Corporate Gifts: It’s Time for a Rethink

Nobody has ever said, “What I really want for the holidays is a pen with the logo of our office supplier on it.”

Introducing: appropriate corporate gifting.

Corporate gifting is the formal demonstration of gratitude to clients, vendors, employees, partners, investors and the like.

But it has to be done right.

The wrong gift says, “We spent a lot of money. You better tell your friends about us!”

The right gift says, “We value our relationship.”

The worst gift offends.

So, what do you send to properly show how much you value the contributions of team members and business partners? And when?

First of all, don’t wait for the holidays or a ‘special occasion’—people tend to expect gifts then. That expectation diminishes the intent behind gifting, so, consider sending gifts outside of December.

Instead of getting an ah-the-obligatory-office-gift-for-the-holidays response, surprising those valued professional relationships is more likely to result in a wow-they-really-care-about-us response.

Don’t send pens or notepads printed with your company name or logo. Shameless self-promotion discredits your actions. Alright, a beautiful landscape or wildlife calendar with a small company logo will probably survive the trash bin. But pens and notepads are almost always destined for the landfill.

So, since we’ve ruled out business-branded stationery and office products, instead you could send your vendor a tabletop cornhole game, or a set of decorative candy jars or an avocado multi-tool . . . (sigh)

Here’s the thing: There’s a problem with a lot of the corporate gifts available today. They’re intended for individuals. Like, the singular ‘individual.’ One person.

But clients, teams, vendors, employees and other business partners are plural. In today’s connected world, it’s a mistake to only send gifts to a manager or point person for an account. Leaving team members out of a display of appreciation can not only frustrate them, but it can also embarrass the receiver of the gift.

Again, the worst gift offends.

Consider sending gifts entire teams can enjoy. And what’s the most widely-used corporate gifting category? Food.

But even sending food to foster those precious professional relationships presents unique challenges. Namely, allergies and dietary restrictions. Don’t send chocolate-dipped fruit to a client with diabetic employees. Don’t send a cake to a vendor who has staff with gluten-sensitivity or celiac disease. And don’t send a box of beef jerky to vegans working at that startup helping you with marketing.

Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to reach out to the intended recipient to find out what dietary restrictions and allergies you’re up against.

SnackGenius gift boxes are filled with healthy snacks everyone in the office can enjoy. From gluten-free fares to vegan-friendly snacks, our gift boxes are sure to please everyone on a team—even Kathy in accounting.

4 years ago

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