Business gifts have one simple goal: building positive relationships. For prospective clients, a corporate gift shows that your company is eager to work with them, if you reach out to existing clients with a surprise present, they will be reminded that you care about them as human beings not just numbers on their bottom line. A gift from a company to an employee can be the an integral part of a positive workplace culture.
Company gifts require some careful thought and wisdom. Let’s look at some of the considerations you’ll need to make when giving a gift as a business.
We’ll talk about some of the occasions you might give gifts; the importance of personalizing gifts; the risks of giving bad gifts; and finally, some gift ideas for companies like yours.
When should your company give gifts?
First, let’s remember that gifts are not the same thing as incentives. They can’t take the place of salary, benefits, competitive pricing, or supportive management.
Business gifts fit in between formal business procedures, to mark personal milestones, important times of the year, or a successful period of work.
You could use gifts to mark any number of important occasions, including:
- Religious and public holidays
- Company anniversaries
- Quarterly sales achievements
- Births and adoptions
- Engagement and marriages
- The end of a financial year
It’s fair to say that employees can expect bosses to remember their birthdays, or to acknowledge an important personal landmark. Some people may want to keep their private lives separate from work. But events like the birth of a child are so important, your colleagues will enjoy the recognition.
You may not have this information when you’re buying gifts for clients, let alone prospective clients, but if you value your customers, look for the right time to surprise them.
Don’t give gifts without personalization
To make the most out of gift-giving, you’ve got to personalize your business gifts as best you can.
Personalization does not just mean engraving your employee’s name on a cheap department store pen. It means you know how they think and feel – and what they would like to receive.
If you don’t know the employee or client personally, even basic information can help create an impressive gift. Find out about their favourite food, sports team, charities, animals, hobbies and interests: there will be some way to connect with the things they love.
Bad gifts are bad for your business
But more importantly, if your gifts lack personal consideration, they will not be successful.
Imagine getting an expensive hamper of fine cheeses for a staff member’s birthday—only to find out that the recipient has been a vegan for years.
Or consider how a journalist would feel if you sent them a lavish present with your latest press release. You wanted to make your company stand out—but instead, it looks like you’re trying to bribe the press.
These days, there is also an ethical aspect to gift-giving. If your company is trying to promote itself as a ‘sustainable’ business, you can’t send plastic junk to your clients and employees.
In short, talk to your colleagues, think carefully, and make sure your gifting spend is worth it.
Some gift ideas for businesses (and when to use them)
So—what do you want to give your clients and employees?
Simple ideas still work with prospective clients. Greet them with pens, post-its, and tote bags at your reception desk or conference stand, and you’ll stick in their memory. Just make sure these products are high-quality, durable, and genuinely useful.
When you’re trying to show you care, it’s more important to provide products with value.
- A luxury gift basket
- Baked goods
- Wellness box
- A thoughtful book
- Snack box
- A gift card
- Handwritten cards
Even a simple gift can be enhanced with elegant packaging.
Just like all gift-giving, the thought counts for a great deal.
If you’re strapped for money, avoid getting the cheapest bunch of flowers in the store. A well-chosen card with a hand-written message shows you care much more.
Company gifts are a fun part of business life, but they do come with some risks.
Staff will be insulted by token gifts if you don’t have meaningful incentives like salary, and paid leave in place. And clients won’t be swayed by a luxury basket if they know your product is inferior.
Just keep in mind the risks that come with gift-giving, and they’ll certainly help you build positive relationships.
It’s worth knowing that there’s a great range of apps and websites dedicated to help you provide excellent gifts to employees and clients: if you’re struggling to keep track, let someone take the work out of it. The Birthday Company is a great way to save time sending great gifts!