Why Corporate Gift Giving Is Not a Thing of the Past
Many traditions in business are falling by the wayside, but corporate gift giving shouldn’t be one of them. It may not be as common as it once was, but for today’s business owner, gift giving is a celebration of generosity with a great return on investment.
What Is Corporate Gift Giving?
There are two main kinds of gifts given by corporations, those given to clients (and less often, prospects) and gifts given to employees. The former are usually given during the holidays, but can be a nice surprise at other times of the year.
Gifts need to be different from promotional items. Something special with your name and logo subtly placed on it is acceptable, but the usual mugs and T-shirts advertising your brand are out.
Similarly, employee incentives do not count as gifts. An incentive is earned and expected for achieving a specified goal, whereas a gift should be a surprise. It can be earned by outstanding performance, but should be delivered as a, “Wow, we really appreciate you and want to show our gratitude with something special!” (Again, a free company T-shirt does not qualify!)
You’ll need to budget for gift giving, but gifts can be extremely effective marketing over time. Success in business is about building relationships and a thoughtful gift delivers the message that your customer is more than an account on the spreadsheet, but a respected partner in the give and take of doing business; or your employee is more than just a cog in the machine, but a valued member of the team.
What Makes a Good Corporate Gift?
The first thing to consider is that unless the recipient is a very small business, they will have a gift policy. You don’t want to violate their policy, and certainly don’t want to risk getting anyone in trouble, so even though it may seem like an awkward question to ask, it’s a good idea to call and ask about the gift policy.
Your gift shouldn’t offend anyone in the company, so avoid inside jokes with the owner, and be aware that some people are very sensitive to anything that can be considered crude or offensive. Wine is a classic gift, but not everyone consumes alcohol, so be sure to check about that one. Since wine is so common, it may not upset anyone, but would certainly show that you don’t know your recipient if you gave it to someone who abstains for religious or cultural reasons.
Food gifts are popular because they are affordable and shareable. Options include chocolates, cookies and gourmet indulgences. Coffee sets for an office are also usually appreciated.
For individuals, gourmet food baskets that include a unique kitchen gadget like a cheese slicer or wine opener provide something festive for the moment and something long-lasting that will remind them of you. For someone who travels frequently, a nice bag or travel set may be appreciated. Handmade items that align with the recipient’s values will indicate that a lot of thought went into the gift. (Etsy.com is a rich source of ideas and a marketplace for unique gifts.)
Consider whether the gift is for an executive or the company. That makes a difference. If you deal with the staff of an office, they aren’t going to give a hoot that you gave the CEO an expensive bottle of wine. And if you are sending a gift a health-conscious solopreneur, even the fanciest basket of designer cookies is not going to create the desired effect.
Make Your Gift Stand Out
During the holidays, corporations receive many gifts from vendors and other corporations. It’s easy for a box of cookies or basket of chocolates to get put in the break room and shared by all. While the treats are appreciated, no one is really paying attention to where they came from, so to make your gift really deliver its message of appreciation, it needs to stand out.
Tucson Tamales are a great example of a gift that says, “I’m thinking of you and wanted to give you something special.” For a local company or to create a memorable event for your own employees in Tucson where our three restaurants are located, you can arrange to serve a fresh, unique lunch. We love serving our freshly made tamales at catered events. Or, for short-notice or small orders, online ordering and delivery by DoorDash is available. Outside the area, we offer shipping of frozen tamales, so a tamale party is available anywhere in the country.
Keep in mind that with food gifts, it’s best to find out what the recipient likes, and that restricted diets and allergies should be considered. Tucson Tamales have broad appeal because we have traditional meaty tamales but also offer several vegetarian and even vegan alternatives, so folks who can’t enjoy dairy can indulge—and I don’t mean, “Sure, we can leave out the cheese.” I mean we’ve developed delicious dairy-free recipes like our hearty blue corn and veggie, savory green chile and chicken, and Indian-inspired vegetable curry tamales. Tucson Tamales are also naturally 100% gluten-free and use the finest ingredients so that you can be confident you are sending a great gift that reflects the high standards of your company.
Check out our Corporate Gifting Offer: Holiday Gift Program
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