Etiquette Rules for Corporate Gifts
Corporate gifts are a great tool. They allow you to provide a positive association with the brand name for both employees and customers, and they are a great way to show appreciation or imply importance to those that receive a quality business gift.
However, businesses are not people. They cannot get away with simply shoving a random gift in a bag and sending it over. There is etiquette that needs to be maintained in order to ensure that the gift is received with the spirit it was intended, in order to leave the best impression of your company and your product.
Rules for Business Gift Etiquette
- Company Needs to Allow Gifts
Some companies do not allow corporate gifts to individual employees. Once the gift is received, it is either given to the entire staff or confiscated. Still, if a single employee cannot receive a gift, it is possible to send food that can be shared with the rest of the staff. Find out the rules before you send the gift.
- Gift Should Be Well Presented
It is incredibly unprofessional to send a gift in hastily thrown together packaging, or to send a gift that arrives broken. As a result, you need to do your best to make sure that the gift is properly and safely wrapped, as well as in a very nice and attractive box with wrapping paper if applicable. Branding on your wrapping paper is not a bad idea either.
- Gift Should Not Assume Appreciation
You should never give a gift even to internal employees with the assumption that they will love it and are now putty in your hands. No matter who the corporate gift is for, it should be provided with no strings attached. Even though you may be using the gift to win over a potential client, it is and should always be your message that wins the client, and the gift is simply a way to warm them up for you.
- Consider Your Employees
If you are a constant giver of corporate gifts to your clients and potential clients, consider giving gifts to your employees as well. A company that spends all of its money on generating business but no money on the employees that represent the heart of the company is one that may alienate employees and make them feel less appreciated.
- Customized is Better, But Keep it Appropriate
Ideally, a corporate gift should be thought of and chosen for a specific individual or business, rather than simply bought in bulk and shipped out whenever needed. But be careful personalized gifts may be better, but they are also more likely to be inappropriate. Even if the recipient is a fully, loud, active and offensive individual, your gift should still be of the utmost professionalism.
- In Person is Best
Ideally, your gifts should be given in person by you to the individual, to be opened at a later time. However, if not possible, gifts should be sent using a service that is costly no book rate for shipping just to save a few dollars. Postage is something that will be seen by the recipient, and you do not want them to think they are not important enough for quality shipping.
- Short Messages on Cards
Corporate gifts are often used to sell something either to sell a specific product, or to sell someone on the value of your company. The card is a good place to provide that information, but try to keep it short and to the point. Canned sales pitches that you and your marketing staff spent hours collaborating on are not going to be as useful as a short explanation of the company and what you can bring along with a small call to action.
Following These Rules
While etiquette for many things in life is not a do or die system, in this case it is important to remember that the corporate gift represents your company. You want to be absolutely sure that it gives the company the best possible representation, and the above etiquette tips are the best way to do that.