Every year, businesses invest an ever-increasing amount of money in rewards programs in order to create incentive and build employee commitment. Motivation is, as a matter of fact, the cornerstone of human resources, and HR services are always looking for new incentives and rewards.
Of course, the holiday season is always the main event of the year. All the HR teams and works councils in every company are busier than ever. Most will indeed celebrate the end of the year with the staff in a festive atmosphere. One of the high points of these celebrations is the gift distribution to employees. There are all kinds of gifts, but digital and plastic gift cards are always a favorite. In addition to the enthusiasm consumers have shown for gift cards, they have become a must-have for Christmas. Considering this and the fact that some brands already offer gift cards to individual customers, why don’t they take advantage of the holidays to also offer them to works councils and HR?
Help companies celebrate the holidays with gift cards
Gift cards are the perfect way into the rewards programs of companies. Between Christmas trees, meals and dinner parties, … there are many different types of gift exchanges. All the more opportunities for brands to increase their program’s revenue.
Traditions bring new opportunities
The end of the year is the perfect moment to improve relations. The events organized by companies enable employees to escape their usual work setting and get to know their colleagues better. Christmas is a unifying moment, it encourages general well-being, strengthens team spirit and motivates employees. If birthdays, or other events, are optional for some, Christmas and the New Year are celebrations that bring everyone together.
Many companies do not miss the opportunity to mark the occasion by organizing events and giving out gifts to each employee. It is a tradition for most companies because in addition to thanking the recipient for her/his work, a gift is a great incentive. Of course, companies are free to choose among many gift options, but one has proven to stand out from the rest.
Gift cards, the perfect holiday gift
You have guessed it, I am referring to gift cards. Whether plastic or digital, it is a real success with companies, and therefore, an important source of revenue for issuing brands. How come they are so popular? And why is it so profitable for brands with a B2B program?
Well, first of all, companies have a hard time pleasing everyone since every employee has different tastes. Giving everyone the same gift, such as a gift basket, can be welcomed by some but badly seen by others. Gift cards, however, are a flexible gift. Each and every employee can decide to buy anything they want from the issuing brand, for them or their family. Companies can also freely choose the amount on the card, it can depend on the employee’s performances. In all cases, gift cards are a great way to strengthen the bond between employees and leaders.
In addition to being a gift that pleases all, companies can personalize the card for each employee. They can add a private message to show more thoughtfulness. And although it can be customized, it is still quickly and easily bought – if brands offer a dedicated B2B program that is -. It only takes a few clicks for digital gift cards, and a few days for the plastic ones.
And icing on the cake, In France, companies are not subject to social security contributions with gift cards. Provided that they do not exceed €171 per employee (this year), and that the cards are given out on special occasions, part of an official list, like Christmas.
Increase your brand visibility thanks to the holidays
To meet the demand, brands can easily offer gift cards to businesses. That way, they can reach thousands of companies across the country over the holidays.
It is a significant additional revenue for the brand’s program, combined with individual sales, it is a great way to maximize year-end results. In fact, for brands that have already implemented and developed it, their B2B solution represents 25 to 50% of their gift card program revenue. And in addition to increasing revenue, finding a brand’s gift card in the rewards program of many works councils increases brand awareness and recognition. It becomes an advertisement that will potentially be seen by a large number of employees.
But more than that, gift cards are first and foremost an invitation to spend money in a store. It means that every employee that will receive a gift card will become a new customer. Whether they go online on in store, they will discover the brand’s personality, products and services. And if they are won over, brands will gain new customers and start the new year on good financial footing.
Key elements for the implementation of a B2B gift card program
Most importantly, brands must work on their B2B gift card program especially for Christmas. Only that way can they reap its benefits.
Set up a dedicated customer path
The first element to focus on, if that is not already done, is to offer a specific interface dedicated to work councils and companies. They are very demanding and want special features, such as bulk purchasing or an easy way to reach the company if needed. Some will prefer plastic gift cards, others will favor digital, … In any case, the easier the process, the better. It is important to remember that they can choose among several brands for the holidays. Simplifying the purchasing process can tip the scales in your favor.
The second element that should be kept in mind is that Christmas is a special time of the year, and you should make it special. Adapt gift cards to the season, even for business customers. They also expect special designs on the cards that differ from what we see the rest of the year. Cards that reflect the Christmas spirit and magic will be more appreciated by employees.
Create communication campaigns
As with all product, to trigger and maximize sales, you need to communicate through targeted campaigns. Companies and work councils will not take the time to go look if this or that brand offers gift cards, it would be much too time-consuming. However, if they already know that a certain brand offers B2B gift cards, they are more likely to get in touch with them. That is why brands should target potential business customers in a dedicated communication campaign as soon as October.
Finally, the last element, which should not be overlooked, is business relationship. Companies and works councils, even more than individual customers, like to get in touch with gift card issuing brands, especially to negotiate terms and conditions of sale, as well as potential discounts. Therefore, brands must foster a consistent long-term relationship so that companies and works councils come back each year for their Christmas order.
To use gift cards to their full potential, brands can consider selling them to companies. Over the holidays, highlight of the year, companies and individuals alike will be looking for presents to mark the occasion. For those looking to reward employees, gift cards are the ideal gift: easily ordered, tailored to the budget and customizable. They are the perfect tool for brands to seize the opportunity and increase awareness.
Suggestions for further reading
Why should you use digital gift cards for a successful holiday strategy?