Corporate Gifting in the Festive Season 

Corporate gifting in the festive season 

The festive season is a time for giving thanks, showing appreciation, and spreading good cheer. For businesses, it’s also an opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with customers, partners, employees and other stakeholders. 

It can be easy to default to sending your valued clients, suppliers and vendors generic gift cards, hampers or cases of wine. However, there are ways businesses can get creative in the way they recognise the contributions of others and show their gratitude. 

Gifting with actions

For many businesses, giving physical gifts is no longer the done thing. In the public sector, for example, there is wariness around gifting due to the Bribery Act 2010.

Other companies may feel that gifting doesn’t align with their ESG values. Finding new ways to demonstrate appreciation rather than just going without is a great option to show you still care. Here are our suggestions for how you can gift with actions to your business community this year:

Supporting your clients and partners

Your customers and clients are the lifeblood of your business. 

The festive season is the perfect time to show your appreciation and solidify these important relationships. 

  • Leave an online review on a platform that’s valuable to them. Positive feedback and ratings boost their visibility. 
  • Create a short video testimonial they can use on their website or social media. This powerful endorsement builds trust and credibility for the brand. 
  • Refer them to new business connections from your network. The perfect present is helping their company grow. 
  • Offer to collaborate on a case study featuring a successful project you partnered on. Case studies are highly effective marketing tools. 
  • If they have a company charity, donate in their name this holiday season. Show you support the causes they care about. 

Recognising suppliers and vendors

The suppliers and vendors you work with are invaluable to helping your company run smoothly. Rather than your usual seasonal corporate gifting, show gratitude for their reliable service and products. 

  • Send a holiday card with a handwritten note about how they’ve helped you this year. A personal touch goes a long way. 
  • Leave positive reviews on sites like Google or Yelp. This helps attract new customers for their small business. 
  • Share their details with contacts who could benefit from their offerings. Word-of-mouth referrals are powerful. 
  • Offer to provide a testimonial or endorsement for their marketing materials.

Appreciating employees and colleagues

You must not forget to spread holiday cheer to your dedicated employees and colleagues. These are the people who make your business a success every day. 

Their value and worth should be recognised and celebrated and made clear at every, possible opportunity. 

  • Send an email to their manager highlighting their accomplishments and strengths. This feedback can help them during the review and appraisal process. 
  • Write them a personalised card sharing your appreciation and cheering them on.
  • Give them a shoutout on LinkedIn with an endorsement for their skills and achievements. This boosts their professional brand.
  • Arrange holiday meals and celebrations that bring teams together. This can be particularly beneficial if your teams are spread across locations. 
  • Had a particularly flush financial year? A profit share, bonus scheme or similar remuneration package can show how valued a team member is. 

The festive season is a time to place particular focus on this, but it should not be the only time of the year you do this. 

Valuing your employer

Goodwill can go both ways; it doesn’t always have to come from above. Teams and employees can pass on their goodwill to employers and the wider organisation. 

When giving back to your own company, showing appreciation for the organisation could include: 

  • Leaving a positive review on employer sites like Glassdoor highlighting your great work culture. This helps attract talent. 
  • Providing feedback on employee satisfaction surveys to help shape better policies. Your input is valuable. 
  • Refer potential employees from your network to join the team. Talent acquisition is crucial, particularly in sectors and industries hard hit by talent shortages. 
  • Be a brand ambassador, by sharing company content and job openings on your social channels. 
  • If you have public-facing roles, encourage happy customers to leave reviews. User-generated content builds trust and adds value to your brand. 

Environmental benefits

The holiday season also presents an opportunity for companies to reinforce their commitment to sustainable and responsible practices. 

Rather than contributing to the culture of excessive gift-giving, companies can show appreciation in ways that align with green initiatives and reduce waste. 

Companies can opt for e-cards over paper cards and donate to eco-friendly charities on behalf of stakeholders. If you are looking to give gifts, opting for locally sourced, ethically produced and sustainably packaged presents is ideal. 

For internal stakeholders, rewards and recognition can focus on environmentally conscious employees and teams. Prizes like electric bikes, reusable water bottles or compost bins can incentivise green practices. 

The holiday season is the perfect time to reiterate a commitment to sustainability, reinforce eco-values and lead by example. 

By redirecting budgets to more sustainable expressions of appreciation, businesses can reduce waste, lower carbon footprints, and build partnerships for ecologically conscious practices all year long. 

The value of goodwill

Goodwill is about spreading joy, not stress. This year let’s focus less on material gifts and more on meaningful expressions of gratitude across businesses and client and partner networks. 

By fostering goodwill across our communities, we can build positive momentum going into the New Year, while providing much longer-term mutual value. 

But remember, goodwill isn’t just for Christmas. This kind of positivity has an indefinite life, and its rewards can be reaped year after year. 

Communicating your gifting choices

Now you know how you’re going to share goodwill, it’s important to decide how you’re going to communicate this.

If you aren’t doing physical gifts, sharing your alternative plans with your community is essential so they don’t feel neglected. Update your clients with an email newsletter, or share with your wider audience on socials if it affects them.

This type of action is valuable to your employer brand and potentially your ESG commitments. Find out more about developing a communications strategy and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re thinking about getting an agency onboard.