Gifting Etiquette in the Corporate World

Gift giving etiquette in the corporate world is not as simple as one would think. With the business world beginning to open up again, now is the time to review these simple guidelines and nail your end of year gifting.

Here are five key things to keep in mind when planning your corporate gifts.

1. Make gifts personal

To make clients, staff and colleagues feel really appreciated, give a gift that indicates you have taken notice of their taste and interests. Show them you see and value them as an individuals rather than just one of the collective ‘doers’ or ‘buyers’.

Most business these days have databases that allow you to log titbits on individuals – when information comes to hand you can record that John Smith has a penchant for cheese from the south of France. Or perhaps that John Smith is allergic to cheese – anything that will help you tailor a personised gift for Christmas, or any other occasion.

2. Be sensitive to cultural beliefs

Be mindful that different cultures celebrate different events throughout the year. Not everyone within your workplace may celebrate Christmas, thus a Christmas present is meaningless to them. Consider which alternative religious or cultural events may warrant a gift for them, or reframe your ‘Christmas’ gift so that it does not have a religious affiliation.

This is also a key factor when gifting alcohol – while this is a traditional gift for certain celebrations, it is strictly prohibited in other customs. If you are unsure, it is not worth the risk of offence and it would be wise to stick to a safer option.

3. Create a memorable experience

First impressions last! The first impression of a gift is the wrapping and initial presentation. Ensure your gift is beautifully wrapped or boxed and always include a personalised (handwritten if possible) gift card. Once the initial ‘wow’ moment has passed the products within should reinforce a feeling of appreciation. Ensure the gift contents are unique and of high quality.

Keep in mind the gift you give is both a representation of you and your business. Attention to detail is a key component of the gift experience that can reflect and reinforce your business reputation.

4. Be cautious of branding

While the key objective of your corporate gifting to your clients/prospects is to keep your business top of mind, be careful with over-branding. While you may think the company branded hat is both useful and trendy, odds are the recipient won’t share the same view and you limit your gift to use only in certain situations (such as the backyard weeding). Ditch the branding and up the style and you’ll find your gift will still have the desired effect. A stylish straw hat that works for both the beach and BBQs with friends may be commented on and questioned – and the recipient will be sure to mention the gift giver every time.   

5. Delivery of your gift

The best method of delivery is of course in person. Time is an expensive commodity and if you can show your recipient they are worthy of both your gift and your time they will feel all the more appreciated. However, with teleporting not yet fully refined, geographic hurdles may make this impossible. So when purchasing gifts be sure to arrange them with a provider who offers shipping options to meet your requirements.

Seamless, reliable and tracked delivery should all be part of the service offered by your corporate gift provider. Be sure to specify any gift delivery deadlines and remember shipping times can vary depending on delivery location.

Of course, these guidelines apply not only for Christmas gifts but for all corporate gifting. And it is worth remembering that gifting has an even bigger impact when it is unexpected. Take note of your employees’ and clients’ personal milestones and celebrate with them. From birthdays to the arrival of new babies, the purchase of a house or a high school graduation of a child. Acknowledgement of such milestones helps to build stronger relationships leading to a deeper sense of loyalty.

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