Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Art of Corporate Gifting

Corporate gifting is a recent concept, developed by businesses and corporate companies, to gift the people whom they think have contributed to the development of the establishment directly or indirectly. This is to make the recipients know that they are grateful for the connection they have with them. Apart from the obvious mentioned above, there are other reasons as well. In the following article, the importance of corporate gifting, how it acts as marketing tool i.e. external benefits of the company, how it is used to increase the employee’s job satisfaction i.e. internal benefits, ethical issues involved are discussed. 

Importance of corporate gifts
The importance of corporate gifts can be described based on the audience which it targets. The target audiences are the customers, clients, employees, suppliers, shareholders and the public. Corporate gifts are used as a means of excellent marketing strategy by creating brand awareness as well as to represent a token of gratitude. In today’s world, corporate gifts are double-edged swords. Implemented well, it gives amazing benefits. If the cards are not played right, there is a chance of the concept of gifting backfiring.

How do corporate gifts act as marketing tools?
Corporate gifts, if personalised i.e. printed with logo, act as objects which imprint the company in the minds of the recipients. Customers, clients or suppliers could be given the company’s products themselves. They can also be offered a gift voucher or gift points to shop at their company’s store or their associated products. This leads to customer satisfaction and through word of mouth, the company’s name would reverberate in many people’s ears.
Another advantage of the corporate gifting is, it provides free advertising to the company. If the company gives its own products as gifts, preferably personalised, it leads to the recipients trying the products and evaluating it themselves. Personalisation leads to the product logo being seen by the recipient regularly and this creates a level of confidence in them. 

How do they increase job satisfaction?
Corporate gifts increase job satisfaction among employees as they act as rewards for the hard work they have done. Gifts are given to the employees for two primary purposes. One, to award them for best performance; and two, they are given to all the employees of the company as annual gifts, on special occasions such as a milestone achieved by the company or during festivals. Giving these gifts not only increases their morale, but also increases their sense of belongingness and trustworthy relationship with the company. This shows to the employees that the company shows appreciation and is grateful for the services they have provided. Monetary incentives are more expensive making the monetary feasibility better for the company. Moreover, buying the gifts in bulk for so many people makes it even cheaper.

Ethical issues
There are few situations where giving corporate gifts can be highly inappropriate and deemed unethical. Companies should be aware of such situations and thus be careful not to make the gifting backfire. Gifts could be mistaken as bribes and this is a crime under the law. There is also a chance that the recipient of the gift might think it of as a kickback and might get offended. If it is a client, customer or supplier, there is a danger of losing them forever and once lost, they never come back. Gifting in industries such as retail, financial services, insurance, pharmaceutical and other medical fields, bar all kinds of gifts. The following are few points to note related to ethics related to corporate gifting:

  • Giving gifts while the bidding process is going on is a big no.
  • Expensive gifts such as cars and vacations should be offered only after careful consideration as they are suspected to be kickbacks.
  • There is a need of care while gifting as this might create a wrong impression among the recipients due to the value of the gift as well as the cross-cultural issues. Care must be taken not to embarrass the recipient as this poses the risk of losing the connection.

Overall, corporate gifting is an art and there is a knack of dealing with it. Appropriate dealing with it gives the best results without creating any negative impact on the company.