Gifts don’t express gratitude, people do. For company owners, this means skipping impersonal, one-size-fits-all gifts, and putting in some real thought. What type of gift best reflects your company’s gratitude for each business relationship?
Corporate gifts should be well chosen for the person or group receiving them and should reflect how much the recipient does for your business. Great employees, for example, should be given gifts that feel over the top so they feel their hard work is appreciated. Customers, vendors, and charities have different relationships with your company, and corporate gifts should reflect that. Try these 20 ideas to help portray your company in the best light possible through corporate gifts.
Good managers know that employees who feel appreciated perform their jobs better. There are many ways to help employees know they’re appreciated, but one of the most effective is giving well-thought-out gifts a few times a year. That’s right, employees need to feel appreciated more often than just during the holidays. During the spring or summer months, this could look like doing Florists Delivery of succulent gardens or floral arrangements. Have them delivered right to employees’ desks or workspaces for an added surprise.
Small, quirky holidays are also a great, unexpected time of year to show employees how much they’re appreciated. For example, Global Movie Day is the 2nd Saturday in February. Surprise employees with movie gift cards tied with ribbon to microwave popcorn. Busy times of the year also make good opportunities to show employees you care. If you own a CPA office, for example, give small employee gifts during tax time that show you know it’s a stressful time of year and want to help. Do you have a noisy office during these months? Give your employees noise-canceling headphones.
Big Spending Clients
Gifts for clients shouldn’t look the same as gifts for employees. Gifts for “big spenders” should be tasteful and high quality. They should be given once a year and should reflect your business relationship. For example, if you regularly dine out with a client and notice he or she orders coffee or a certain dessert after each meal, choose a similar gift. A sample basket of gourmet coffees, for example, or a gourmet dessert basket are good options.
If you know a lot about the client, try looking for gifts that reflect your business relationship. If you do advertising for an architect for example, consider a coffee-table book such as the one by Nicole England, which has photography of beautiful homes and the dogs that live in them. There are also ways to go personal, even when you don’t know the client well. According to an article in Forbes, one of the most memorable corporate gifts the author ever received was a custom wine opener with his business logo and family name etched on it.
Small Spending Customers
It’s important to show smaller-spending customers that you appreciate them just as much as you do the big spenders. Tech gifts a perfect choice for these customers, as they’re useful but not over the top. Power banks, thumb drives, Bluetooth speakers, and USB hubs are a few examples of tech gifts that show your base customers you appreciate their business. Keep in mind that these gifts shouldn’t be promotional. Corporate gifts are to show appreciation, not market your business. If tech gifts feel too promotional, consider something quirky and fun instead. Themed candy boxes or small gift cards for local bakeries or ice cream shops can be great options.
Showing appreciation for suppliers through gifts is important. But, it looks different for suppliers than it does for clients and employees. Gifts for suppliers should be personalized, but not overly personal. This can be a hard balance to strike, but many businesses have luck gifting food or items their area is known for. These specialty items are personal, as they come from the place you live and work, but don’t feel awkward. For example, if your town has a great local brewery, a sampler of artisan beer makes a great business-to-business gift that feels personal, but not gauche. Or, if your town has lots of bronze statues designed by a local bronze factory, a small bronze makes a unique, personalized gift. Other great choices for supplier gifts are tickets to local bands or gift cards to local, non-chain restaurants.
Hands-down, one of the best corporate gifts for charities is a cash donation. A classy way to do this is with a floral delivery that includes a hand-written card signed by everyone in your office or business. Along the same lines, a gift of equipment desperately needed by a local charity is a great way to go. Does your local food bank need new refrigerators or some basic shelving? Helping charities cover everyday needs shows that your business both cares and pays attention.
Also, think outside the box. A gift doesn’t have to be something you spend money on. According to Inc one of the best ways to support local charities is by volunteering. So consider gifting your time. Set aside a few days each year where everyone from the office spends the day working pro-bono for the charity instead. For many charities, the act of showing up to volunteer is just as important as monetary donations. Along the same lines, consider the gift of a partnership or collaboration. A floral business might consider a weekend event where 30% of every purchase made is donated back to a charity. With any of these four ideas, keep in mind that this is a gift from your business, not a promotional event. Skip promotional plugs on social media and stay out of the newspaper. The idea is to give a gift, and maybe highlight the needs of a charity, not promote your business.
In gift-giving, they say it’s the thought that counts, but in business that’s just not true. To portray your business in the best light possible, it’s important to make sure gifts are well thought out for the employee, customers, suppliers, and charities receiving them. Choosing great corporate gifts shows that your business is one that appreciates all of its professional relationships.
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