Gift giving is a practice and tradition that all people embrace. The time-honored tradition has forged strong relationships in all areas of society and laid many disputes to rest. Kids in America learn early in their school careers that France gave the Statue of Liberty to the United States as a gift. Leaders across industries have recently eyed the idea of a corporate gift with new admiration and appreciation.
Why a corporate gift?
A corporate gift provides the means for strengthening the connective tissue between businesses and clients. People love giving gifts as much as they enjoy receiving them. Cultures all over the world both prize and take pride in the custom of gift giving. Since such fondness, surrounds the tradition of gifting, it becomes logical for corporations to draw upon the practice for the purpose of building strong bonds in B2B relationships.
Why does it matter?
The COVID-19 pandemic forced corporations around the world to find new ways of doing business. The pandemic introduced concepts like social distancing and masking to the world. These measures turned routine business practices like corporate lunches and golf-course meetings upside down. Businesses evolved by implementing Zoom meetings and text exchanges as primary fixtures. As these new business practices developed, corporate leaders increasingly viewed gifting as a way of fortifying the ties that bind.
Value of gifts in forging corporate ties
No company is an island. A business exists in a web of ties and relationships. A construction company relies on suppliers to furnish it with the raw materials of production. Electronic companies require diodes, transistors and resistors if they are to attain productivity goals. Many businesses depend on outside contractors to update and maintain specialized equipment.
Gift giving stamps relationships with a seal of approval. A simple gift often makes a person’s day. The same holds true with businesses. Meaningful gifts can strike clients with bursts of excitement and inspiration. They also can distinguish the givers as partners that customers and clients should cherish. Gifts are often the difference between relationships that flourish and those that meet untimely demises.
When to gift?
The short answer is to gift on all occasions. Determined gift givers find reasons to provide clients with gifts. The reasons are easy to find. Corporations sometimes give clients and consumers gifts for agreeing to meetings. They also give gifts to reward loyalty and recognize special occasions and celebrations:
- Businesses say thank you to clients for meeting with them by bestowing a corporate gift upon the latter
- Businesses also give gifts as a way of recognizing and rewarding customer loyalty and participation
- Businesses give gifts to acknowledge and celebrate special occasions and customs in the lives of clients and customers
What to give?
As the practice of gift giving has gained new life, corporations have welcomed it by extending and diversifying their gift-giving techniques. What a business might gift to a client is limited only by the imagination of the giver. The gifts engender new bonds and ties as the process moves forward:
- Corporations give coffees, teas and tonics as a way of saying thank you to clients for agreeing to participate in meetings with open minds
- Businesses hand out gifts in the forms of gift baskets and gift boxes to demonstrate gratitude to clients for their loyalty
- Leadership confers gifts such as wine aerators, gift certificates, toys for youngsters and pets, and exotic chocolates and candies to celebrate special times and occasions in the lives of clients
- Companies also engage in gift giving as a way of recognizing the contributions and achievements of employees. Employees often cite a lack of recognition as a reason for leaving a job. They also point to issues of low morale. A high rate of turnover in a company often persuades current employees to assess their future possibilities. Many businesses establish programs to ensure that employee needs do not go unmet. Reasons for companies to reward employees with gifts include the following:
- Recognize the special efforts and unique contributions of employees within certain timeframes
- Develop a team atmosphere that enhances camaraderie and inspires a sense of esprit de corps among team members
- Convince employees that they have made the right choice of careers and motivate them to look forward to future exploits and opportunities
- Affirm the company’s reputation as a great place to work
Most individuals wrap gifts to increase the sense of specialness a present may convey. The idea extends beyond individuals to companies and corporations. Business leaders realize that branding a gift can create strong bonds among employers, employees and clients. Recipients of gifts often remember the special branding or gift wrapping more than they recall the gift itself. They reflect on these experiences throughout their lives.
Companies should personalize gifts by adding the company insignia or brand. In many cases, the process will involve special wrapping paper used by the business. In other cases, it entails etchings and engravings of the corporate insignia or symbols. The undertaking includes genuine thought and attention on the part of the gift giver. The extra attention pays off in ways that far exceed the efforts devoted to the gift-giving process. After all, it is the thought that counts.
Since gift giving has become such an importance practice in the business world, companies often hire companies to facilitate the process. The contracted company then handles all arrangements and ensures that clients, customers and employees receive specialized gifts on time. Other businesses designate departments within the organization to handle the special custom of gift giving. These departments bear responsibility for the company adhering to all its gift-giving obligations.
The art of gift giving has exploded in the world of business. While corporations once devoted only random thoughts to the practice, they have now endorsed it as essential to business operations and relationships. A corporate gift goes a long way, often producing benefits that last for years, if not longer. The branding and bonding processes are alive and well in the corporate world. As companies brand their gifts and imbue a sense of specialness in clients and customers, they encourage the formation of bonds that forever endure.