Dos and dont's of corporate gifting

intro wines

While you may have the most sincere intentions, gifting in the corporate world can be a double edged sword.

There will be several things to consider when planning a shopping spree for corporate gifts.

Regardless if those presents will be to show loyal clients you appreciate their business, or to boost the morale of dedicated employees, incorrect gifts can not only damage your reputation, but also cost you a lot of business.

Devastating disasters can be prevented by following a few simple guidelines.

What to do

• Determine your objective – Christmas is not the only time of year gifts are given. Incentive plans, plasma TVs, digital camcorders, or GPS systems, for example, will boost productivity and a client who receives an impressive baby gift hamper for his newborn son will probably keep you in mind next time he is replenishing his inventory.
• Compose a recipient list – Determining your recipients will help you choose the right items. This is important because clients and employees should not receive the same gifts. Also, verify if your clients are allowed to accept presents. Company policy may prohibit or limit gifting.
• Be unique – Of course, it is easier to buy the most popular gifts like paper weights, key chains, picture frames, mouse pads and pens, but it is doubtful that they will make you stand out. Instead, pick an object that is connected to your business. For instance, if you are in the music business, give a set of Austrian crystal musical clef place card holders, and if you are supplying restaurants, bars and other liquor serving establishments with your products, you might want to consider an engraved wine bottle opener or stainless steel ice bucket with tong holder.
• Respect cultural differences – In most cases you will know your clients and employees’ cultural and religious background. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice if you are uncertain about what they can and cannot accept. It is better to prevent than to offend!
• Make personal deliveries – Depending on the length of your recipient list, try to make personal deliveries or at least send one of your managers.

What not to do

• Don’t ignore your budget – It is vital when purchasing corporate gifts to keep your budget in mind. Choosing extravagant gifts will not only put you in the red, but it could also be viewed as a bribe by the recipients. On the other hand, cutting costs too much will make you look unprofessional and cheap.
• Don’t give personal gifts – Personal gifts are for family and friends, but have no place in the corporate world. Keep your gifts neutral, tasteful and professional. It will avoid casting the wrong impression.
• Don’t play favourites – Be discrete when handing out vouchers, travel alarm clocks, business card holders, Christmas ornaments or other knickknacks and try to keep gift items in the same price range for employees at the same level. People brag and before you know it, your serene work environment is gone. Even your clients may accidentally run into each other and compare your generosity.
• Don’t wait until the last minute – Plan ahead so you don’t have to rush your order. Without proper research, you may end up buying the wrong gadgets or paying too much. If the items are backordered you may even end up empty handed.
• Don’t restrict gifts to office supplies – Bring variety into your gift choices. People may enjoy working for you, but do not need a constant office reminder when they are at home with their family. As much as you would like to be proven wrong, even the workaholic needs a break!