Corporate Gift Giving doesn’t just have to happen during the holidays; in fact, corporate gift giving statistics show that the main goals of giving gifts to clients and prospects is to express appreciation and for relationship development -- this can happen (and perhaps even be more impactful) at anytime, not just holidays! A well-thought-out corporate gift giving strategy can be used to affirm and encourage working relationships with clients, colleagues, and prospective clients alike, all year long.
That being said, business gifting can be an awkward experience if you're not familiar with the particulars of gift giving and receiving etiquette. Spending too much, too little, or giving a gift at an inappropriate time may cause your good intentions to be overshadowed by your accidental flub. So before you start buying corporate and business gifts, keep reading for our top tips on corporate gift giving etiquette.
Corporate Gift Giving Etiquette
Business Gifting Ethics: When searching out creative corporate gift ideas, it is important that you check company policy on accepting gifts, as some financial, insurance, and medical industries prohibit accepting gifts, or have limits for the kinds of gifts they can accept. When in doubt, inquire with the company to see if they have a specific gift receiving policy and if they do, be sure to follow it. Appropriate spending can also be an issue -- how much you decide to spend on corporate and business gifts largely depends on your company’s finances as well as your relationship with the employee or client, but, in general, extremely lavish gifts can be awkward at best or viewed as bribery at worst.
Audience: It is important that you keep your audience in mind -- who will be receiving your special corporate gifts? Luxury Client Gifts for your company’s largest account may not be appropriate for an employee thank-you and vice-versa, so be sure to keep your gift recipient in mind. However, you do want something that will show your appreciation, both for your employees, clients, and prospective clients, so use this opportunity to give something meaningful. Yes, corporate and business gifts may present a branding opportunity, but it’s more valuable to view the gifting process as a long-term process of strengthening business relationships and not just a chance to hand out corporate logo gifts.
Gift Giving Occasions: Holidays are the most popular time for Corporate and Business Gifts, but you can have an effective impact if you choose to give special corporate gifts for other occasions and important events, such as a promotion, completion of a big project, anniversary of your business relationship, the closing of a deal, or as a “thank you” for going above and beyond. If the nature of your relationship is a bit more personal, then more intimate occasions such as birthdays, the birth of a child, or anniversary can also call for special corporate gifts.
If you are planning on giving out corporate and business gifts for the holidays, be sure to include everyone. This is especially important if you’re looking for corporate gifts for employees, as they are likely to talk with one another, and your kind gesture may be viewed negatively if an overlooked employee or client feels slighted. To avoid accidentally forgetting someone, keep a list of your clients and employees, and check it when sending out your corporate and business gifts.
Personalization: Giving special corporate gifts are a way to let your clients and colleagues know you appreciate them, so if you can, try to personalize each gift. If you know your recipient’s hobbies, interests, or even their favorite color, use this knowledge to your gift giving advantage. It shows that you listen and pay attention if you give a gift specifically aligned with each recipient’s interest; however, if you have many clients or colleagues, this can simply be impractical. If that’s the case, choose something reasonable yet tasteful, like a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers (try to stay away from cheap promotional items like a pen or mouse pad) and include a personal note or hand-written card with your gift. Some companies have a Corporate and Business Gifts department which can allow you to schedule and send out hundreds of special corporate gifts with a personal message with each one. This can make the act of corporate gift giving easier and more streamlined, but still gives it that personal touch.
Now that you know the importance of corporate gift giving etiquette, I hope you can connect with your clients and employees and strengthen ties with confidence. If you are looking for more creative corporate gift ideas, head on over to our Corporate Gifts page. Farm-fresh flowers make incredibly special corporate gifts, as they can be elegant and luxurious without being inappropriate, as well as fun and office-ready without appearing cheap or commonplace.