5 Essentials of Corporate Gift Buying

Corporate gifts are sometimes a necessity to show your appreciation towards a client for doing buisiness or to show a new vendor as sign of long and profitable buisiness partnership. You can also gift your employes to show them your appreciation for their hard work. According to a correspondent at Forbes.com "It is always a good idea to show clients your gratitude". Gifts can motivate your employes and make them feel acknowledged but choose a wrong gift and it may end up in the bottom drawer or it may offend someone. But worry not, you can select an appropriate gift which would not only strengthen your partnership but it can also bring new customers and buisiness partners.

There is a vast choice of corporate gifts available online and in retail, which makes choosing the right gift more difficult. Corporate gifting is a billion dollar buisiness all over the world and Singapore being the economic powerhouse is no different. It is essential to look at this 125 billion dollar buisiness through the lens of  the recepients. There are many articles online which may tell you what the companies plan to give as gifts but you need to understand the attitudes, expectations and experiences of the recepients to fully benefit from corporate gifting. All these factors about a recepient must be taken in to consideration when sending a buisiness gift and in turn acheiving the objectives of the company sending those gifts.

There is a study, Buisiness Gift Satisfaction Survey, which concludes that about 57% of the gift recepients are of the point view that a gift can change their opinion about their buisiness partners in both good and a bad way. That's why it is essential to know about corporate gift buying etiquates.

According to American Express Semi-Annual Small Buisiness Operators, the trend in corporate gifting is illustrated in the chart below:

As seen above, nearly half of the companies opt for cards and calenders for buisiness gifts. These cards

often contain logo of the company sending the gift. It is also to be noted that nearly 10% of the corporate gifts tend to be wine or liquor. Donations are also considered as a coporate gift and it can be used as PR tool. But before you go out and buy the "tried and tested" corporate gifts, consider these five essentials for corporate gifts buying.

Go For An Impact:

Any corporate gift you send represents you and your company. It must have an impact on the recepient. Thats why knowing what the recepient wants is a major factor but it is also very diffuclt to know the client or buisiness partner on the personal level. The best bet is to target their hobbies and try to give a gift which showcases their perosnality. All these factors create a story for your gift.

Nearly all buisness gifts receipients are satisfied with their gifts but satisfaction does not mean that your gift may be memorable. An impactful or -more appropriable- a memorable gift is the one which is unique to the recepient only and contains a personal message. It can also be customized with the recepient's initials.  

According to  Buisiness Gift Satisfaction Survey, C-suite excecutives, meaning senior corporate officials like CEO, COO, CTO, are impacted by a gift which has a story to tell. Many higher level executives are more inclined towards gifts which support a social movement. This impact strengthens your buisness partnership on deeper personal level. In the survey many executives were of the view that an impactful gift generates a positive return-on-investment for a corporate gift. These indirect profits due to thoughtful buisiness gifts have a siginifant value.

Confine To A Limited Budget:

Knowing how much is enough is a crucial matter while deciding for a buisiness gift. The optimal amount to spend per gift ranges between $50 to $150. Go for expensive gifts, while being in budget, when you are targeting senior corporate executives or your most important clients. Allot a moderate price tag to your seldom clients.

With the exception of the gift cards, which many do not consider to be impactful, people can only speculate about the price of their gift. But the price range depends on where they lie in the organizational hierarchy or the importance of their buisiness level. That is why always opt for quality over quantity when selecting corporate gifts.

Many companies and government officies have a limit on dollar value of the gifts being received by its employes. It is implemented to ensure there is no conflict of interest. It is recommended to know any such policies before hand, so you may not have to face the embarrasment of a not accepted gift.

Do not Forget Presentation:

As chefs emphasis so much on their presentation, likewise packaging for a gift is a crucial instrument in wooing your recepient. A person taste a dish with his eyes first, this logic ironically also fits the gifting etiquates. A beautiful packed and wrapped gift can be an eye candy for the recepient. Nothing gets your receipients juices flowing like a well packaged gift.

If you are not well graced with wrapping a gift talent, go for the professionals. There are many renowned corporate gifting retailers in Singapore which can cater to your needs.

 Keep Cultural Differences In Mind:

We now live in a global village. Every company is striving to give equal oppurtuinities to every race or ethnicity. Diversity is often the PR slogan for many companies. Due to this reason you should know what kind of gifts are considered taboo in various cultures. This being a sensitive matter to many can ruin your buisiness and personal relationship.

In Singapore there are more than 70 percent Chinese. It is recommended to not give white flowers or chrysanthemums as it symbolizes death in Chinese culture. In China, white flowers are used to pay respect to the dead. As Muslims are the second most biggest ethnicity in Singapore, their cultural and religious sentiments must be kept in mind when giving a corporate gift in Singapore. Do not buy alcohol or pork related edible gifts if the receipient is a Muslim. If you buisiness partner happens to be an Indians Hindu, do not send leather items or cow meat in any form to them. Cows are considered animals of high reverance in their culture and religion so be sure to not offend their religious or cultural sentiments.

 Keeping political affliations exempt from your gifiting experience is highly recomended. It is always dangerous to gives buisiness gifts which show case your political views or your personal views on controversial social topics.

Quality Is A Must:

 While you are confined to a budget, select the gift which is of highest quality for the given price tag. A gift reflects the image of your company, a lower quality gift can damage that image. Purchase quality gifts without exceding your budget.

Don't be shackled to mainstream gifts. Go for a customized and unique gift which will reflect your resolve towards that certain buisiness relationship. In Singapore many retailers are providing customized and innovative gifts. Trusted and reliable retailers like Apex Gifts and Prints provide several quality corporate gifts which are unique in nature. Innovative gifts for your employes like OTG 3-in-1 thumb drive and foldable water bottles showcases  your thoughfulness and uniquenes.


Imprinting a Logo Is Debatable:

Imprinting the gift with your logo is not a necessity. Honestly, it all comes down to your intent. If you are sending  buisiness gifts to your employees for their good and hard work then opt for something that will be useful to them in a long run. Many great quality products like card holders, travel wallets, leather jackets etc are some what ruined by imprinting your logo on them. Those gifts lose, our much discussed, impact and lack the story which might make them memorable. Why make the recepeint feel as tho the gift was a promotional tactic when it was a honestly a goodwill gesture to further strengthen ties. Imagine the loyality you get when the recepient realize that the gift was "a no string attached thank you for doing buisiness with our company".

Now, if you intent to launch a new product or showcase a new logo or brand-that's a different scenerio. As the goal is to promote, we enter the realm of merchandise. You can send your merchandise as a corporate gift but your logo needs to be classy, elegant and thoughtful.

Lastly, corporate gifting if done right has many benefits. It develops your B2B relationships. If you give a product which can be utilized daily in office, it will remind everyone of your goodwill and your appreciation for the office staff. By giving corporate gifts you can raise awareness about your brand name and save money from expensive advertisements.  Study shows that customers who receive corporate gifts are more inclined to spend more on products and services. In short, thoughtful, incentive based and story driven corporate gifts can bring in more referals, more sales, more exposure and they humanize buisiness.