A "Gift" or present is normally known to
be the transfer of money, goods, etc. It does not involve
the factor of direct compensation as in trade or done with
expectation of reciprocity of any kind. Gift can refer to
anything that can make the receiver more happy or even less
sad. So in many human societies, the act of mutually
exchanging gifts contributes to their social cohesion. As in
Japan, twice a year - in December & June- it is common for
co-workers, friends and relatives to exchange gifts called
Oseibo & Ochugen in the nature of food, wine, some household
utensils or the like. The gift giving season coincides with
company employees receiving a special bonus along with
salaries. Also gifts are to say thank you, form of
souvenirs, for birthdays, anniversaries & off course for
Christmas. Gifts are received with both hands and all kinds
of rules exist which govern the etiquettes of gift giving.
Corporate Gift Giving Guidelines:
Corporate gift giving is an easy way to
let your team of co-workers, vendors etc. know how much you
-the employer- appreciate their hard work, input and -the
clients (for who you are in business for) know how much you
appreciate their business. These gifts need not be
excessively expensive but with careful planning ahead of
time you can give a lot for less. Gifts are available for
all budget ranges from free coupons to as extravagantly
priced item you wish to purchase.
Corporate gift giving is an excellent way
to build or maintain business relation, whether with an
important client or a valued employee and as such ,should be
done in a professional manner.
Before you begin making your gift list, check
all of the recipients' corporate gift policies. Fearing
manipulation and bribery, many companies have a no-gift
policy or strictly limit what an employee can accept.
Call the recipients' personnel departments for guidelines.
Ask if there is a price limit on gifts. Stay within this
limit. Extravagant gifts may be misinterpreted as bribery.
If a corporate policy prohibits gifts, ask if it might still
be possible to give something such as a fruit basket which
the entire office can share in. Another option is to make a
donation to a charity the company or individual supports.
In addition to holiday occasions, where gifts are expected,
make gift-giving a year-round habit. Many other occasions
merit gift giving and will make an impact on the
recipient as a reward to a hard working employee, a
client for new or continued business, for someone who
has referred business to you, to motivate or encourage
your employees especially for their birthday,
retirement, a promotion, opening of a new office, for a
completion of an important project- the list is endless.
Identify key dates in a client's life such as birthdays, and
Look for reasons to celebrate. Go beyond marking family
occasions. Include anniversaries of when the individual
started with his or her company and when the company was
Keep a list of the people you'd like to send gifts to and
take notes about them that will help you select gifts for
- Personality & Purpose:
Keep in mind that a corporate gift is a business tool. Make
sure that the gift reflects the purpose of the goal. Showing
appreciation, marking a personal event or congratulating a
client are all goals that warrant a more personalized gift.
Introducing a new product recognizing achievement are goals
that can be achieved by gifts that are less personal.
Find a gift that suits the recipient's taste, not your own.
Don't think that someone will like a gift simply because you
do. Call the recipient's secretary or a coworker and ask
about favorite food, special interests, color preferences,
if they collect anything, favorite sports teams, authors or
Take the time to write a personal note to accompany every
gift. The note should be hand written.
When possible, gifts should be hand-delivered via messenger.
Send mailed gifts first class or via your preferred supplier
of ground or air transportation services.
A beautifully wrapped gift conveys the message that you
care. Gift paper and boxes from a status-name store have a
lot of impact because they convey the image of that
Customize your gifts. While the corporate logo on a gift
provides free advertising, it could be interpreted as
tacky. It is thus more appropriate to leave logo
customization to gifts that will be used daily such as
mugs, key chains, notebooks, etc. You should never put a
company logo on a gift when you want to leave the
impression that it is coming personally from you.
Tips for Successful Gift giving
- Always Keep the quality in the mind
- Tailor your gift to the requirements of the receiver
and their hobbies and interests.
- Be creative with a low budget
- Remember perceived value , not the actual value.
- A beautifully wrapped gift conveys the message that
- Be confident in giving gifts- size does not matter.
- Beware of International protocols- clocks are a
taboo in china as they signify death.
- Stay away from the gifts that look cheap, or may
look too extravagant or ostentatious.
- Send boutique gifts like handmade chocolates. It is
the perfect corporate or a personal gift- anything that
looks different or luxurious is better.
- Keep gifts in inventory that can be used on
- Style and design are a must.
- Tacky gifts are tacky- so gag gifts are almost as
tacky- stay away.
- Gifts should be unisex- saves money
- Avoid all gifts that are political, sexual or
- Find symbolism in your gifts-for example: giving an
art glass conch shell suggests leadership.
- Be sincere with your gift giving. Enjoy the art of
- Be sensitive to the gifts relating to alcohol
including barware products- check for corporate policies
on such gifts or any restrictions that may apply.
- Corporate gifts are a efficient business tool to
strengthen relationships. Make sure your gifts
positively reflect your company image.
- Avoid perishables in gift baskets - it puts pressure
on the recipient to either eat the perishables fast or
- Give something that is functional as well as good-
such a gift that a recipient may not necessarily buy for
themselves- a crystal bowl to be used for condiments or
to put in paper clips.