What is a B2B gifting platform and why are they important?
Corporate gifting isn’t exactly a new tactic for B2B go-to-market (sales, marketing, customer success) and HR teams. Gifting has been a long-standing business strategy that’s proved effective for decades.
However, with the economy shifting further towards digital commerce & advertising plus the explosion of remote work culture, gifting has seen a renewed interest in business, especially among B2B businesses.
The buying committee for a B2B solution averages 6-10 stakeholders, each one requiring a personal connection to be established by a seller. Not to mention, with the majority of meetings now occurring online, speaking with others over the phone or an app, and never meeting them in-person makes it extremely difficult for revenue and HR teams alike to build authentic relationships and real partnerships.
That’s why B2B corporate gifting has taken off in recent years.
In this article we’ll cover:
- The rapid expansion of the corporate gifting industry
- What is a B2B gifting platform?
- Where do corporate gifting companies fit in with gifting platforms?
- What are the top corporate gifting companies?
- Which luxury corporate gifting companies offer the best experiences?
- Why invest in a corporate gifting platform?
Corporate gifting is a traditional approach to building unique connections in business and maintaining a human touch in professional relationships, whether they be between employers and employees, sales teams and prospects, customer success teams and clients, or marketing teams and prospective customers.
Before 2020 when working in office was the status quo, buying a cup of coffee or a donut for a colleague was a common practice to show appreciation. Now that’s not possible in many cases (nonetheless gifting something special to a prospect or customer), showing gratitude has become a more complicated and daunting task.
After all, sending virtual messages and spending some time on video calls just doesn’t quite have the same impact as making in-person connections.
B2B corporate gifting and Offline Engagement has become an integral component of doing business in an increasingly online and remote business world. Companies can use corporate gifting as a channel used in-tandem with digital engagement to strengthen human connections among employees, customers, and prospects. The offline channel (think corporate gifts, direct mail, branded swag) can bridge gaps created by an online world where we seldom meet face-to-face.
Many B2B organizations have taken advantage of the ways gifting can strengthen relationships even in the absence of person-interactions. As a result, an entire industry has emerged to fulfill the needs of businesses that use gifting as a way to strengthen relationships and build connections on every level.
Elevate relations and celebrate milestones with meaningful gift offerings
B2B corporate gifting has become a central component of many companies' efforts in sales outreach, marketing, and internal relationship building. Corporate gifts for employees are an effective way to boost loyalty and drive productivity within a company—explore all employee gifting milestones that serve as opportunities for HR and people teams.
Postal pro tip: Automatically send gifts based on employee milestones with the Postal + Workday integration.
Additionally, executive corporate gifts have become a mainstay of sales teams’ toolboxes to get in front of high-value prospects who may hold the keys to closing a large deal. Explore these 14 sales gifting use cases that will elevate the buyer experience.
Corporate gifting can range in the B2B world from simple considerations to high-end corporate swag, and it can take the form of anything from virtual gifts to locally sourced goods that show recipients that they’re well regarded and remembered personally.
For this process to be optimized and efficient as possible, it’s vital for your company to have a corporate gifting strategy. This gives you an idea of who you want to send gifts to, when you want to send them throughout the year, and what kind of gifts you might send. That way, the gifting service you choose to work with can more easily help you improve efficiency and effectiveness.
The rapid expansion of the corporate gifting industry
Ever since the pandemic in 2020, the corporate gifting industry has undergone significant growth. The lack of in-person interactions, remote office spaces, and the fact that partnerships start without ever meeting in-person have dramatically increased the need for a way to show people how you feel about them in an authentic way.
When someone lives across the country or—in some cases—across the world from where you are, the best way to showcase your recognition and appreciation is through gifts. That’s where corporate promotion gifts become useful and even an integral part of a business’s marketing and sales strategy. Explore the corporate gifting email templates that sales teams are using to secure time with decision makers within key accounts and accelerate deal velocity.
That has led to many small and large companies turning their attention to fulfillment services and corporate gifting platforms that help take some of the burdens off of them. Having a corporate gifting strategy is a lot simpler when you’re not responsible for designing, manufacturing, and shipping out every product with your brand’s logo or name on it. You still need to actively participate throughout much of the process, at least to start. The time and effort that you have to put in are significantly lower compared to completing everything in-house.
As companies have increasingly embraced Offline Engagement over recent years, the gifting industry seems poised to grow significantly. When we look at gift industry trends, this becomes clear: 2021 saw gifting as a business channel become more important as the pandemic continued and more brands elected to go increasingly online.
Valued at $242 billion in 2021, the corporate gifting industry is now expected to reach $312 billion by the end of 2025, according to Coresight Research.
However, 2021 wasn’t the first year this trend was identified. In 2019 and 2020, another report from Knack showed that many businesses were already eyeing gifting as an important way to create business-critical connections. That report showed that 89% of executives believed that business gifts bring people to close together.
Corporate gifting statistics from this report also pointed to 40% of executives responding that they planned to give more gifts in 2019 than in 2018. Indeed, the corporate gifting market size seems to be still growing as more companies opt to move to remote workforces for reasons ranging from pandemic safety to cost-effectiveness and employee preference.
As we can see, this new way of remote and hybrid work is not going away any time soon. In fact, it’s quickly turning into the new normal, as most employees see flexible work as a must for their daily lives. By knowing that, we can be certain that the need for corporate gifting will only go up, and the success of the entire industry will only continue to climb.
What is a B2B gifting platform?
As the offline channel (gifts, direct mail, swag) has emerged as a crucial tactic for many B2B companies, technology has also evolved within the corporate gifting industry to keep pace with changing needs that have emerged, and the introduction of gifting platforms is one of the most important. B2B gifting platforms and Offline Engagement Platforms offer a more systemized approach for businesses to manage their gifting strategy.
A hands-off user experience while maintaining personalization and customization options saves time for companies and enables them to scale their offline strategy to meet their goals.
The way these platforms do this is by automating and consolidating management. From one centralized hub, team members responsible for gifting can easily manage, track, automate, and report on the success of their offline efforts as they would within a digital marketing tool.
Gifting platforms can be aimed at various uses, and some specialize in external connections, such as client and prospect gifting, while others are focused on internal gifting efforts, such as employee gifting. Most, such as Postal, have some form of a corporate gifting marketplace where users can peruse products available from vendors around the world.
Client gifting services that client gifting platforms provide access to can offer companies ways to easily scale their marketing efforts, while employee gifting platforms offer employers a way to easily manage employee gifting each year which can be scaled as the company grows. Gifting companies in the USA have evolved significantly in both cases to meet the ever-changing needs of businesses that use gifting as part of their revenue or productivity strategies.
Sending gifts to your employees, business partners, and clients is a terrific way to maintain relationships, yet executing it without the proper vendor in place can be challenging.
Maintaining a gifting strategy can be extremely time-consuming and will likely require at least one person to be fully dedicated to it. That’s something most small, and middle-sized companies can’t afford. This is where corporate gifting platforms come to save the day by minimizing the effort required from your end and enabling you to design and send corporate promotional products to your most valuable business partners or customers.
If you already know exactly what kind of merchandise you want to create, the process will be even smoother and faster. Even if you don’t, the top corporate gifting platforms will offer to help you with choosing and designing the items you send out.
Where do corporate gifting companies fit in with gifting platforms?
Unlike gifting or offline platforms, corporate gifting companies aren’t a new concept—the reality is they have been around for a long time, as sending gifts and creating merchandise is something that American businesses have been doing for the last two centuries.
Nowadays, most organizations want to be able to order all kinds of items from more luxurious ones—suitable for business partners and clients—to more everyday items that can be offered as small employee incentives or brought to large events. With that said, finding one company that can source everything from a branded umbrella to a leather wallet is a challenging task, to say the least.
Along with that, some businesses are interested in creating custom gifts for special occasions and for the holidays, which requires even more flexibility from corporate gifting companies. That’s how the need for the platforms emerged. They now provide business owners with the opportunity to work with several manufacturers while managing the entire process from one place.
Corporate gifting companies have indeed become more important as the industry has evolved, and many of them have become mainstays for businesses wanting to keep up with or engage gifting strategies to do everything from driving growth and engagement to keeping their teams close together even when employees are working remotely. And as important as gifting companies in the USA like Teak & Twine have become, many businesses have a wide range of user needs that one gifting company might not be able to fulfill.
This led to the emergence of gifting platforms. Distinct from a standard gifting company, gifting platforms allow companies to send gifts from many businesses, small and large, that can range from simple handwritten notes and favors to elaborate custom corporate gifts.
Offline Engagement and gifting platforms serve as the connectors between B2B companies and the variety of corporate gifting companies they’d like to send from.
Gifting and offline platforms often use gifting companies as vendors within their marketplace ecosystem and offer businesses a way to use more than one gifting company while still being able to manage all their gifting needs in one place. They work with large companies and even small businesses that can be locally sourced. This has streamlined the process significantly for many businesses and allowed teams to find the right corporate gifting ideas easily, and ensure that their gifting isn’t just scaled to meet their needs but it’s efficient as well.
What are the top corporate gifting companies?
The top corporate gifting companies offer exclusive, memorable experiences, which can be vital for driving the effectiveness of gifting campaigns. More memorable gifts leave a lasting impression, and that’s where these companies come in—explore their offerings here.
By offering higher value VIP corporate gifts, these companies enable businesses to create more impactful experiences, which in turn drive better results from gifting. Corporate gifting companies in the USA that offer higher-value gifting experiences are useful for businesses that hope to strike meaningful connections with high-profile customers and clients. For high-value recipients, it can be important not just to send a gift—but to send a truly meaningful and memorable gift.
And it isn’t just limited to national recipients. Many companies do business overseas or in other countries, and top gifting companies in the world offer international shipping and high-value gifting experiences that can be used even with customers and clients on the other side of the world. For larger companies that conduct business internationally, this can be vitally important for their marketing and client retention strategy.
Effective gift-giving can help businesses overcome international cultural barriers by expressing appreciation and interest through gifting—a universal gesture of kindness. The top corporate gifting companies in the world offer ways for businesses to drive these kinds of experiences despite national boundaries.
The best corporate gifting business will seldom send a package with a hoodie paired with a notecard. Instead, they try to create a truly memorable unboxing experience for the person who is receiving the item. After all, even if you order an expensive gift, if it arrives in some clumpy packaging that looks like it's seen its best days, the impression you will make on the recipient won’t be good.
That’s why, when considering which corporate gifting platform to work with, you need to ask them not only about what items they can make but also what unboxing experience they’re able to deliver. Often that includes things like special packaging, personal handwritten notes, and other small details that are there to make the recipient feel appreciated and thought of. When it comes to sending gifts, some businesses even want their packaging to have a specific smell and design.
Which luxury corporate gifting companies offer the best experiences?
Few companies would try to claim that they give the same presents to the CEO of a company as they do to their employees on their first day. A gift is a symbol of the relationship in one way or another, and when it comes to business, on some occasions, you need to spend a little bit more money and get a more luxurious present.
For example, when you’re signing a big, new deal or when you’re renewing a long-term partnership, sending your partners some branded pens, a mug, and a tote bag may make a bad impression on them, especially if you are making a high-value deal. For such cases, you need to be able to deliver a present that’s not only luxurious and expensive but that also has a personal touch and shows that you know a thing or two about the person receiving it.
For truly important recipients, luxury corporate gifting companies offer truly high-end gifting solutions. These stand out immediately as truly high-value gifts, and they’re used by companies that wish to truly underscore their appreciation in ways that aren't easy to overlook. Luxury corporate gifts can take a range of approaches, and they might be premium virtual gifts or even high-end in-person experiences, but they aim to not only please but impress as well. Whether they be highly sought-after electronic devices, premium foods, and drinks, or even premium subscriptions or event experiences, luxury corporate gifts are designed to be unforgettable and drive palpable results. These are gifts for truly high-priority recipients—very important clients or prospects, and even employees who employers wish to reward for all their hard work and dedication.
Luxury corporate gifting companies offer gifts that are often used internally to drive happiness, like expensive employee appreciation gifts and high-end corporate holiday gifts that remind employees that they’re important to the team and that their time and work are highly valued. These types of gifts can be quite effective at driving productivity and reducing employee turnover by showing team members how much they mean to the team. For driving internal relationships, luxury corporate gifting companies can be a huge asset to employers.
Luxury gifts come in all forms—they can be expensive dinners, rare bottles of alcohol, high-quality leather products, high-tech gadgets, and more. It all depends on who the recipient is and what they will most enjoy receiving. With that said, another important factor is the way the gift is presented. You don’t want to provide a cherished business partner or valuable client with a standard package from DHL in their cardboard box.
Instead, you want to create a luxurious experience. The best corporate gifting companies can make that happen by guiding you as you create your gift or box, choose colors and other design details, and make decisions regarding strategy. That way, when someone opens their present from your company, they will immediately feel cherished and certain that you’ve put effort into your gift. And after all, when it comes to business, that’s the kind of impression you want to leave on people.
Why invest in a corporate gifting platform?
Offering gifts to B2B clients, partners, and even prospects, is a must in a world that seems to be growing ever more distant. Offline Engagement is a proven channel that forms real connections with those who matter most to your business.
For employees, it’s a way to make them feel a part of the company, welcomed and immersed in the culture. For clients, it's merchandise that they can use to show their loyalty to your brand and to spread awareness amongst their close circle or a high-value gift that leaves a lasting impression. And when it comes to business partners, it’s a way to show appreciation and solidify relationships that make your business grow.
With that said, having to come up with gift ideas, source them, and deliver so many different kinds of gifts is a difficult task even for big corporations, let alone small businesses. Getting help from a third party can take care of the more difficult and time-consuming parts of the process so your team can focus more on the creative and strategic side of things. This kind of all-in-one platform can be a lifesaver for companies that only want to give their stakeholders the very best but that don’t have a lot of time to spare.
When it comes to execution, corporate gifting platforms give teams everything they need to ensure that their gifting strategy is efficient, effective, and easy to manage. Solutions like Postal offer users a way to manage their gifting strategy at scale, pick from a wide range of gifting companies and vendors, and ensure that gifts are effective and relevant to recipients, on some occasions even branded. With a corporate gifting platform, team members can easily send custom corporate gifts, whether they be unique executive gifts or expensive employee gifts.
Corporate gifting platforms can even offer users ways to track how effective their gifts are and provide insights like ROI and acceptance rates, which help inform future gifting and underscore the importance of gifting when it comes to driving meaningful business relationships. Corporate gifting platforms are often cloud-deployed, enabling users to manage their swag all from one place without having to keep up with multiple platforms or download cumbersome software suites and streamline the entire process so that it can easily be scaled to meet any needs.
For businesses that need to scale their gifting, save time and effort and wide access ranges of gift options, and ensure that their gifting efforts are effective, companies like Postal offer everything they need to create meaningful experiences at scale and quickly. To learn more, you can request a demo with Postal and explore a marketplace with vast options of vendors, small and large, that provide memorable experiences and effective results.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between B2B gifting and corporate gifting?
B2B gifting involves businesses exchanging gifts to strengthen relationships and initiate collaborations. Corporate gifting, on the other hand, is giving gifts within a single organization to boost morale, enhance loyalty, or mark milestones. B2B focuses on inter-business connections, while corporate gifting targets an organization's internal and external stakeholders.
What are the benefits of B2B gifting?
B2B gifting nurtures relationships, retains clients, and increases brand visibility. It expresses gratitude, serves as a marketing tool, and sets businesses apart. Sustainable gifts demonstrate corporate social responsibility.
Is B2B corporate gifting profitable?
Strategic B2B corporate gifting enhances partnerships, boosts client retention, and elevates brand exposure, potentially attracting more opportunities and clients. When chosen wisely, corporate gifts can offer a significant return on investment, making it a profitable endeavor when integrated into a clear business strategy and budget.