Corporate Gifts Best Practices - Anthony's Library and Resources

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Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Corporate Gifts Best Practices

A corporate gift is a gift purchased for employees, executives, stockholders or customers of a business. Corporate gifts may be purchased for many different reasons. The first and foremost function of the corporate gift is to provide a means of thanking people for their contributions to your company. This may be thanking employees for all their hard work, or thanking clients for their business. Providing people with a gift of thanks is an excellent means of ensuring clients will provide you with return business, and will also aid in keeping staff morale high.

Gifts to clients (particularly gifts that will last for a substantial amount of time and will be able to be used on a repeated basis) will ensure that your customer will be reminded of your services on a frequent basis. This will increase chances of repeat business with that client and will also increase chances of referrals for your business.

When providing corporate gifts for customers and clientele, many companies opt for small, useful items that are emblazoned with the company logo. By providing such items, it is possible to obtain repeat business, new business and new business through referrals, as the company logo is able to remain present in the minds of those who receive the corporate gift. A promotional gift is a great way to ensure that you will be the company people call when a particular service is required. Studies have shown that these types of personalized corporate gifts are an excellent means of increasing response rates, and of improving the profile of your company.

Corporate gifts are included under the customer service category. By providing your clientele with a gift, not only will it serve to thank them for their business, it will also serve as a means of building rapport to ultimately gain their repeat business, loyalty and to hopefully encourage them to refer your name on to others requiring a particular service. Thus the corporate gift will also serve as a powerful marketing tool.

Corporate gifts should show a degree of personalization. When selecting the types of corporate gifts to give to employees or clientele, be sure you think about what they might enjoy or use. Select items that will be relevant to their working or home lives, not items that they may never use.

It is imperative to ensure a thoughtful and personalized gift is provided to people, as gift giving in the wrong way may result in alienating or upsetting clients, jeopardizing future business or diminishing respect amongst work colleagues.

There are many different items that are suited to be used as a corporate gift; alternatively there are other forms of gifts, such as hosting a meal in a restaurant. The type of gift you provide should be well planned, with plenty of thought going into the initial decision of what to provide as a corporate gift.

The appropriateness of each form of corporate gift will vary according to any policies held within workplaces, the country in which your workplace is located and the location any other relevant workplaces are established. This manual will outline all steps and requirements necessary to ensuring your corporate gift is relevant, appropriate, and thus, well received by the recipient.

Whom to Give Corporate Gifts to
The process of selecting corporate gifts can be quite overwhelming. In a large company it can be difficult to decide who should receive corporate gifts. To decide who you will be sending corporate gifts to, it is important to decide why you are sending the gifts out, and the desired response to the gift. Common reasons for sending gifts out are:
  • To thank customers for their business and thus ensure their loyalty and repeat business.
  • To build rapport with customers or business associates.
  • To enhance the image of your company in society.
  • To optimize staff morale and decrease the turnover of staff.
  • To congratulate loyal customers, employees and associates on any important achievements.
  • As a means of sorrow or condolences in certain situations.
Once you have determined your reasons for sending out corporate gifts, you will be able to determine who will be receiving gifts, and thus, how many gifts will be required. Anyone can be given a corporate gift, provided you think they are a suitable recipient. The following options will help you in deciding whom you should send corporate gifts to:

1. Long term clients: Long term clientele should receive corporate gifts (especially for significant holidays and events) to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction, and to obtain repeat business from the client. Providing customers with a corporate gift will also increase chances of new business through referrals.

2. Anyone who has collaborated with you on a project: Any individual who has participated in an important project in the organization should be provided with a corporate gift as a token of thanks and appreciation for the effort they have put in to your company.

3. The boss or executive staff members: Providing this is acceptable, and there is no company policy against this, providing the boss with a corporate gift is a means of thanking them for the work and effort they put into the company. Gifts for these staff members should appeal to an interest or hobby they might have or should be relevant to the position they hold within the company.

4. Immediate support staff and colleagues: For all the staff members that work directly with you or under you, a corporate gift provides an excellent token for showing appreciation for their dedication and hard work. It is also an excellent means of building staff morale to ensure the amount of dedication and hard work is continued. Gifts for these members of the staff should be functional, yet elegant, provide a personalized touch and show that thought has been put into the present they have received.

5. Individuals or companies who provide frequent referrals: Many companies obtain new business via referrals. If you company receives significant amounts of business due to referrals from particular companies or individuals, ensure you send these companies or individuals a  corporate gift to thank them for their contributions and support to your business, and to ensure the referral of clients to your business will continue.

The rules of giving corporate gifts
When deciding what corporate gifts you will be giving, and who will be receiving them, there are a few rules that should be kept in mind. This is to ensure that corporate gifts remain appropriate and are gratefully received.

The rules that apply to giving corporate gifts will vary in different workplaces, and in different countries. The following rules are provided as a basic guide to selecting and providing corporate gifts, however it is also best to check your company policy as well.
  1. Give corporate gifts to your colleagues, employees and support staff, but only give corporate gifts to your boss if there is no company policy advising against this. In some companies, gifts to the boss may not be appropriate.
  2. If you are opting to provide a gift with your company logo on it, ensure the logo is small and tasteful. If the logo is too large, the gift will only appear as a form of advertising and will not portray the intended message. Blatant advertising on a gift may be seen as tacky or even offensive in some cultures and will certainly diminish the desired response to the gift.
  3. Avoid giving business gifts that touch or are applied to the skin, such as perfumes or lotions (this is particularly true for presents to women); there is such thing as a gift that is too personal, and it may result in some form of office controversy. To avoid such a situation, it is generally ideal to opt for a unisex present (i.e. a present that is suitable for either a male or a female).
  4. Be sure to send a card or label with your gift, to ensure the recipient knows who the gift is from.
  5. Choose the gift with the recipients in mind. Try to send something that is relevant and appropriate for their work or home life; avoid sending things that cannot be utilized by the recipient. Giving thought to the selection of the gift will ensure it is well received. Stick with a simple, thoughtful gift, as opposed to an overly expensive, ostentatious gift; this will only serve to mask the meaning of the gift. Ensure you maintain a standard costing for your corporate gifts.
Think of the corporate gift as an investment in your company, so ensure you select a gift that is useful and will be remembered. Keep in mind the fact that the corporate gift may serve to increase customer satisfaction, thus resulting in their repeat business and the possibility of increased referrals to your business. A corporate gift is also an excellent means of increasing staff morale to ensure staff will work as efficiently and effectively as possible.

If you are giving perishable items, such as food, ensure you include some non-perishable items as well. Perishable items will only last a matter of days, after which they will be forgotten. Non-perishable items will last a significant amount of time and will ensure the recipient is continuously reminded of your thoughtfulness. This will increase customer loyalty and satisfaction in your business, will increase chances of repeat business and will hopefully result in new business through increased referrals from other clients and associates.

Remember, quality is more important than quantity. A single, elegant item will be much more appreciated than a whole array of cheap goods that do not work.

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