Corporate gift giving is an easy way to let your clients know how much your appreciate their business, according to the the National Business Association. It is a long-standing tradition meant to foster a relationship between company and client. But there are many things to consider when selecting the perfect gift: What can you afford? What are you trying to say? And it can become even more complicated when you factor in cultural differences or corporate etiquette (some company policies don’t accept gifts over $25). You want your gift to be tasteful, thoughtful, and reflect your sentiments appropriately – but, of course, one gift does not fit all. Therefore, when gifting to clients in different industries, you must tailor your gift appropriately. But how do you decide what to give?
Gifting something unique shows that you are interested and invested in your client, their field, and their interests. Go beyond the cliché branded mug with something tasteful and different — without treading into gag-gift territory. For example, here are a few gifts for different industries that will distinguish your company from the gift-giving herd.
Gift: Executive Pen with Built-In USB Flash Memory Drive
Message: This modern spin on a classic gift reflects professionalism and forward-thinking innovation. Any tech company is always looking to evolve today’s technology, and this gift is a perfect symbiosis of classic engineering and modern convenience. They’ll appreciate your attention to detail and remember you every time they press down or plug in.
Industry: International Business
Gift: Coffee of the Month Club
Message: If your client is a global leader, then acknowledge their international presence with a global good-of-the-month club. Not only does this type of gift offer the recipient a year-round reminder of your services, choosing a gift with international origins (you can get of-the-month clubs with goods such as cheese, olive oil, wine, chocolate, etc.) shows that you admire and respect their global reach. It is an elegant and sophisticated gift that can also be a reminder of a personal encounter with a company representative – did the VP mention his wine-tasting tour in southern France? Did their marketing rep mention her love of cheese? Note: Consider any potential cultural conflicts if gifting to foreign offices.
Gift: Spa Gift Basket
Message: This is a great opportunity to promote your own company values, and to highlight how they align with your client. Individuals in the healthcare industry value health, well-being, and vitality, so give a gift that reflects this, such as a spa gift basket (extra points if it includes eco-friendly products that help the planet, too). Not only will they appreciate your acknowledgement of their mission and field, they’ll enjoy a little pampering time thanks to you. This type of gift encourages them to nurture themselves, and call on you for your helpful services in the future as well.
Gift: Charitable Donation Giftcard
Message: Individuals in the non-profit field value helping others more than anyone. Offering a charity donation – of their choice – shows that you share the same sentiment. In addition, it allows you to give a gift together by attaching both your names, which fosters an ongoing relationship.
Gift: Bottle of Wine With Custom Label
Message: Wine was the nectar of the gods in ancient Greece and welcomes the muse. Anyone in a creative field is in need of a little inspiration, so let your gift offer it to them. Customize with your company label, and they’ll toast to you when it’s time to pop the cork.
There are many creative ways to gift your clients. Whatever you choose, select something with taste, care, and quality. And always verify that the client you plan to gift allows corporate gift giving – luckily, a 2009 survey by the Health Care Compliance Association & the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics suggests 84 percent of companies do.
So tell us: What are your go-to gifts?