How Corporate Gifting can Grow your Business, Marketing Psychology
Corporate gifting is a largely unexplored facet of marketing, especially in India. Although it doesn’t directly come under the umbrella, it is indeed a very important tool that must be a part of any company’s marketing strategy. Just imagine, you receive a water bottle from an XYZ company, which is great in style and quality and serves your purpose so much so that you carry it everywhere you go. The right customized branding on it will travel with you and carry with itself the legacy of the company that’s gifting it. People who know you and even those who don’t get to know about it.
Now, visualize a hundred people carrying this bottle. These ‘carriers’ move around and let the buzz travel with them; your brand gets indirectly promoted by these people, who are actually only using a fantastic product gifted to them.
The basic reason that this approach should work is because of cognitive biases, which marketing psychology closely associates with. Marketing psychologists throughout the world keep researching to find how the way we think can influence us to buy a product or service. Similarly, corporate gifting can help you grow your business substantially due to some remarkable cognitive biases that majorly influence our decisions.
Corporate gifting can and does play with your customers due to some scientific, human phenomena, such as the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, Social Proof, and reciprocation (and more).
Corporate Gifting brings more business due to Social Proof
The best way I can explain these cognitive biases to you and how they make gifting useful is by telling you stories. Think of two food stalls - one has a high number of customers eating and with some even waiting to get inside, while at the other, you only see two, three people (none, at worse). Where do you go? You may want to indulge in a deep, philosophical argument with your companion, but you will end up going to the restaurant that is already packed with people, even if you have to stand in a queue (unless, of course, you’re famished). Do you realize how this functions? Social proof or the bandwagon effect. When you have to try something new, you go with popular opinion, in a way, copying the others. Can’t help, it’s a cognitive bias! Whatever explanation you want to give it, turns out that number is a big player here.
Very similarly, the more people you see around you using a product, the more would you be likely to want to buy it too.
How corporate gifting stimulates the bandwagon effect:
When you give gifts to your clients or employees, say that you have as few as only 5 employees and clients, you sort of shoot your brand’s identity 10 times in the air. The number of times you repeat it, the higher the chances of the people around this group noticing the gift and hence your brand’s existence. With proper implementation, you can influence that your employees’ and clients’ close associates to want to try some of your products or services too.
Therefore, while you may think that you are wasting money in buying gifts for them, while you’re only silently promoting yourself.
Corporate Gifts have the perfect Ballooning effect for the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon
The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon (frequency illusion) is very much like the process of falling in love, as they show in Bollywood movies. The protagonists keep spotting each other at various places before they finally fall in love and call each other date. So, the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon occurs when you are made to see one thing again and again. The first time you see the logo of a brand, you ignore it, the second time you see it, you notice it, and after the third or the fourth time, you’ll tend to get interested in it. It happens when companies place ads so that you keep seeing their brand again and again and eventually buy it.
How corporate gifting stimulates the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon
As weird as it sounds, people start noticing what they see everywhere. After they have seen it multiple times, their cognitive bias leads them into buying it too. So, when you present thoughtful gifts to your employees or clients, or prospective customers, similar to the bandwagon effect, more people see your brand. Regular gifting would not only keep your present and future clients happy, but they will also keep reminding them of your existence and give them an illusion of ‘love’. Interesting, isn’t it?
Reciprocation Seals the Deal
If you have read more about corporate gifting, cognitive biases, and marketing, I believe reciprocation is usually the first term experts mention. Reciprocation literally means ‘responding to a gesture by making a corresponding one.’ Since we’re talking business here, when you give gifts to your clients, employees, or customers, you earn a likelihood of reciprocation from them. Reciprocation bias is usually triggered in our brains when we receive favors, gifts, or anything pleasant. To understand better, it’s best to put yourself in the recipient’s position - you receive an unexpected gift (could be some bonus as well!) from your boss, how do you respond to it? Probably by working harder? If you receive some present from a business partner, you will likely give them something as well. Similarly, corporate gifting can bring more business as clients remain happy and develop a feeling of reciprocation towards you or your organization and get bound with you over an unspoken, unofficial contract. They’ll do more business with you. If it’s your customers, they’ll keep buying products from you.
Not just it, there are many other cognitive biases that come to play when it comes to corporate gifting. You must start delving deep into this realm of gifting, which is exciting, thoughtful, and super strategic. It can grow your business and make your clients, customers and employees fall in love with you! What’s the best that can happen: your clients will get you more work and $$ and your employees will grow more and more productive.
You should now get going to look for some great corporate gifting ideas. I can suggest this cool sustainable, customizable coffee mug from Headway. Trust me, it can legit bring you more business.