Sunday, October 4, 2015

Gratitude or Reciprocity?

A gift, why do we give them?
Are they a reward, an incentive or simply gratitude? The answer may depend on the person both giving and receiving the gift. We are a culture built on reciprocity; the theory that when one gives you something you feel like you "owe" them something in return.

At the core, a promotional piece is a form of advertising build on the idea of reciprocity. Industry collected data suggests a bond is formed with the recipient and the brander when a branded gift is received. Statistics support that the recall, retention and reach of the advertiser are increased as well as the recipient's perception of the "giver" grows in favorable impressions. The result is an effective tool for marketing because it changes consumer behavior.

What about "the holidays" -
for those that celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah it’s coming.  The scrooge might argue that holiday gifting is an example of reciprocity at its worst- giving because you will be gifted. However despite cynics, many individuals who give or acknowledge during traditional times of year “gift” simply to show love and appreciation for a relationship. 

In crafting a successful employee recruitment and retention campaign, a customer loyalty program or acknowledging referrals each company must consider the who, what, why, when for distribution as well as setting a budget to execute the plan.
Depending on the size of your company it may not be practical for you to implement a program without assistance. Just as in developing your marketing plan, it helps to share with your promotional consultant your objectives for creating a program to design a plan that works for your company. Gifting can be done effectively year round; it can be crafted around calendar dates that relate to your industry or around your company's core values. Developing a program will require collaboration, it's not a one size fits all approach.

For example, if it's an employee program and you operate a large company using a redemption website or gift card program might be a great fit. Similarly handing our awards for performance at company events or recognizing key business relationships in a company newsletter works. While smaller companies may need to opt for branded pieces that are practical. Both branded and non branded items that enhance their employee and referral partners daily work routine and that can be used in their leisure activities. Learn more about what your employees use and value, invest in top quality name brand pieces that are a fit for your recipient.

Another challenge that arises regardless of the size of the company is lack of time. If you are short on time, branded pieces can be assembled as a kit, gift wrapped and have a personal message inserted; design fulfillment options into your program.

Finally, does gratitude work?
Yes...I bet you recall nice gestures, cards and gifts for performance or that made you feel part of an organization. Building value through gratitude is a powerful motivator and praise never goes out of style.

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