There are many different aspects to think about when buying corporate gifts as opposed to gifts for friends and family. This Corporate Gift-Giving Guide takes a brief look at what you should consider:
Who are you giving your corporate gifts to? Items that are appropriate for your employees may not be appropriate for your customers and vice-versa. For both audiences, you want to pick something that will show your appreciation, but you appreciate them for different reasons so make sure that your gift reflects that.
Keep the recipient in mind. You don't have to know each of your employees or customers on a personal level to know what they would like and use. True your gift is a branding opportunity, but it's also an opportunity to show recipients how much you value their hard work or their business. Whatever you choose should be useful to them.
Corporate gift-giving on a budget is a problem that most businesses face. Large companies may have more funds, but they also have larger staff and more clients to give to; small companies and startups may have fewer people to buy for, but they also often have a more limited budget.
Remember that every gift you give is a reflection of your company, so choose quality over quantity. It is possible to keep costs down without looking cheap.
Prioritize. Not every member of your staff and everyone you do business with needs to receive an expensive corporate gift. If there are a lot of people on your list, consider giving only your top executives and clients high-end gifts. For others, you can find low-cost options such as holiday cards or food items; these gifts offer a personal touch without breaking the bank.
Sometimes corporate gifts can be as simple as discounts or price cuts for your customers; it's a gift to them, but it doesn't cost you anything out-of-pocket. You can apply the same principle to your staff with little, or even no, out-of-pocket expenses. If money is tight, consider these alternatives to show employees your appreciation.
The actual act of giving corporate gifts is often overlooked when considering what to purchase. How do you plan to distribute the items? They could be mailed, hand-delivered, or given at your place of business. Large and heavy items could end up costing you in unexpected shipping charges if you mail them, so it's important to think about your giving plan before you buy.
If you give corporate gifts in person, be sure that you are well organized in your distribution and that the right person receives the gift intended for him or her.
A lesser-known benefit of corporate gift-giving is actually financial. In the United States, corporate gifts are tax-deductable. According to the IRS, businesses can deduct the cost of gifts up to $25/person during your tax year. Certain restrictions apply, but as long as you comply with the regulations it's a win-win!
The benefits of corporate gift-giving far outweigh the costs, even for those on a tight budget. First and foremost, it makes your organization look good. Giving is an act of generosity that people appreciate, no matter what the gift is. It can help with your customer retention, boost employee morale and even entice new business. Corporate gifts are an opportunity to build your brand awareness as well as to portray that brand in a positive light.