Gifting 101: Basics of Corporate Gift Giving

Gifting 101: Basics of Corporate Gift Giving - Qua | Distinctive Gifts
Finding the perfect corporate gift can cause a huge headache for most people. We have come up with a comprehensive guide that will help you navigate through this difficult task. Learn about the essential do’s and don’ts as well as some reminders of the different cultural differences when it comes to gifts!
Corporate Gifting Guidelines

1) Check Corporate Policies
There are many companies with policies that limit the value or type of gift – for example, civil servants are not able to receive gifts above a certain value. Be sure to check it first to avoid getting the gift returned!

2) Give Some Thought
If you are giving to an individual, it will be best to give him something that he can use or like. Some possible questions to think about are: “what is his hobby?”; “what is his favourite colour?”; and, “what does he have (or not have) on his desk in the office?”

Consider getting a bespoke corporate gift to show your sincerity and to ensure that the receiver is reminded of you when he/she uses your gift! Check out our corporate customisation here.

3) Consider Cultural Differences
Prevent showing any accidental disrespect by researching the rules of each country and culture for corporate gift buying. We will explore this further in a little more detail below.

4) Spend on Quality Not Quantity
Cheap, low-quality gifts are often left sitting unused or even thrown into the bin. Avoid giving such gifts by spending more on the quality of the gift. If you have a limited budget, consider getting gifts for only your top 20% clients. Anyway, aren’t they the ones that contributed 80% of your revenue this year?

5) Deliver Personally
Delivering the gift personally can show more sincerity and is an opportune time to build a stronger relationship with your client.

Gift Giving Cultural Differences

Giving corporate gifts to your international business associates can be tricky with different rules for different countries. Understanding the culture of your client is vital in not accidentally getting a taboo gift, which could jeopardise the business relationship. Here are some common rules:

1) The Gift Itself
Some gifts are considered inauspicious in different cultures. For example, gifting a clock to a Chinese person symbolises ‘death.’ To add, sharp objects such as knives, letter openers, and scissors should be avoided as they imply the severance of a relationship.

Although wine is a common and safe gift for most cultures, be sure to avoid alcohol (or products containing alcohol) and pork, which are offensive to Muslims.

Flowers make great gifts for women; however, note to avoid flowers which symbolise death or mourning. For example, lilies, lotus blossoms, and camellias are associated with funerals in Japanese culture and frangipanis should be avoided in Chinese culture.

2) Colours
In most cultures, as colours such as white, blue or black are associated with funerals, do not wrap gifts in these colours. Some great gift wrapping colour options are red, yellow and pink as they are seen as joyful colours.

3) Group or Individual?
With clients you are not familiar with, gifts might be perceived as a bribe. Hence, it may be best to present the gift as a ‘gift to the company’ instead.

4) The Numbers Game
Avoid giving gifts in sets of four to Chinese or Japanese clients. The word “four” in the Japanese and Chinese Cultures is “shi,” which is associated with the word for death.

5) Some “Safe” Suggestions
Products that are difficult to obtain or are extremely expensive in the country you are visiting would make great gifts. Alternatively, gifts unique to your country and gifts that represent your company will also work.

Corporate gift giving is an opportunity to connect with your clients, strengthen ties, and share your holiday cheer. So if you have any questions, do drop us a note, we can help you to make this year’s corporate gift giving less stressful and memorable for your clients.