The art of corporate gifting

Corporate gifting may sound fairly straightforward, but there are things to keep in mind when you’ve been asked to send or give a gift to an important client or business partner.

The first thing you need to be up-to-date on your company’s gift giving guidelines and policies. Most companies in the private sector will have their own set of policies in place that determine, not only when you can and can’t give gifts, but also what kinds of gifts are appropriate.

Providing gifts to public officials also needs to be carefully considered as Federal and State Government’s both have strict policies regarding the receiving of gifts. In many government departments in Australia, any gift over the value of $50 must be reported and registered. Also, be aware that

if your company is engaged, or has the possibility of being engaged in tenders or other business with the government, that gifts are likely to not be permitted. Government agencies must always retain a transparent image, and anything that may be construed as bribery or corruption must be avoided.

Knowing when to abstain from gift giving is crucial. What seems to you to be a nice gesture may be viewed as inappropriate or bribery. Any suspicion of corruption or misdealing and your company’s reputation may be destroyed even if it was done with good intentions.

So, when is a good time to give a gift?

One example would be upon the successful completion of a specific job. You’ve already won the job and, on top of that, your company has successfully completed their tasks. A small token to say ‘thank-you for choosing us for this work’ is perfectly appropriate. Alternatively, if it was your company who commissioned the work and now it has been successfully completed this would be the perfect time to send a ‘thank-you’ gift. A thoughtful ‘thanks for a job well done’ can help cement a great working relationship for any future projects that may arise.

Now, onto the fun stuff – what to give.

It’s always good to be thoughtful and mindful of your recipient. Make sure you know who your gift is going to and cater to those people accordingly.

If you’ve decided to give food, such as a hamper or even wine and other beverage-style gifts, make sure you check that the recipient doesn’t have any allergies, cultural or dietary restrictions, or simple dislikes. It may mean ruining the surprise of the gift, but thoughtfulness will trump surprise. Think about how great you’d feel receiving a specially catered food or beverage gift, knowing the person had you in mind specifically.

Don’t get too personal with the gifts though. Remember that this is a gift from company to company, not between friends or family. While thoughtfulness is key, so is restraint. The person you’re gifting to may have a personal obsession with puppies, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a puppy- themed gift is the appropriate way to go.

Staying away from promotional/company branded gifts is also advisable. Someone receiving a gift with your company’s logo or brand may think that no thought went into the gift giving and perceive this as a snub. You want them to know that you’ve really thought about them and the gift. An example would be to give a personalised, stylish pen or notebook rather than generic corporate items.

Corporate gifting checklist

  • Check your company’s gifting policies
  • Make sure you have any cultural or religious needs covered
  • Come up with a budget
  • Find out about your recipient: what they do and don’t like, they’re company role, etc.
  • Ensure the timing of your gift is appropriate
  • Make sure your gift strikes the right balance of personalised and professional
  • Try to steer away from promotional items, but make the gift practical
  • Take care with the gift’s presentation

Personalised gifts

If you’re not planning on giving a food or beverage gift, personalised office-appropriate gifts can be found everywhere online. Here are a couple of sites we found to get you started:

Food and Hamper Style Gifts:

  • gourmetbasket.com.au
  • edibleblooms.com.au
  • bundleandtwine.com.au

Other Gifts:

  • marketwrite.net.au
  • dynamicgift.co.nz
  • globalgifting.com
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