/EINPresswire.com/ September 10, 2012 – New research conducted by Leighmans.com has revealed that 75 per cent of UK companies now spend more money on corporate hospitality and gifts to drive better relationships with stakeholders. The news comes as many companies still operate under tough financial circumstances.

The Leighmans.com survey polled in excess of 1,000 people and found that over 60% of companies are spending more on promotional items and incentive gifts. Of these companies 37% admitted to having spent over 20% more on gift ideas this year than the last.

Personalised gifts have become increasingly popular too according to the Leighmans.com research. The poll revealed that 45% of companies choose personalised items – gifts such as sponsored Rainham conference bags with logos on the inside and corporate printing and gifts.

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.”

Leighmans.com also found that companies have spent more on gifts through 2012 than they did in 2011. The company reports that its sales of pens using recycled materials and much more have increased in the year to date.

Leighmans.com founder, Darren Leigh, said: “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 specialist Leighmans.com offers companies a huge range of high-end gifts and gadgets in its catalogue. The company works with hundreds of clients and partners including major blue-chip companies such as Deutsche Bank.

For further information, please visit www.leighmans.com.

Media contact:
Lucy Wray or Ellie O’Connell at Peppermint PR
T: 0161 941 4252
E: [email protected] or [email protected]

Notes to editors:
• Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Leighmans.com was established by Darren Leigh, a serial entrepreneur with over 17 years of experience in business.
• Leighmans has worked with a range of clients, from major blue-chip companies including Deutsche Bank, to household names.
• Product lines include wireless laptop mice, 3D paperweights, clothing, speakers, headphones, portable chargers and many more.