Correct Corporate Gift Giving

Correct Corporate Gift Giving! In the business world sometimes gift giving is a simple way to show appreciation to a client, or to send a message of goodwill to initiate a new partnership. Gift giving is a tradition in many cultures and a pleasant way to show affection, appreciation, or respect to others. Often gifts are exchanged during holidays and at special occasions. It is not traditional to give business gifts but they can be a powerful part of a manager’s social arsenal and a nice way to project a generous, and therefore successful, company image.

Running a business is all about juggling several tasks, and one of those is personal relationships, be it with a client, partner, board member, supplier, and so forth. Maintaining so many relationships is a feat for any entrepreneur, and sometimes gift giving is required. A nice gift is a respectful gesture and a great way to remind the recipient that you appreciate their hard work, business, or what have you. However, when you give a business gift, there are certain gifts that are not appropriate and should be avoided.

Not every item makes a good business gift as you must remain professional and be aware of cultural differences. Gifts can rarely backfire, but being unaware of traditions of others can make you appear culturally insensitive or downright rude! Make sure your gift brings nothing but happiness.

Good business gifts also depend on your line of work – a law firm is unlikely to use promotional coasters, but a nightclub might find them effective. A winery may use a wine gift basket as their business gift. Offices do well with office products.

Given the propensity of businesses working across the globe, cultural sensitivity is important to remember as well. When striving for a business contract overseas showing an awareness of the local culture will make your business come across as sophisticated and capable of operating in many countries. This was in fact the case for the popular General Motors Corp while they curried favor with Shanghai Automotive Industrial, which was seeking to secure a car making deal in China.

General Motors approached the partnership with a full understanding of the importance of cultural sensitivity. GM hired many consultants and relied on their employees who were Chinese-speaking Americans. They tackled local customs down to the last detail – in fact, while gifting valuable Tiffany’s jewelry they removed the standard white ribbons included by the famous New York jewelers. Nice as they are in America, in China white would be a symbol of sorrow, and hardly the right message a business wants to send! Instead they selected a bold red, a symbolic representation of good luck and exactly the message they required (needless to say, GM got the partnership contract).

Stainless Steel Hip FlaskCultural awareness is important to business practices abroad, but knowing cultural differences back home is important too. It also helps to personalize the gift toward the industry you are giving it to, or to showcase your own company by gifting some of its own products.

Make sure you send your gift to the office itself, as sending it to corporate head’s home would make it seem like a bribe. If you send a gift you expect nothing in return. Always remember that a gift is something given without any expectation. You may give a gift and not get the contract you wanted, not hire them on as a client, and so forth. A gift may boost business, but it may have no effect at all. In the business world, where being in the black is vital, spending money on a corporate gift is a very low risk gambling gesture of goodwill.

Lastly, never forget that while a gift is a lovely gesture it is not a replacement for professional business practices and fair exchanges of services.

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8 Responses to “Correct Corporate Gift Giving”

Did anyone ever tell you to keep your comments to yourself? That wasn't me! I LOVE to hear from you. Thank you so much for visiting!

  • John:

    It’s not easy to find a great business gift. That depends on the preferences and how much you would like to spend.

  • Kelly G:

    I like the idea about Tiffany jewelry :) It’s a perfect gift for any occasion!!

  • Molly Trus:

    I think this gift shouldn’t be too personal such as perfume and clothing

  • Barbara:

    Great Ideas! Thanks for the info :)

  • CtuOpra:

    Nothing makes the corporate relationships stronger better than giving a great gift, it’s a fact

    • Victoria B.:

      We give chocolate or some kind of souvenir with brand name or logo at special occasions

  • Podley:

    it’s a very difficult task for company to choose the right gift to give, since these gifts are for the people that you do business with or those you are looking to attract as new clients.

  • Kevin:

    Well written post.. Finding the right gift is difficult task for any company and gifts makes the relation more stronger between the management and employers. Thanks for these great advises.

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