Giving gifts to clients is not as simple as you may think. For one, not everyone will appreciate the same type of gift. This means it’s not really a good idea to distribute only one kind of gift and call it a day. Moreover, there is a certain etiquette you should follow around business gifts–lest you accidentally cause offense, which is the last thing you want.
In this article, we will talk about the most important guidelines to keep in mind when giving business gifts. And towards the end, we will include a list of some of the “safest” gift ideas that you should consider.
Things to Keep in Mind For Client Gifts
In the corporate world, the rules around gift-giving are quite different compared to gifting employees and co-workers. You want your client gifts to be appreciated and remembered for the right reasons. Most importantly, you want your gifts to have the most positive impact on your client relationships.
To ensure that your gifts are memorable and appropriate, here are the most important corporate gifting tips that you should keep in mind. Follow these client gift giving guidelines, and you’ll impress your customers without having to worry about anything.
Steer Clear From Inappropriate Gifts
It’s never a good idea to give inappropriate gifts to clients, even if as a joke. Gag gifts like underwear and things that say innuendos are not appropriate gifts in business. Even if the recipient gets a good laugh out of it, it may not make a good impression on other people that see the gift.
If you know your client on a personal level and want to give them a gag gift, give it to them in private. It’s just too tough to tell how it will be recieved. Trust us – it isn’t worth the risk.
Just like when giving gifts to loved ones and co-workers, it’s important to be sensitive about religious beliefs, dietary restrictions, and other factors that may affect how recipients perceive your gift. For example, don’t give alcohol to someone on a path to sobriety. Don’t give pork-containing food baskets to people of the Muslim faith, and definitely don’t send something holiday-related to someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas. Avoid ‘couple-themed’ gifts to someone who just lost their partner. And so on.
Follow Corporate Guidelines
Some companies may have restrictions for gifts that their employees should accept. It’s always a good idea to call their HR department ahead of time to make sure you’re following their gift policies if there are any.
Don’t Make Your Logo Too Big
If you are giving out marketing swag as client gifts, be careful not to make your logo or brand name too big on the item. The main goal of client gift giving is to improve your business relationship; promoting your brand is only secondary. If your logo or brand name is too big, your gifts will just look like a blatant advertisement.
Find Out Your Clients’ Interests
The best way to personalize a client’s gift is to take your client’s interest into consideration. For instance, if your client is into basketball, tickets to the next game are a good gift idea. Or if they enjoy a particular brand of food, giving them a gift basket from that brand will surely be appreciated.
You can pick up on clues about your clients’ interests during meetings or even during casual conversations in the elevator. You can also check out their social media for hints about what they might enjoy. When in doubt, try contacting their assistant or asking some of their associates.
In any case, going the extra mile to personalize your gifts will leave a positive impression on your recipients.
Consider The Cost
Not everyone will want to accept gifts that are ridiculously expensive. Lavish gifts may be embarrassing or even alienating to some people. On the other hand, giving cheap, low-quality gifts can make your company look cheap. Moreover, the person receiving your gift may feel undervalued and unappreciated.
The key is to find a balance. Look for gifts that are high-quality but not too expensive. If you’re not sure how to properly plan gift expenses, read our article on how to come up with an appropriate swag budget.
Be Mindful of Presentation
When giving corporate gifts, presentation is just as important as the gift itself. See to it that your gifts are carefully wrapped in pleasant wrapping paper. If you are giving out gifts during the holidays, use a wrapping paper that says ‘Happy Holidays’ instead of ‘Merry Christmas’ to be respectful of all religions.
For gifts that cannot be wrapped, use ribbons and special gift cards. Better yet – add a handwritten note. These may add up in your incidental costs, but a gift that looks good will garner a positive impression before your recipient even opens it.
Make Sure There is Enough For Everybody
If you are sending a gift for everyone in the office, consider the number of employees. Everyone should receive at least one piece of whatever you’re sending. For example, if you’re sending food, make sure that there is enough to feed everybody. How bad would it look if the CEO came in late and didn’t get a slice of pizza?
Send Identical Gifts For Groups
When gifting to a group of people, it’s only right to give everyone the same gift. You don’t want some people to feel left out because they received a different gift from others. If you are sending a special gift to the boss, try to hand it in private so that everyone else feels equal.
Pro tip: even if you are sending the same gift to every person in the office, include a note that addresses each individual. Personalization makes people feel special.
Best Ideas For Client Gifts
When it comes to business gift-giving, you want your gifts to follow all the corporate social rules–both written and unwritten. Here, we highlight some of the “safest” client gift ideas that you should consider for business gifts.
Tumblers, reusable water bottles, and custom coffee mugs are some of the most common business gifts in the corporate world. While they may seem boring and repetitive, drinkware is always going to be a practical gift. And remember, people tend to appreciate practical gifts more.
Tech accessories like portable chargers, flash drives, and headphones have a high perceived value. That said, they make great gifts for clients that deserve to feel appreciated.
If your client supports charities, consider donating to their chosen organization in their name. It’s a good way to show solidarity with their goals, and you won’t have to deal with finding the “perfect” gift for them anymore.
Office supplies make for highly practical client gifts. After all, they use office supplies on a daily basis, so you’re also helping them save money in the process. Branded pens, notepads, or even a nameplate with custom engraving are all great choices. While these are small gifts, they are as practical as it gets.
Find The Best Gifts For Your Clients on Swag Bar
Gift-giving can be tough, especially when it comes to your valuable clients. But the next time gift-giving situations arise, we’ve got you covered. If you can’t come up with the best client gift, we have the best solution for you: corporate gift baskets!
At Swag Bar, you can choose from various Swag Packs and Swag Boxes that come with a wide variety of themes. From No Grinches Here to Fall Harvest Outing, we have exactly what you need to put a smile on your client’s face. But if you can’t see a theme that fits your needs, you can customize your own and we’ll make it happen.
Don’t wait any longer, check out our Swag Packs today and find the perfect gift for your beloved clients.