Gift giving varies from culture to culture, region to region and business to business. And in the business world, there are plenty of potential gift-giving pitfalls. For example, the last thing you want to do is to send expensive executive gifts — which may be seen as bribes — to a company or media outlet that has a $25 maximum corporate gift limit. Here are keys to successful corporate gifting:
- Create occasions. In addition to the usual holidays, when promotional gifts are expected, make corporate gifts a regular habit. Avoid the December crush. "Off season" business gifts can make you stand out from the crowd.
- Identify key dates in a client's life, such as anniversaries, birthdays and promotions that you can celebrate with executive gifts.
- Remember that corporate gifts are a great way to say "thank you" and also to promote business products or services, enhance the image and reputation of your company, show respect, express an apology and acknowledge someone else.
- Find executive gifts that suit the taste of the recipients — not your own. Contact others who know the intended recipient and ask about a favorite food, special interests, color preferences, if they collect anything, favorite sports teams, authors or musicians.
- Write a personal note to accompany each corporate gift. All notes should be hand-written. Send business gifts first-class or via your preferred supplier.
- Make sure your corporate gifts are distinctively packaged. Promotional gifts in paper and boxes from prestigious stores have high impact because they offer cachet and status.
A business gift can be food for thoughtWho doesn't like delicious gourmet goodies as corporate gifts? Food is always a good choice to build and maintain business relationships, especially if it's a gift basket that the entire office can enjoy.
corporate gift baskets at Business.com.
Keep it personal with executive giftsOffering personalized or engraved executive gifts to customers enhances your image and shows extra thoughtfulness.
Card them with promotional giftsGift cards are another great way to thank your employees and customers, allowing them to find the item that's just right for them.
business gift cards at Business.com.
Promote yourself with a business giftSend promotional gifts imprinted with your company name and message.
Discover more business gift giving do's and don'tsThere are many ways a thoughtful corporate gift idea can go wrong.
- To give your executive gifts some extra oomph, include a related item. For example, if your business gift is a bottle of wine, add a book about the winery or region it comes from, or a funky corkscrew.
- If you're the business owner and have received a business gift from one of your employees, acknowledging the gift and reciprocating is a must.
- Fitness and health gifts can backfire if it appears you think the recipient is in need of greater fitness. Best avoid a health-related corporate gift, even if you're a fitness buff yourself.
- Don't confirm delivery of business gifts or corporate gifts by asking the recipient if they've received it. Call the vendor or shipper of your corporate gift.
- Vendors not accustomed to shipping items as business gifts sometimes forget and include order confirmations with pricing and other information inside the box. Make sure that does not happen.