Gifting is well-entrenched tradition in today's corporate world. Though it was frowned upon in the earlier days, many individuals and companies now commonly buy gifts to recognise the efforts of their employees or their clients' association.
Nikhil Ranjan, proprietor, William Penn, says, "Corporate gifting is felt necessary when you recognise and reward your business associates for their association. It is different from normal gifting since you want the person to remember you via the gift. Putting your company's name on the gift has a high recall value. So whenever the person uses the product or looks at it, it brings him memories of your association."
Festival occasions and events have become the best times for corporates to gift their associates without causing any unnecessary embarrassment to both parties. Many companies buy gifts in bulk for their employees for special events. It is a good motivational tool to gain the employee's favour as it shows that his work and talent have not gone unnoticed.
The kind of gift chosen mainly depends on the budget of the company. Status of the client is an important factor. Deepa Rahi, area manager (South), Mont Blanc says, "Companies that buy corporate gifts already know what they want. So many items at Mont Blanc have different prices ranges to suit every individual's pocket. If prices are too high, many companies find it difficult to buy in bulk. If they have a problem deciding, we discuss it with them and then suggest a product. Generally they go for a lesser-priced utility item if a person is from the lower rung. Expensive fountain pens like the 149 model is the preferred choice for a top management official. Today we have expanded to eyewear, leather products, photo frames and lifestyle accessories to give more range to our clients."
Two things that count while choosing a corporate gift are utility and novelty. Although decorative items are gifted regularly, people are increasingly realising that since they are spending big money, they prefer that the item be of some use to the client. According to Ranjan, products made in China are the rage today especially among the lower and medium budget. Since these are very novel, customers often pick them up. Products could range from electronic gadgets, business card scanner, pen drives and traditional handicrafts for desktop use.
Choosing a gift: It's best to go with age and status while gifting. Younger people generally prefer utility gifts such as mobile phones, laptops, business organisers, table clocks, calculators, etc rather than an expensive pen. Sometimes a good gift can be decided by what the profession requires. For instance, it is inappropriate to gift a salesperson a desktop item since he's on the field most of the day. It would be more sensible to choose the desktop item for a doctor or a banker who spends most of his time at the desk. If the client is a woman, then more feminine products like watches, diamonds, and jewellery are the best way to go. If a client is a foreigner, it would be apt to go in for ethnic products like carpets, idols, woodcarvings and sandalwood products.
Gifts are getting more personalised and even well-known gifting companies are providing value additions like engraving, logo embossing, personalised gift wrapping etc. Gifts are also increasingly getting sophisticated and are changing from the usual crystal and leather sets to cigar holders, cigar cutters, wine drip rings, manicure travel kits. Combination of items and kits are also becoming another big trend in the corporate gifting market.
As such there are no rules while choosing a gift. All one needs is a bit of common sense to make people happy with gifts.
Issue BG44 Nov04