Festive corporate gifts that deliver greater impact for your business

Posted on September 12, 2023 by Kess Crighton

Now more than ever, your clients and colleagues deserve to be treated to an extra-special gift at Christmas. The issue is, as the cost of gifting continues to climb, businesses can’t afford to give out of the goodness of their (corporate) hearts. Christmas gifting needs to deliver lasting impact.

Giving to receive is usually perceived as socially unacceptable – it’s not the done thing. But this unacceptability is a modern construct. The notion of giving to receive actually finds its roots in ancient spiritual law: that blessings come to those who are generous. 

The modern commercialisation of gifting and one-upmanship of giving – the idea that people only give to receive a better, more expensive gift in return – is likely to blame. But if you remove this competition from the equation, giving to receive joy, connection and kinship – rather than a tangible gift – ought to be socially accepted. Encouraged even. And the same positive attitude should be applied to the reciprocity of corporate gifting. 

Triggering emotional responses and chemical reactions

Giving gifts is still the number one way to connect with others – in both personal and professional settings. Just think about the last time you attended a trade show. How many businesses were giving away freebies in exchange for momentary connection? 

The same principle applies when companies gift their clients and colleagues at Christmas. Corporate festive gifting strengthens the connection between you and your giftees, and shows them how much you appreciate their continued commitment to your company.

In return, these connections deliver impact for your company – from increased morale and motivation to productive working relationships. But the most impactful corporate gifts make your clients and colleagues feel truly valued, appreciated and thought of. Why? Because when recipients experience these strong positive emotions, three chemical responses are triggered in the brain: 

  • Dopamine: a neurotransmitter that helps us feel pleasure as part of a reward – connecting the positive feeling to the act of receiving a gift. 
  • Oxytocin: the ‘love’ hormone that helps us foster bonds with other people.
  • Serotonin: the ‘happy’ chemical that contributes to our overall wellbeing, happiness and mood regulation.

These feel-good chemicals are responsible for strengthening human bonds – whether between a mother and child, or you and your recipients. 

Corporate gifts that make clients and colleagues feel truly valued ensure these chemicals are released, that human connections are created, and that the reciprocal benefits are as impactful as possible – for as long as possible. 

Corporate gifting means more this Christmas

Your clients and colleagues know that the cost of giving is increasing, so your corporate gift will feel even more thoughtful this Christmas. You’ll establish the emotional connections you need to deliver impactful results. You’ll give to receive. 

But which corporate gift you give can also impact how your gesture is received. As household budgets continue to be squeezed, treating clients and colleagues to a gift card – rather than a box of chocolates or bottle of wine – will give them the freedom to choose their own gift. 

Gift cards for discount stores or utility companies may seem like an appropriate option at first thought, but these kinds of transactions don’t make us feel strong, positive emotions – so they won’t trigger the feel-good chemicals required to build connections. 

To discover which gift cards make people feel most connected to the companies that gifted them, we surveyed 1,000 members of the British public – across all age groups and backgrounds. 

80% of respondents said they’d feel ‘truly valued’ or ‘genuinely delighted’ if they received an M&S Gift Card from a business. These are strong, positive emotions that ensure you build strong, positive connections with your recipients. And this year, an M&S Gift Card means so much more to your recipients, allowing them to treat themselves to all the little extras that make Christmas so special – from festive pyjamas for all the family, to decadent desserts for the big day. 

M&S is also very reasonably priced across the board, with many everyday items – such as bread, milk and sausages – available at a lower cost than other supermarkets. An M&S Gift Card unlocks exceptional quality and excellent value – whether your recipients are topping up on household essentials or indulging in their festive favourites from the M&S range.

It could make all the difference to your recipients’ Christmases – and the business impact you deliver in return. So whether you’re thanking clients for their support this year, or rewarding staff at the office party, treat them to an M&S Gift Card. Give to receive, and reap the benefits long into the new year. 

To learn more about the emotional impact of thoughtful corporate gifting, read our report, Unforgettable impressions: What do your corporate gifts say about your brand?