A new poll conducted by Leighmans.com – one of the UK’s leading suppliers of corporate gift and incentive products – has revealed that companies are now spending more than ever on corporate and personalised gifts. The company’s poll found that 75 percent of UK businesses are – even in the difficult financial climate – investing more in hospitality and gifts.
The Leighmans.com survey polled in excess of 1,000 people and discovered that six in ten companies currently spend more on incentives and gifts for clients and staff. Of this group 40 percent said that their expenditure has recently increased by over one fifth.
The poll found that personalised gifts are more popular than ever too, with 45 percent of respondents saying that they prefer customised gifts to standard ones. Leighmans.com reports that items like their printed Shanghai pen range and personalised custom 15mmlanyards are proving particularly popular.
Dr Ashley Weinberg, senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Salford, commented: “In sales ‘we buy from people we like’ and so, at a very basic level, some potential consumers may well feel a little emotional boost from an organisation offering them something without charge.”
“Even for those who decline the offer of a gift or hospitality, there is some perception that the organisation who offered it is one that we’re likely to be more open to in future.”
“In this case, we have created our own unwritten understanding – or psychological contract – that raises our expectations of the organisation and means we may be more positively disposed to them.”
The Leighmans.com poll sought to established buying patterns and psychologies in the corporate gifts sector at present. Leighmans.com offers customers a wide range of goods such as sponsored Rainham conference bags with logos on the inside. The survey also found that UK companies spent more money on gifts and incentives in 2012 than in all of 2011.
Leighmans.com founder, Darren Leigh, commented: “Far from the pre-conceived notion that marketing and entertainment are the first things to be cut when the going gets tough, it actually appears businesses are investing more into the development and maintenance of relationships through entertainment and effective promotions.”
“Building business relationships is vital. It can be done through meetings and entertaining and also through carefully selected gifts to existing or potential new business leads. It’s appreciated because it not only represents a financial investment, but also shows empathy and the fact you have invested time into trying to get into the other person’s head to give them something they want. That helps to create and build relationships, which are vital for ongoing business.”
Speaking of human behaviour, Dr Weinberg said: “Perhaps somewhere in between feeling really positive and just as negative, is the vague notion that we might feel indebted, as this organisation has already given us something which is of value. It is not quite an obligation, but it can certainly affect that psychological contract when we come to deciding where to buy from.”
Bury-based Leighmans.com helps customers to choose from a huge range of high-quality, promotional gifts and its customer base includes major blue-chip companies such as Deutsche Bank.