The Business Of Gifting

Posted: October 18, 2011

The festival season brings with it the dilemmas of proper gifting for all entrepreneurs and small business owners. Here are some festival gifting ideas to help you out!

Come festival season and many small business owners and employers have a tough time figuring out appropriate, yet attractive gifts that stand out from the sundry pen stands, clocks, gift hampers and such.

Business gifts these days not only need to be innovative and different, they also need to carry the brand/company image and create a feeling of positivity in its use.

What to keep in mind when selecting a business gift

Business etiquette necessitates that you consider the profile of the person you are gifting to. Choose your gift keeping in mind the recipient. Think about the use the recipient would have for the gift. If your gift is not of immediate use to the recipient, in all likelihood it will be passed on and your effort and money would go down the drain.

For a genuine touch, try to remember the likes or dislikes of the concerned person.  If you interact with the person you might already be aware of this. If you don’t, it would be worth the time to speak with people within your organization who would know their tastes and interests in order to help you make an informed decision, especially if you plan on picking up a big ticket item. Says Shailaja Mohan,* Marketing Head with an FMCG, “One of the most memorable gifts I got from one of our dealers was a gift hamper of sugar-free fine handmade chocolates. It wasn’t a gift that was high in value, but it was memorable because the gentleman had taken the effort to source sugar-free chocolates knowing that I avoid sweet things thanks to my borderline sugar levels.”

Gifting a top management level person a pen set with your company logo on it would be considered totally tacky.

The personality and seniority of the person you are selecting a gift for is another important factor. Gifting a top management level person a pen set with your company logo on it would be considered totally tacky. Of course, personalizing gifts becomes easier to do if you are shopping for a small number of people, rather than buying in bulk for over a hundred. Even if you are buying for a large number of people, see if you can break them up into a few types (by industry, seniority or location, for example) and buy accordingly.

Find out the company policy on accepting gifts. Some companies have strict policies in place about what is acceptable and what is not in terms of gifting. While some might allow gifts of upto a minimum value to be accepted, others might allow just mithai and sweet boxes or assorted hampers. Checking out what a person can accept without compromising company policy makes it less likely to result in an embarrassing situation where the person has to decline the gift.

What to gift whom

It might be tempting to have your logo placed on all the corporate gifts you send out but remember people in senior management levels might be reluctant to use such promotional items. Such gifts might work better for junior or mid level employees. For senior and upper management levels, personalized gifts with their names or initials might be perceived as more likely to be used.

At the senior level, non-controversial gifts could include luxury gift hampers from places well-known hotels or restaurants. Depending on your budget, these could be extremely indulgent (such hampers have included Cuban cigars, the finest alcohol, specialty teas, gourmet chocolates, luxury hair and bath products or even silver coins). Customizable gourmet hampers with any mix of in-house products, from preserves to vinaigrettes and all-Italian hampers are also available.

It might be tempting to have your logo placed on all the corporate gifts you send out but remember people in senior management levels might be reluctant to use such promotional items.

Your gift could combine a social message especially if you source them from a charitable organization. For instance, the Women’s India Trusta not-for-profit  organization which works at making women self-sufficient, offers gift packs containing a jar each of marmalade, jam, chutney and pickle as well as some unusual preserves such as three-fruit marmalade, made with orange, lime and grapefruit.

Another thoughtful gift could be a health food gift basket with exotic fruits, tins of herbal or green tea or a range of flavored olive oil. Go eco-friendly and have the hamper wrapped in recycled paper rather than standard wrapping paper.

Gifts that are always well-received are collectibles in crystal which can be placed either at home or in the office depending on their size and the recipient’s preferences.

Whatever you do decide to gift, ensure it is wrapped professionally, accompanied by a handwritten note on good quality stationery and if you can, deliver it professionally for it to make the maximum impact.

*Name changed on request

Pic credit: Ben Earwicker

Women's Web is a vibrant community for Indian women, an authentic space for us

Learn More

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Comments

Share your thoughts! [Be civil. No personal attacks. Longer comment policy in our footer!]

NEW in September! Best New Books by Women Authors

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

Orange Flower 2018