21 Corporate Gifting Do's and Don'ts

Give unto others as you would have them give unto you

Imagine everyone getting your corporate gift and then patting you on the back saying, “Thank you so much!!! Finally a gift I’ll keep”. That can happen if you read, heed and incorporate some of these generally true nuggets of gifting wisdom into your giving plan.

The more thoughtful or higher quality the gift, the more loyalty is built. It’s a statement of how much you value them. A few considerations:

  1. Give what you would want to get - Ask yourself, “Would I want this thing that I’m considering giving to others?”
  2. Gift when they least expect it - Schedule random times like on March 12th, July 23nd or October 7th for corporate gifting so it doesn’t feel expected and so you’re not competing.
  3. Choose Corporate gifts that are best in class instead of just high price - Sometimes, it’s more memorable to receive a really nice $50 coffee mug than a decent $99.95 watch. The higher quality the gift is in its category, the more likely they’ll use it and talk about it.
  4. Put their name on it, not yours - Generally, if you put their name on it, it’s a gift. If you put your name on it, it’s a promotion. Sometimes the company name is important, but sometimes it’s not. Imagine you give them a really nice paring knife with their name on it. What will the conversation be for the next 10 years every time friends and family see it?
  5. Go for desktop or display space - If your gift is cool, useful or brings up conversation, you win. You want them thinking and explaining about you often so you stay in the forefront of their mind come decision time.
  6. Give unique or local - Don’t buy big name mass produced blend in gifts but rather do some research and give them something quality, niche or from their local area, hometown, alma mater or other place dear to their heart. Shows thoughtfulness.
  7. Handwritten note - Be sure to hand write a note. If you write a note on a big piece of leather, they’ll smile and then go show it around the office and keep it.
  8. Let it be made of leather - If you want to give someone a corporate gift they’ll keep and remember, let it be made of leather. Leather affects their senses with sight, smell and touch. Go full grain or top grain. No genuine or bonded leather please.
  9. Don’t give cash or do give cash - Studies show that people generally prefer personal recognition over small cash bonuses or pizza parties. Cash doesn’t always make people happier, but it does if they are on the lower range of the pay scale. Small amounts of cash gifts can communicate they’re not that important. Two Free Personal Gifting Tips 1. Instead of putting cash in a GREETING CARD, put the cash PLUS $4.38 in a plain white envelope with a handwritten note explaining “Here’s $50 for the gift and $4.38 because that was the cost of a greeting card and figured you’d prefer the money instead of the card. It gets a laugh and a hug and the story gets re-told for years. 2. If they’re a broke kid or college student, give them the entire amount in $1 or $2 bills or $1 coins.
  10. Durable quality - Give quality corporate gifts that last a long time so your name will stay in front of them for a long time.
  11. Timeless gifts - Don’t gift something faddish or with a date on it.
  12. A corporate gift that says you care about them personally - This one depends on if you’ve established a solid personal relationship with them. How about one of the Big 3 marriage tune-up books of all time, Love and Respect (changed my marriage completely), The Five Love Languages or His Needs Her Needs as a gift from your company? Show them you care about them personally, not just their work or money.
  13. Be careful with gifting food and drinks - Do you remember the name of anyone who has ever given you a food basket or bottle of wine? Gifts like these can be bad for business for many reasons:
    • Maybe they have dietary or religious restrictions e.g. gluten, sugar, pork, carbs, allergies etc.
    • Food becomes an out of body experience and is soon forgotten.
    • It means that there was little thought put into it.
    • It can be inferred that they were an inconvenience.
    • It’ll blend in with everybody else’s food basket gifts.
    • Maybe they don’t like alcohol.
    • Maybe there is a recovering alcoholic in their home.
    • It can spoil during shipment.
    • It will likely be re-gifted to someone else as their own gift.
  14. Give corporate gifts to their inner circle - Give gifts to their spouse, executive assistant or kids instead of to them. If their inner circle loves you, then you win in the Corporate Gifting world. Maybe a Leather Moleskine Cover or Laptop Bag for their spouse or secretary, a Calvin and Hobbes book for their 9 year old boy or a set of Nancy Drew books for their 11 year old daughter?
  15. Be considerate of their time - Be careful with gifting fishing trips, sporting event tickets or other things that take them away from their loved ones. They probably already feel guilty about being gone so much. What about a gift certificate to a cool local B&B for the weekend with their spouse?
  16. Say no to low quality gifts - Don’t give worthless low quality pieces of decorative knick-knacky crap like Neoprene beer koozies, cheap pens, generic mugs, Pedometers, USB drives, cigarette lighter adapters or calendars. Say no to low.
  17. Practical Gifts - People are far more grateful when they get a gift they want to use. A crystal desk clock? A Kleenex box cover? Seriously? How about a quality leather Notepad Holder, Space pen, small single blade pocket knife or a nice Mousepad?
  18. Creative Corporate Gifts make memories - Maybe in November give them a funny White Elephant Gift to give away at their White Elephant Christmas party in December. How about a throw blanket from their Alma Mater as a corporate gift?
  19. Say No to Generic Gift Cards and Gift Certificates - Gift Cards and Gift Certificates can be the best gifts if you introduce them to a cool or niche brand like Saddleback Leather with our solid leather gift card that they’ll hold onto for years. Say no to the “You’re not worth the trouble so I just got you a quick Amazon Gift Card. And if you do the gift certificate, put it in a small box and wrap it. Everyone likes opening things.
  20. Make it simple and error free - Don’t get your arse chewed because the gifts didn’t arrive on time. For larger quantities, it’s generally best to deal with tried and true companies of sterling reputation so they deliver your bulk corporate gifts on time.
  21. Don’t complicate the laser engraving, embossing or debossing - Keep it simple with the placement of the name or logo. Ask the provider where the most common places to laser engrave, emboss or deboss are. We know our laser engraving machine really well and it makes it go smoother and faster when it’s in a common place.

Obviously, we’d love for you to consider Saddleback Leather for your go to corporate gifting company, but our style isn’t for everybody. And since we do excessively high quality, nor is our price. But whether you buy from us or not, we hope this Saddleback Leather Corporate Gift Giving Guide has helped you out and will raise your reputation from good to great in your gift giving world.

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