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giving corporate gifts

Everyone likes to receive a gift. Whether it’s your birthday, Christmas or other special occasion. Thoughtfulness goes a long way. People remember and value it. People tell their friends about it. The joy of receiving can be matched by the joy of giving, or exceeded by it. Giving your client a special gift shows them who you really are as a person and the level and values of your company. It’s part of branding your company.

 

Thoughtfulness

I bet we all remember that special gift we were given on a company visit. It may still be sitting in its box or on the shelf unused. What is more important is that we remember the way in which we were given the present. This shows thoughtfulness and answers the ‘Why?’ in the action of giving. Thoughtfulness establishes an emotional link between people. Adding a personal touch to each gift by hand-writing the recipient’s name on it in pen shows how much thought you have put in to the gift.

 

Positioning your giving

Giving meaning to giving isn’t difficult. Start off by examining the culture of your company, location and its history. Then go sourcing. Finding a gift that is relevant and has depth adds meaning to the giving process. It also helps with positioning. Your client will perceive the position of your company and the level of your relationship through the gift or gifts that you give them:

  • Giving a gift that represents your company’s brand – giving an high quality Scotch Miniature from a Beverages Company
  • Giving a gift that represents your country’s achievements – giving an ancient Chinese poem in calligraphy
  • Giving a gift that represents the purpose of your clients’ relationship – giving discount vouchers
  • Giving a gift that represents the culture of your company – take a client to a local restaurant with home cooking
  • Or just say it with flowers, give a bunch of flowers – ladies love flowers

Gift Ideas

If you are short on inspiration, here are some ideas for corporate gifts:

  • Give something that is useful
    If your guests are given a gift that has no practical value they will put it in the cupboard when they return home
  • Give something that is meaningful
    Do some research and find a gift that links your business, company values, city or country’s culture and history
  • Give something that is different
    If your guests regularly attend similar meetings where they receive similar gifts all the time, give them something different. They will remember you as it makes you stand out from all the rest.

Do some research and find a list of corporate gift suppliers. Ask them if they can help you customise your gifts. Don’t give too much or too many or too little. Why not mix up a selection of corporate gifts. Give too little and you will look mean, give too much or too many and you will look like you are currying favour.

Corruption Perceptions

In the real world there are motivations for giving and for receiving corporate gifts. Make sure when you give that you make your intentions clear, and honourable. Giving may be construed as corruption or bribery by partisans. Don’t lay yourself open to attack. Keep the gifts small and thoughtful. It’s not always what you give but the thought that counts. ISO 37001 is mandated by the new Government of Malaysia for anti-bribery compliance. Giving gifts needs to be done with sensitivity, not just to the client but perceptions of others towards the gift.

 

For gifts, hospitality donations and similar benefits, ISO 37001 clause 8.7 states, ‘The organisation shall implement procedures that are designed to prevent the offering, provision or acceptance of gifts, hospitality, donations and similar benefits where the offering, provision or acceptance is, or could reasonably be perceived as, bribery.’

 

Corporate gift ideas are abundant. Just do a little research. Brainstorm with your colleagues, and then go sourcing. Finding appropriate, reasonably priced corporate gifts isn’t difficult. Their value added can be enormous to your business. Remember, everyone likes to receive a gift.

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