Corporate gifts help your organization to strengthen relationships, create goodwill, enhance your company’s image, and create an emotional connection and positive perception of your brand. Though both are valuable marketing tools, there is a distinction between promotional gifts and corporate gifts which should always be highlighted. Promotional gifts are usually of lower cost and quality and are used in large quantities as giveaways in advertising efforts. On the other hand, corporate gifts are higher value and quality presents which are given with the intention of showing gratitude and strengthening relations. Here are some easy dos and don’ts to follow for corporate gifting that will help to boost business success.
- Do find out about company gifting policies. When you are giving a gift to a potential or existing client, finding out the company’s gifting policy should be your initial step. Companies usually tend to have strict rules such as some companies do not allow a gift to be accepted unless there is a witness present or that the value of the gift may not exceed a specific amount. Being aware of and following these rules will help avoid unnecessary problems or awkwardness.
- Do give gifts of appreciation and not expectation. There are many rules on the etiquette of giving business gifts. They all unanimously agree that whether you’re giving internal or external gifts, they should be given with sincerity. One of the most popular types of gifts in business are those that show appreciation. Other categories include celebration gifts (milestone achievements or promotions), special occasions (anniversaries, birthdays, or birth of a child), and holidays.
- Do have your gift professionally wrapped. Great presentation increases the excitement of receiving a gift. Professional gift-wrapping also adds to your message of how much you value your recipient. Don’t be shy to add a personal note in a gift-card too.
- Don’t gift promotional items. Remember the distinction between corporate gifting and promotional gifting, you shouldn’t try to mix the two. This is especially important to keep in mind when it comes to clients. While you might want the advertising from a promotional mug or sweater, consider the tacky aspect of it. Your clients may not want your logo emblazoned on their shelves and may consider it inappropriate or rude.
- Don’t go overboard with lavish or intimate gifts. Your heart might be in the right place, but a gift that is excessive or a little too personal can make your recipient feel awkward. Avoid outlandish gifts like jewelry. Try to stick to dried fruit baskets, chocolates and sweets (such as Gardenia’s Fire!), coffee, or wine and accessories if in doubt.
- Don’t give a gift during the process of tendering. Even if the gifting policy of your client’s company is liberal, giving a gift while you are in the process of bidding for business can be misconstrued as a bribe. It is easily seen as unethical behavior as it can cause the recipient to feel socially obligated towards you.