Know the essentials when choosing corporate gifts

intro laptop gift

With the high availability of products online and in retail stores, buying the ideal business gift for devoted employees, loyal customers and potential clients has never been simpler.

Nevertheless, with the immense assortment of gift ideas also comes the difficult task of selecting appropriate items through the myriad of choices and picking out a corporate gift that perfectly represents your company.

Studies have shown that the top corporate gifts are:
• Wish cards and desk & wall calendars
• Gift certificates for restaurants or local retailers
• Company branded items
• Prepackaged fruit & food baskets
• Charity donations
• Plants & flower arrangements
• Wine, liquor and related accessories
• Office related necessities like day planners, desk protectors, paper weights, calculators, pens, etc.

Of course, not everyone follows the mainstream trends. Many companies will buy traditional corporate gifts for some of their clients, and more elaborate or targeted sentiments for their more appreciated patrons. If they can afford it, everyone will receive a brushed nickel travel clock in leather case, an indoor/outdoor weather station, crystal ware or a three-piece coffee house press set with stainless steel accents, for example.

If you are put in charge of acquiring the next batch of corporate gifts consider the following buying essentials before heading out to the store:

Verify Corporate Gift Policies: First familiarize yourself with both your and your client’s company gift policies. Some companies prohibit giving or receiving gifts. If that is not the case, check for limitations. There may be a spending limit. Also, confirm that the recipients of your gifts can accept your cheese platter, Belgian chocolates or leather book ends.

Carefully determine your gifts: Know your clients so you are not sending them an inappropriate gift. For example: do not send a widower a pair of pearl earrings for his wife or an asthma patient a plush teddy bear, no matter how cute it looks in a Santa costume. To prevent such disasters, simply call the customer, or their secretary, and ask what they like or dislike, their hobbies, overall style preference, etc.

Take cultural differences in account: A lot of people are very strict about their religious faith and culture. Therefore, do not send a box of pork chops to a Jewish client, a cow leather wallet to a Hindu customer and certainly never wrap a gift in white paper or boxes, because that would symbolize death to them.

Do not neglect the packaging: No gift is impressive when rolled up in a sheet of newspaper. Although this may seem a little over exaggerated, it would not be the first time a gift was presented in unacceptable gifting conditions. If neither you nor any of your employees knows how to decently decorate a box of golf products or novelty soaps, or how to handwrite a brief gift card, rely on one of the many gift-wrapping services available from retailers and shopping centers. It is better to spend the extra cash to achieve a nicely presentable gift, than to embarrass yourself and your company.

Personal delivery: Take time out of your busy schedule to personally deliver your corporate gift. If that is impossible, at least send one of your employees with that extraordinary digital camera, CD/MP3/AM/FM Radio or Italian pasta gift basket, rather than having it delivered by a courier. The extra effort will be noted, more than you can imagine and visiting your clients also offers you an additional opportunity to build a relationship, and show them that you care.