When gifting corporately this season, or any time, as with all relationship building exercises, think about what you want to achieve first.
At Society Awards and Mode Design Group, we take gifting seriously – we custom design our own gifting platforms, and we also utilize our own great selection of readymade designs. When we think about corporate gifting, we treat it like any other branding initiative and consider strategy first: what objectives are we trying to achieve?
There are some common objectives with gifting. Likely, “saying thank you” applies to most of them – but not always. You might give gifts to people you haven’t done business with yet but hope to. In any event, in corporate gifting you probably want to say something in addition to just “thank you” – likely something about yourself and your company, even if it’s merely that you have good taste or you’re thoughtful. Essentially, you are both making a gesture and communicating a message about your company.
Tailoring the Corporate Gift Ideas to Each Individual
If you want to give your business associates and business executives a useful gift, you may have to tailor each gift to each individual, as what’s useful to one person is not useful to all. This is particularly hard when you don’t know their personal habits well. In the case that I want to give a useful gift, I keep it to generally useful business items; especially upscale old school items like a fancy pen. A pen is only good if it’s a really unusual and beautiful pen, and it’s especially helpful if it comes with an attractive pen stand, so that your recipient can keep it prominently on their desk – and think of you when they use it.
Which brings us to the next point – thinking about office décor as appropriate business gifts. If you want to stand out and do something different, give people a nice piece of home décor that would be appropriate in an office as well. If they don’t have their own desk this can even be a gift to their company or their group, from your company. Things like vases and sculptures work wonderfully for this – they might even take them home. In any event, when they see this objet d’art, they’ll think of you. Both the desk accessories like pens, and the sculptural objects or vases can also be personalized. Be cautious to keep the inscription generic enough that it’s tasteful. Possibly include both company logos, yours and theirs, in a discreet subtle way.
If you really want to make an impression, give a gift so big, heavy and awesome that they have no choice but to find a place in the office to display it. Your gift will become a fixture of their décor for a while – just make sure it’s a nicely designed item.
Show Off The Company’s Creativity
Some other points that you can communicate with your gift is the creativity of your company, or its inventiveness, its expertise on certain subjects – such as using beautiful, limited edition large format coffee table books, with a hand written note of course. You can also use a brand name to do the talking for you – tread carefully here however as in some cases an obvious luxury brand name for an associate you don’t know intimately can, in US culture at least, make people feel a little uncomfortable or question why – even if the value of the item isn’t too much. You don’t want to make people feel like you are trying to make them feel obligated. Sometimes a lesser known brand will allow the thoughtfulness of the gift to come through without any other considerations. On the other hand of course, although we compete with them for gifting and awards, if you know someone well enough that they will understand what you mean, even we reach for Tiffany at times.