Do you want to show your appreciation to business partners or clients with a gift this year? Skip the cheap branded pens and make it count!
Last month, I received a few holiday greeting card tips for businesses. While the holiday season is for giving, I learned that greeting cards are nothing more than marketing campaigns disguised in brightly colored envelopes and glitter. Because of this, they should be treated like any other marketing strategy in order to maximize their impact. The same should be said about corporate gifts.
Throughout many of our careers, I’m sure that we have been part of many wild holiday gift exchanges with business partners. I continue to be flabbergasted at how much money and energy is wasted on gifts that go unnoticed, unused, or are simply discarded altogether. If you insist on giving a corporate gift to show your appreciation, here are a few tips to make sure yours gets noticed:
1. Check Corporate Policies
When you have competition, many use the holiday season to jockey for attention by sending lavish gifts, from bottles of fancy wine to expensive tasty chocolates. But because in many cases, accepting individual gifts creates a conflict of interest, some company managements do not allow individuals in the department to accept them. So if someone receives a gift, it would be given to charity for example. Many Businesses in the UAE will not accept alcohol due to religious beliefs, even if the person you are giving it to is not a Muslim it will not be accepted under or in association with the company name, premises or due to any of it’s services. Shamefully, many expensive bottles of wine are discarded and never consumed.
2. Spread the Cheer
Allow vendors to give gifts that could be used by the entire office (ie not just the purchasing department or the guy in charge). Not only does this raise morale and support vendors who insist on sending gifts, but it also eliminates much of the office resentment from junior level employees who are often left out.
3. Give Yourself
Giving gifts sometimes can get expensive. One way to overcome the cost is to give something you already have–your own products or services. For instance, if you’re a barber shop owner, offer a free haircut. At SMS Trading, we are a product company, so our warehouse is always stocked with gifts. The cost is marginal and it makes great advertising.
4. Make It Useful
Many people love free office supplies–well at least I’m a little geeky this way anyway. I have been using a useful desk calendar from my local medical clinic at Prime Medical Center all year. I still have a USB in my bag given to me by Antics Land Sharjah when purchasing an Elite Membership for my child, and I have accumulated a number of fridge magnets from Aster Pharmacy advertising their free delivery service 😉
The point is, the only reason all the above items are still around is because they are useful to me in some way or form. I have seen many gifts in the past that often end up in the garbage can so it’s best to avoid cheap and useless items if you want your gift to re purpose throughout the year!
5. Give a Gift That Lasts
The amount of sweets and chocolate that pass through the office during during the working week is uncountable. Not only do these gifts fail to make it through the initial moment of enjoyment, but they also create an unhealthy and unproductive sugar crash. If you do decide to give treats, make it a healthy alternative such as dates for example, a very popular Emirati treat.
Giving corporate gifts is fun and a great way to show appreciation to your business partners, clients and colleagues. Follow these tips and you can maximize the investment you make.
Let us know what where some of the really wild corporate holiday gifts you have given or received?