What happens when the idea of a “gift” gets muddled by other objectives?
For instance, what are the procedures for giving a “gift” that’s promotional in nature? Do these have the same rules — and affects — as a traditional gift?
In our minds — no. These are considered “give aways” and should have no place in employee gifting, but we want to take a minute to explain why in this post. Hopefully, you’ll learn the difference between a true gift and a give-away, and avoid the pitfalls of each.
The Primary Difference Between Corporate Gifts and Give-Aways
Giving gifts is an age-old practice, and something you’ve probably done all of your lire to mark a special occasion or milestone. You might even spend a lot of money to get something a loved one has always wanted.
In any case, you give a gift that is right for the person, your budget, and the reason you have in mind for giving it.
Corporate gifts have the same rules. You give gifts that help build relationships, improve morale, offer encouragement, and show appreciation.
But if you search for corporate gifts online, you’ve probably been a little confused about the difference between give-aways and gifts.
You will find that promotional items are often touted as quality corporate gifts even when they are obviously designed as marketing tools. It’s up to you to distinguish the difference between these items and how you use them.
You can start by eliminating items that have your brand and logo printed on them.
Consider how your employee will feel when you make a gift of a tote bag or pencil set that you purchased in bulk. They know you had dozens in the drawer and that no real investment of thought went into it.
When you choose a corporate gift, you need to consider the individual. Make the effort to choose something that provides value to them.
The best corporate gifts help build closer relationships and make employees feel like their work is important. Once they know how you feel, they’ll want to create the same situation again.
It isn’t just about rewarding or incentivizing your employees, either. You can achieve a lot by giving gifts to clients, business partners, B2B service providers or recipients, or suppliers.
Everyone that plays a role in how your business works has a relationship with you and your business. Corporate gifts are a great way to let them know the relationship matters to you — instead of trying to use give-aways as a promotional tool.
Getting Past the Confusion
Now you know the primary difference between give-aways and gifts. The next challenge is finding a gift that gives value without exceeding your budget.
In this case, we recommend you take the old adage “It’s the thought, not the gift that counts” to heart. If you’re working with a smaller budget, put a little more thought into making the most of your gift-giving dollars.
One idea is to give gourmet food items through certificates that combine function with luxury.
You can give them something that they would like to have, such as a turkey or ham, that they probably wouldn’t buy for themselves. Any gift that is practical but indulgent will appeal to a broader range of people.
To make things simple, when considering any gift you should ask yourself these questions:
- Does it offer value to all of my gift recipients including those who are single as well as those with families?
- Does it fit into my budget?
- Is it convenient for all of my recipients to use regardless of their location?
- Does it say “special” or “luxury?”
- Is it easy to use?
Instead of a gift that’s printed with your business name, consider something like a gift certificate instead. When you choose personalized, customized, or special ordered items, it shows you took a personal approach to choosing a gift that was right for them.
It’s almost impossible to tell someone they matter when the gift you give them obviously didn’t. When it comes to giving corporate gifts, always lean towards quality more than quantity.