Nationwide ASI Survey Says More Companies Giving Corporate Gifts This Season

The annual corporate gift-giving report released today by the Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI) found more companies than last year are planning to give corporate gifts this holiday season, with 42% rewarding employees (up from 40% in 2017) and 37% (up 5 percentage points) showing client appreciation.

“The economy is booming in many sectors and the job market is very tight, so smart companies hoping to stand out from their competition are thanking hardworking employees and loyal customers through money or cool gifts,” said Nathaniel Kucsma, executive director of research and corporate marketing at ASI.

Nearly 80% of companies surveyed nationwide said they expect to spend about the same as 2017 in total on holiday business gift-giving. On average, employers giving gifts to customers/prospects will spend $48 on each, up from $46 last year.

Respondents to ASI’s 2018 Corporate Gift Spending Survey said the main reasons they give gifts to clients/prospects is to express appreciation and help develop relationships. Other reasons were to generate company goodwill, increase company awareness, obtain a referral, generate a lead and obtain a sale.

When asked to describe in a word how they feel upon receiving a holiday gift from a company they do business with, the majority said “appreciated.”

Of the companies planning to thank employees, 75% expect to include all workers in their gifting. However, the survey also shows that while more companies plan to engage in employee gift-giving this year, they’ll spend less per employee, averaging $65, down $14 from last year.

“Interestingly, while the total dollars per employee declined, the net spending per company remained identical,” said Kucsma. “This tells me that many companies that may have hired aggressively during the last year as the economy strengthened, failed to account for these new employees in their holiday spending forecasts and are therefore spending the same amount as past years, but on more employees.”

The most popular gifts include gift cards, apparel, food/beverages, drinkware and desk accessories.

When asked their “best ever” corporate holiday gift, responses ranged from “tablet computer,” “jacket with Alzheimer’s awareness on it,” “backpack with company logo,” “ham” and “nice large fruit basket” to “Tiffany necklace” and “trip for everybody down to Reno for three days all expenses paid.”

On average, 73% of gifts companies distribute in 2018 will bear imprinted logos – an increase from last year. Nearly half (48%) of all companies planning to give gifts this holiday season said all the items they provide will feature their logo. That tally is up three percentage points from the 45% who said the same in 2017.

For its survey, ASI contacted people from a cross-section of industries who were screened to have a personal role in decisions about procuring corporate gifts for either employees or clients/prospects. The sample size was 552, with a field date of October 2018. Over a third of companies polled had not finalized their gift-giving plans by the time of ASI’s survey.  MORE INFO