Best Corporate Gifting Practices

Are you having a hard time with corporate gifting do's and don'ts?  Whether you're a large corporation or a small start-up, corporate gifting isn't just a great way to show your appreciation - it's a stellar marketing tactic.  The best gifts will foster an emotional connection with your brand.

According to Forbes, 80% of businesses feel that corporate gifting significantly enhances client relationships, while 48% report a significant improvement in customer loyalty.  However, finding the right gift can be tricky.  Here are a few simple guidelines for corporate gifting that will help you make the best decisions.

Why is Corporate Gift Giving Important? 

Sometimes, gifts are relevant, welcomed, and even anticipated in the business world.  Gift-giving boosts awareness and helps develop positive relationships between organizations, clients, and employees.  Additionally, a good corporate gift can make a long-term impact.  For example, gifts can increase custom retention, improve ROI, sweeten morale, and increase brand reputation.

Gifting has been a long-time marketing tactic for all types of businesses.  Giving back can benefit everyone involved, but it also comes with some problematic territory.  Follow the best corporate gifting practices to avoid any embarrassing mishaps.

Always Check Relevant Compliant Laws:

Did you know that gifts to government officials, lavish gifts, or gifts that could be considered bribes are a no-no?  Getting a better understanding of what's acceptable and most definitely unacceptable is important.  Consider having a quick chat with your HR or Compliance Team regarding the rules of corporate gifting.

Cut Down Excess:

Extravagant or over-the-top corporate gifts can send the wrong message.  Some people may feel uncomfortable receiving an expensive gift, or they could feel indebted to you, which can sour the relationship.

There are plenty of cost-friendly corporate gifts that still show your gratitude without seeming pushy.  Small gifts don't equate to cheap either.  Practical and functional gifts don't have to be elaborate and overly costly.

Open the Company Handbook: 

If you're still unsure whether a gift is appropriate, try checking your company handbook.  If the handbook doesn't say anything about gift-giving, be sure to ask HR.  They'll be happy to answer your questions.

Don't Go Basic: 

Boring gifts get boring results.  While we're not saying to do something extreme, consider a unique corporate gift idea that's not your average notebook, chocolate box, or baseball hat.  The gift should be something more valuable.

Gifts for People Outside Vs. Inside Your Company

The guidelines for corporate gifting might change depending on the gift recipient.  Typically, clients, prospects, service providers, and business partners should be on the list if you're buying gifts for people outside the company.  You can use the gifts as a marketing tactic and a relationship-building tool.  That's why it's crucial to select a safe gift that's gender-neutral and keep it relatively small.  If you're adding any message, avoid specific holiday messages.

Buying gifts for people within your company is slightly different.  The purpose of the gif is to show your appreciation for their work rather than try to attract their business.  Company-wide gifts should be something that's genuinely useful.  Your employees will appreciate the gesture of a thoughtful, practical gift much more than a random branded item like a pen, T-shirt, or mug.  Also, it would be best if you bought the same gift for all employees, regardless of their role, to avoid any negative feelings.  It's also important to mention that if you're buying for people within the company, make sure not to leave anyone out.  Your corporate gifting budget should be enough to cover everyone either in the company or on your team - depending the structure of your workplace.

Questions to Ask Before Giving a Gift

Nobody want to receive a useless, lazy gift.  So before you offer a corporate gift to someone, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Will the gift make the recipient feel uncomfortable?
  2. Am I risking showing unintentional favoritism?
  3. Is it appropriate for the workplace?
  4. Could this be seen as bribery?
  5. Would I like to receive this as a gift?

Your answers to these questions above can help you determine if the item you have in mind will be a hit or a flop.

When Can You Give a Corporate Gift?

There's no one right or wrong time to give a corporate gift.  Of course, every business is different, but here are a few common scenarios where you may consider offering a gift.

  • You can use a gift to say thank you to a new client.
  • Include a small gift in your company's welcome package.
  • A swag item at a conference or a trade show.
  • A renewal gift to thank a repeat customer for their continued business.

These are just a few examples.  Company milestones, promotions, birthdays, and marketing events are also approrpriate.

Responsible Corporate Gift Giving

A small token of appreciation can go a long way.  Gifts can be an excellent way to show employees, clients, partners, and coworkes how much you appreciate them.

Try sending a small branded gift if you're not sure what to give.  Branded gift show your appreciation in a way that won't be misconstrued as inappropriate.  The Wallet Ninja is an easy-to-use 18 in 1 tool that's the size of a credit card.  The tiny TSA-approved Wallet Ninja complies with industry guidelines, and you can personalize it in the Custom Shop.

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