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Corporate Gifting

♫It’s the holiday season♫…well, almost!  But we need to start thinking about it now (yes, before summer is really here).  There are gifts and then there are corporate gifts.  What’s the difference?  REACH!  Chances are when companies purchase gifting options, these gifts will be distributed to 10+ recipients in one pop.  It’s the difference between tin cans & string and a megaphone.  Having a corporate gifting program for the holidays (and heck, why not make it all year round?) is a great way to get in touch with more consumers on an exponential level.  To knock it out of the park, it’s important to think through the details and plan early so no one is flying by the seat of their pants.

Get a jumpstart on planning now.  There are a lot of pieces that go into making up a robust gifting program and with supply chains severely delayed because of Covid, planning what gifts are going to be offered should start as soon as possible.  Here are some questions to help flesh out your program and can be asked of team members involved in the planning process:

Why
Why would a company want to do corporate gifting? Companies give gifts to enhance RELATIONSHIPS and to ultimately solve a business problem!

Why corporations might buy gifts:

    • Milestones in the company’s history (e.g. Research major corporate dates)
      • Anniversary of company – 25 years, 50 years, 100 years!
      • IPO – Research IPO’s ready to happen in next 12 months
      • Achievements or awards given to a company
    • Client/Customer gifts
    • Employee gifts
    • Board of Director gifts
    • Thank-you gifts for special services
    • Referral gifts (Doctors are a good example: Orthopedic clinics thank GP’s for referrals of patients)

Companies spend on average $44 each for employee gifts and $48 each for client gifts…25% of companies will spend over $100 on each employee gift. This is a $31.75 Billion business!

Who

  • Who is the right person to reach out to for corporate gifting at their company?
  • How do you know if a business is giving holiday gifts this year?

Through asking the right questions, you’ll have more helpful answers. So, when doing research to find companies to ‘pitch’ your corporate gifts to, ask open-ended questions and get as much information as possible.

For any gift giving program, you should be able to answer – at a minimum – the following questions about your customer:

  1. Are they going to give holiday gifts as a business this year?
  2. Who are the gift recipients? (employees, customers, clients?)
  3. What is the overall budget range for gifts, or alternately, what is the budget per gift?
  4. Who will make the decision on what to purchase this year?
  5. When will that decision be made?

Construct a “picture” for yourself of the event, the promotion, the gift-giving by the company.  Ask all relevant questions.

What
What gifts do businesses typically give? Gift cards, cash, food, apparel… and beverages!

  • What is going to be offered that’s tailored to company-centric giving? Consider the options of wood boxes, engraving, personalized ribbons, branded containers, themes, baskets, ….
  • Is it scalable enough to offer to companies giving gifts by the handful or hundreds?
  • Are variable budget levels offered? How high or how low can you price your gift packages?
  • Are merchandise items part of the gifts? Do these need to be ordered? Are you long on items that can be made part of a package?

Have some easy off-the-shelf packs as well as some fun ones too.  The off-the-shelf packs make great gifts for companies that may not know the recipients personally and want something fairly simple and standard.  Be sure to get creative with other offerings like wine packs that include recipes or cheese & charcuterie, virtual tastings + wine packs, wine + stemware or decanter, wine + a Coravin, or the gift of membership.

The key here is to develop your corporate gifting program by considering the price points/discounts, desirability to the business, minimum order quantity, packaging, marketing materials, etc. Then figure out the ‘how.’

How

  • How will it be marketed? Printed catalogue, digital catalogue, social media, email, teleselling, etc.?
  • Is there custom packaging or collateral to be included?
  • Is there photography needed?
  • How will the packs be packed and shipped?
  • Does the warehouse/wine shipping partner need a heads up on volume estimates as well as a demo on the packaging aesthetic?
  • Do you have a list of corporate clients that either have previously purchased or have a company address or email in their profile?
  • How else can reach beyond your list (ie – via social media, influencer partnerships, referral incentives)?

Lining up the timing of all the components can be a challenging step.  The earlier this part is tackled, the smoother the process will go.  Start with the end in mind – what is the delivery day and work back to all the pieces that need to be in place to arrive by the deadline.

Now that the gifts being offered are decided, reach out to packaging, merchandise, printing/collateral, and photography vendors and get a sense of their timing, order minimums, etc.  Again, supply chains are a bit off track right now so the typical timeline might need to be extended.  This part of the process will also shed light on if any changes or adjustments to the gift offerings need to be made.

Companies may want to include their branding or logo in the collateral or packaging.  Having an idea of the costs for custom print runs will be important so give an accurate and expedient quote.

When

  • When do the packaging, collateral, and gift components need to arrive to the winery or shipping partner?
  • When will the corporate gift offerings be communicated? Through what channels? Developing a calendar to plan channel and cadence is a helpful tool.
  • When are the ‘last days’ to ship for gifts to arrive on time?

Having a communication plan that details out what channels are being leveraged, what the messaging is, who is executing, and when it’s sent or going live is critical to ensure there is clarity and alignment between all involved departments or team members.  From high-level strategy to packing & shipping logistics there should be little to no surprises along the way for a successful corporate gifting program.

A few tips…

  • Make it easy to access, read, and understand. The folks who are in charge of putting the gifting programs together for companies likely need to go through a level or two of approvals so keeping the message and options as clear as possible will make for a smoother process and higher rate of success.
  • If offering a way for companies to co-brand with the gift offerings, have a plan ahead of time as to how this can be done. Talk with your printing partner about costs, run size, turnaround time, etc. to be able to present options.
  • Include brand information in the packs to encourage recipients to stay in touch. Sweetening the deal with a coupon code, referral incentive, pairing suggestions, or a complimentary tasting card (in-person or virtual) help promote the winery and make the gift-giving company look really good too.  If nothing else, be sure to include contact and social media details to make it easy for the recipient to engage.
  • Always be sure to send a thank you to the client and to go a step above, a small token of gratitude goes a long way to cementing an ongoing relationship with whomever the point person is at the company doing the gifting.

There’s a goldmine in corporate gifting options if they’re done right.  With thoughtful offerings and well-planned execution, a successful program will see impressive returns as well as pull new customers into the funnel.  A job well done sees repeat customers – whether the company itself or the gift recipients.  Be sure to track and utilize CRM functions to tag the company contacts and gift recipients to measure the success and reach of the program.

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