Can Gifting Be a Strategic Sales Tool?

We’re tactile strategists here at Anthem Branding.

What I mean by that exactly is no matter what project we are working on, whether that is custom apparel or a thoughtful promotional product or package design, we are continuously thinking with the sense of touch in mind.

Our focus tactile design is all to bring people, ideas, brands, and even objects together through tangible and emotional feeling.

That’s the foundation that Anthem Branding is built on.

In Ayaz Nanji’s article from MarketingProfs “Boost Your Sales With Strategic Gifting”, he shares an interesting approach to using gifts as a sales tool. Nanji goes as far as sharing’s infographic that supports the tactic’s effectiveness with data.

A man who is speaking my language!

Here are some stats from the infographic:

  • 94% of top executives believe that gifts facilitate a deeper personal connection and are important to business success
  • 88% of marketers who used personalization saw a measurable lift in business results
  • Over 80% of C-suite executives believe that business gifts generate positive measurable ROI in addition to intangible benefits
  • 95% or more of millennials want their brands to actively court them

“A gift can serve as a tangible connection between the giver and recipient, helping to strengthen relationships and build goodwill,” writes Nanji.

Gifts are measurable business tools

Calculating the ROI of any promotional product, whatever its intention — used as a gift, a trade show giveaway or as incentive at a special event — can be somewhat challenging.

But take some tips from our friends over at Axion Health, who can confidently say that they have measurably added $1-2 million to their pipeline thanks to the use of promotional products.

"We know that when we show up with anything from Anthem [Branding] that it's going to be highly-desired, people are going to want it, and they're going to come to our booth specifically for that," says J.P. Lind, executive vice president of marketing and business development at Axion Health.

A brand is an experience

We’ve long said that consumers connect with brands that provide a unique and authentic experience.

And the way for the experience to be felt is to bake in tangibility to it.

Whether you are trying to attract new customers, convert someone on the brink of decision, or retain a customer, they’re hungry for their hook, they’re hungry for an experience that surprises and delights them. That's what builds memory and emotional connection and eventually, loyalty.

I started in the industry when promotional products were an industry floating on top of a sea of plastic, logo-slapped tchotchkes — back when I first started getting traction in the space out of college — it was a race to the bottom for the best bang for your buck.

Measuring ROI, crafting an exceptional experience, connecting deeper with your consumers — not a thing then.

Yet, we’ve always looked through a different lens here at Anthem Branding when it comes to promotional products and custom merchandise, especially, in the sense of gifting.

Strategic gifting is about knowing your audience

Sure, anyone can hop online and order a great looking gift box full of things that the receiver would be happy with.

But if you can do that, so can your competitors.

What makes gifting strategic, is when the items say to the recipient that they are heard, they are known, and the brand gets them.

Meet them where they are in your sales funnel’s infographic is spot on: “Gifting is a tangible connection between the giver and the recipient that makes a more memorable impression and can be leveraged in every stage of the sales funnel.”

Yes, this is GOLD.

You can carefully craft your approach here to curate the experience you want to deliver throughout the sales process at your company and align each critical touchpoint with an appropriate gesture. Maybe it’s something small or a collection of specific items, or just something you know the prospect will appreciate.

Ideally, you want to show what it’s like doing business with your brand by leveraging your values and what you stand for using tangible items and remind current customers why they should continue to work exclusively with your company.

For example, say your company stands on a corporate social responsibility platform and that is at the heart of everything you do. Show your prospects what that means through each gift you provide during the sales cycle perhaps through eco-friendly items that help narrate the brand’s CSR story.

The more detail-oriented you can get, the more the recipient will feel important to the company and begin to humanize it.

Use strategic gifting as a way to amplify your brand ethos

Let’s take this model one step further.

Not only is gifting a great way to strategically boost sales and court your audience by establishing a deeper and lasting connection, but it’s a channel that you can use to share your brand message.

By choosing useful, relevant, and unique gifts, not only will the thoughtfulness already seep through, but it will showcase more of your brand in a tangible way.

Think about ways to incorporate your brand colors and typography differently, source items that go hand-in-hand with what your company does and deliver it in a packaged experience that is unexpected.

Crafting each step is something that requires some unique thinking, total understanding of your brand and goals, and knowledge of the right items to work with. That’s where an agency like Anthem can fit in.

Learn how we may be able to help make strategic gifting a major player in your sales toolbox.