Corporate gifting has become a regular ritual in most of the business establishments. It is seen as an opportunity to appreciate the clients and encourage the employees. With several professional agencies that aid in the corporate gifting or innumerable online options available, one is spoiled for choice. For many, instead of helping, the various choices result in confusion. It would help to remember the following before embarking on the process of corporate gifting.
- Know your recipients – Selecting a gift for a personal friend is quite difficult. Now consider selecting one for a person with whom you share only a professional relationship, whose personal tastes you do not know. Best option in this case would be a gift card, if that sounds too impersonal, stick to generic gifts such as calendars or fruit baskets.
- The policies, yours and theirs’ – Both your organization and the client’s organization might have corporate policies that prohibit giving/receiving gifts or limit the dollar value of such gifts. It is to ensure the gift isn’t being considered as a bribe. Check tax implication too.
- Think before you gift cash – Even if you are not sure of what to buy, do not consider cash as a gift. It is socially inappropriate. Resort to gift cards instead. It would be preferred by the recipients too as it gives them the power to choose.
- Cultures are different, so should your gift be – With the business world shrinking, one operates with people and establishments from different part of the world. The customs and practices might vary greatly and it is prudent to check what is appropriate as per the culture or practice of your client. What is appropriate in one culture might be offensive in another. A customised wine bottle which is quite normal in the west would be considered highly inappropriate in Islamic culture. A gift wrapper in white is highly offensive in China.
- Be sensitive to gender – Just like culture differences, gender differences also should be taken into account. Gifts should not be sexist or demeaning. Also gifting make-up accessories to female associates might be considered as undesired intrusion.
- Give only the good goods – What you are gifting reflects on the quality of your business and services and hence opt only for good quality products.
- Personalize – A handwritten note would talk volumes of your gesture rather than just a store bought gift. Delivering it personally would result in loads of appreciation for you.
- It is not all about the company – Many times the logos in the gifts would appear so prominently that employees/clients might hesitate to use it in public. Subtlety is the key.
- The Cover is judged – A gift wrapper makes the first impression. Even a great gift could evoke unpleasant feeling if the packaging is shoddy.
- Time it – Ensure that the gift reaches the intended recipient on time. Plan your shopping ahead, the budget approvals in your company might take time.
With adequate care, corporate gifting would be a wonderful opportunity to enhance the business relationships.