It’s a Gift!

By: jamessmith12


All corporations, big and small alike, will venture into the art of gift giving at one time or another. The reasons for awarding gifts can be many and varied, but they will almost certainly have the same effect.

First, let us take a look at why a corporation would want to gift in this way.

An incentive scheme for employees is a great way to show them appreciation for the outstanding work they are doing, and will do in future. Or perhaps it is a way of absorbing them into the ‘family’ of the company and making them feel that they are really contributing to the success of the business.

Many smaller companies will want to go one step further and get involved in the employee’s life to some extent; sending gifts for birthdays, new babies, children’s graduations etc. This makes the employee feel valued and helps with job satisfaction too.

Of course, sending gifts for personal occasions may not be possible if it is a huge corporation but the company can go that extra mile and gift once or twice a year to promote goodwill amongst its staff.

Incentive schemes work also for sales staff or those coming in close contact with the customer at large. Sometimes this can take the form of cash increments, but more often than not nowadays staff strive for rewards like exotic holidays or even brand new cars. Naturally, if the company gives cash incentives, the temptation is to treat the customer as a ‘cash cow’ and get them to sign on the dotted line no matter how. This can damage the reputation of the company in the long run so many companies have chosen not to go this route.

Secondly, there is gifting for executives. These can be sent either as a ‘thank-you’ for promoting your company with added business orders, or just to remind the all important executive that you are there and that you are open for business!

Executive gifting can take many forms from luxury, gourmet style gift baskets to embossed luggage and even to season tickets to the executive’s favorite football team. However, some of the high-end gifts may appear as a sort of ‘bribe’ to get business and there is a very fine line between promoting your business and inducing your target to use your company!

One rule to follow is never send gifts when there are contracts up for bidding. This, too, could be seen as a kickback or sweetener for your company to get the business. This is not the image you want to portray at all. Once you have landed the contract you can send gifts but again, use a little discretion and send after the contract is in full swing otherwise you could be accused of doing the same thing.

It is also important to investigate the gifting policies of your intended target. Some companies will not allow their staff to receive any gifts at all, while others have a policy whereby the lower echelons can receive gifts once or twice a year, but under a certain monetary value. Some would prefer ‘office’ style gifts only where you can send a gift basket to be shared out amongst the workers. This is a great way to put your name in their office – coffee mugs, pens, key-holders etc all with your company logo on full display! Even cookie baskets come complete with your logo iced on them and will make a big hit around the coffee machine!

When it comes to the executives, well that is a completely different story. They would be unlikely to appreciate a coffee mug or pen and would consider this a little crass so choose their gifts a little more carefully.

As mentioned earlier, gift baskets are usually appreciated especially if they contain fine wines, gourmet cheeses, truffles and such like. Solid silver desk accessories – pen holders or clocks for example - are also very classy and will look good on anyone’s desk.

Executive style luggage like briefcases, week-end bags or laptop cases – all in fine leather – would be much appreciated and come in very useful for the traveling exec.

Take time to find out what the executive you are targeting likes to do for relaxation. Is he/she a golf fanatic? Do they play tennis? Maybe they are ‘foodies’ who appreciate fine dining. Also check out their religion – very important! – you wouldn’t want to commit a faux pas, for example, by sending a ham to a Jewish exec or wine to someone that abhors alcohol would you?

Once this research is done accurately you can choose from a vast array of gifts. Jewelry may not be acceptable since you cannot know the personal taste of your target but, for men especially, cufflinks or cigar holders may be appropriate. Some come with the sport or pastime logo engraved on them and would make an excellent conversation point for the executive.

For the lady exec spa baskets may be a welcome gift. These come with all sorts of exotic oils and soaps and can even contain soft, expensive bathrobes – possibly with her initials embroidered on – and maybe a weekend pass to some exclusive spa so she can take a much earned break from the stress of life. Of course, male execs may like this one too as men are far more likely to promote their health these days. Manicures and pedicures are no longer solely in the realm of females only. Massages, too, are much welcomed by the busy exec and anything used to de-stress would be much appreciated.

One final thing to remember is that if the gift is a personal one, from one executive to another, it is wise not to put your company logo on it. This could look a little suspect as if you are still trying to promote the company but not in a good way. Better to leave the logo off so that the executive can use the item at his discretion should he so desire.

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It is also important to investigate the gifting policies of your intended target. Some companies will not allow their staff to receive any gifts at all, while others have a policy whereby the lower echelons can receive gifts once or twice a year, but under a certain monetary value. Some would prefer ‘office’ style gifts only where you can send a gift basket to be shared out amongst the workers. This is a great way to put your name in their office – coffee mugs, pens, key-holders etc all with you

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