When you buy a gift, regardless of who it is for – your teams, associates or clients, every gift has a purpose to fulfill. At the intrinsic level a gift is meant to make someone feel special and significant. At a deeper level it is a great tool to forge long term relationships with the people you surround yourself with or look forward to be associated with for a longer time in the future. The importance of a simple and thoughtful gift cannot be overridden. However sometimes due to budget demands, lack of time or personal tastes, wrong choices are made and the gift giving process lands us in a lose-lose situation instead of win-win. Let’s look at what some look like. In each situation the curious thing to observe is whether the gift is an expense or a liability.
Hands-me-down – If the gift is not used by the recipient but instead is handed down to someone else, then this is an expense to the giver. When a product with your branding on it, is not used by the right person, the whole purpose of giving the gift is defeated. It gets you no brand recall, in fact, it may get you some negative brownies for choosing an irrelevant, low quality or non useful product as a gift. As you read this, am sure you can think of atleast one such gift you have received in the past!
Wow factor – If the gift creates instant delight, it is an investment – the person will remember how the gift made him feel, and there is a large chance that he will use the gift himself. This leads to continued brand recall, will help build brand loyalty and will leave a positive first and last impression in the recipient’s mind. Remember that simple yet elegant watch you received on completing 2 years with a company, or a hand written note by your team showing you their appreciation with a nice pen….you get the drift?
Voucher fever – When you gift vouchers instead of a product with your branding on it – this is definitely a big expense to the company! You cannot control what the voucher gets used for when the recipient logs into the online store. They may buy household items, pantry products, clothes or gadgets – all of which will not carry any branding, or story. There is no personal touch when you give a voucher. And a gift given without a personal touch is simply an item. Therefore, I’d say it is an expense. This one is my pet peeve when it comes raising a vehement war cry! If you don’t have the time and patience to get that right gift, delegate it to an outside expert, or to a team member who understands the importance of a hand picked gift after all!
Whether a gift would be treated as an expense or an investment – is left to the giver. Make the right choice while you can and make every gifting occasion a treasured one for the recipient. There cannot be a better ROI for sure!