff, suppliers, partners has left me with the same fundamental belief i carry into private gift giving … if you can not hold it in your hand and place it on your desk, take it home, see it as a reminder the day after ( and admittedly take the choice to deposit it in the cylindrical filing bin ) and has a personally written message ( not just a name filled in but a unique message ) then it lacks personal commitment. If people mean something to you then take the time to care.

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