For most corporates when it is the season for ordering some gifts to give to their teams or clients, all hell breaks loose. Corporate gifting suddenly takes on a different meaning, and whatever it may mean, it certainly means no joy. If you are a working professional in a large multinational conglomerate, chances are you receive a gift for your birthday, anniversary, new year, Diwali and so on. When a colleague from the cubicle next to you receives a coffee mug with his name, on a not-so-great looking design behind, you know a month later the same mug will land on your desk, because it is your birthday.
A research in 2015, revealed that the corporate gifting segment in India is over 2.5 billion USD!!! What a shame, if in the name of so much money being spent by companies across the board, it is killing delight, eliminating surprise and deleting happiness from their gifting.
Corporate gifting – It is about gifting not grieving.
Here are 3 tips that will help move in the right direction for gifting this season:
1. Learn from the past – Before you plan what to buy for your teams this year, it may be a good idea to see what they have received in the last few years. A chat during a coffee break can be a great place to collect feedback from them. Of course, we don’t mean you go outright and ask, but in a more subtle conversational manner, your team will reveal a lot. Eg., when you see your colleague drinking from a plain coffee mug, ask him how come he’s not using the gift he got on his birthday from the office and he may respond saying ‘oh, that was a sad looking one, I didn’t like the quality, same old gift, it cracked within a few days …’ and the list can go on. Now you know that your team appreciates good quality and design on the product.
2. Meet new vendors – If you’ve ever worked with a corporate you’ll know what a pain it is to get empanelled. Technology and internal restrictions don’t always make it a easy ride. So most companies force themselves to buy from pre registered vendors, because of ease of transacting and minimal internal paper work. It’s costing you your reputation with your teams!!! Don’t you see that? Existing vendors get into a comfort zone after a point and no matter what occasion you call them for, they will continue to offer the same old tees, caps, sippers, desk sets and accessories. Gifting is all about making someone feel special and it costs you money, so why would you not step out and look for new vendors at all times? You stand to get new variety of gifts, gifts that are trending and those promising higher levels of delight to your recipients.
3. Communicate with your teams – Sometimes no matter what you do your teams are not excited with the gift you bring them. May be they are getting one too many gifts from the company and so the value is lost or the gifts are boring and are being handed down. Be what it may, communicate with your teams to get feedback and throw the ball in their court sometimes. Ask them to create a list of gifts they would enjoy receiving and using. This exercise can be most revealing as your teams will come up with some great ideas, products and perhaps places from where you can procure them too…ta daaa!
Some gifts are big. Some gifts are small. The ones that come from the heart are the best gifts of all.
There are a zillion corporate gifting ideas out there, but in my experience of close to two decades of being in this industry, I realize, there are a zillion mindsets you are dealing with too. A gift goes a long way in building long term relationships between teams, clients and vendors. A well thought gift creates an added experience of delight and warmth, as it touches the heart of the person who receives it and he can see your care come through when he sees the gift. In the latter one, chances are he will remember you for a long time, long after the gift has been consumed or whenever the new year arrives he will wait for your gift more than others, because he knows now, you do meaningful gifts that make him / her feel special.
This year when you begin looking for gifts keep these simple, yet highly effective pointers in mind and make your gift buying process easier, more enriching and more thoughtful…the results will be there to testify when you send those gifts out.
Happy gifting times!