What is Corporate Gift-Giving Etiquette?

What is Corporate Gift-Giving Etiquette?

When you want to make giving gifts a part of your business-to-business relationships, how do you send appropriate gifts without giving too much? Should you send gifts around the holidays or more often? What is an appropriately budgeted gift? We have the answers you need for corporate gift-giving etiquette. Our guide will make professional gifting a more meaningful experience. 

Appropriate Occasions for Gift Giving

When is the best opportunity to send a gift? Send a corporate gift after an important meeting with a client or business partner, especially if you’ve just made a deal. This gift can be a special thank you for doing business together. 

Leading up to or during the holidays is a perfect time to let your professional contacts know you’re thinking of them. Remember that different faith backgrounds celebrate various holidays in November and December, so send inclusive and wide-ranging messages with these tokens of your appreciation. You can also send gifts during national holidays throughout the year, depending on your type of business and brand. 

Regardless of the occasion, include a message indicating why you’re sending the gift, so the recipient knows and appreciates the thoughtful gesture. 

Types of Professional Gifting Relationships 

Sending corporate gifts can connect people to your brand in a way that doesn’t feel like advertising. It’s friendlier and can be a lot more fun. What kinds of relationships are appropriate for gift giving? Here are some to consider:

  • Business-to-business relationships
  • Partner organizations
  • Charities you support
  • Valued clients
  • Repeat customers
  • Vendors

Research any corporate guidelines that might be in place with partner organizations or fellow business entities. Follow these policies, especially if that company has strict gift-giving procedures. If you aren’t sure, inquire about it with individual colleagues, clients, or HR departments. 

Gift Giving in the Office

Exchanging gifts with co-workers and colleagues requires thoughtfulness as well. To avoid misunderstandings, establish clear guidelines and get everyone’s buy-in before moving forward. Consider the following: 

  • Who will be involved?
  • Is there a price range? 
  • Will you organize a raffle?
  • How can you ensure this isn’t a financial burden for anyone? 

Those in management or leadership positions should not be receiving gifts from subordinates. Leadership should create their routine or policy for giving gifts to their staff members rather than the other way around. If you plan to distribute gifts or cards, make sure it’s equal and across the board. Everyone should receive the same type of gift, or no one should be getting anything. Otherwise, people will feel slighted. 

Giving certain co-workers a special birthday or holiday gift is acceptable if you have a personal relationship with them. Do this outside the workplace, so that other co-workers won’t feel left out. Or, choose a gift that everyone can share. Gifts like a Birthday Soup Package can make for a fun office lunch, or the whole department can celebrate together with our Birthday Cookie Package.

Birthday soup package

Gift Giving Business-to-Business Tips

Here are some tips and guidelines to consider when giving gifts. 

Tasteful Branding

Do you sell kitchen supplies? That means the items should make sense for your business. Then consider a cutting block or apron. Make sure your logo is small and features pleasant colors. You want this gift to look lovely so that it’s well-received. (We’ve got a few customized gift ideas you might want to check out.)

Connect with the Receiver

Give a gift that’s relevant, something that will be enjoyed and valued. If you know the person or group getting the gift, tie it to their interests or hobbies. Do they have a favorite restaurant or drink? If you don’t know them too well, try to make it general so that they appreciate the effort. Anyone will enjoy tickets to a local movie theater or sporting event. 

Don’t Sell

The focus shouldn’t be on selling your product or brand. The focus is on wishing someone well or letting a business associate know they matter to you. Your gift shouldn’t be too crass or self-promotional. 

Keep the Cost Reasonable

Give a gift somewhere between inexpensive and lavish. You don’t want to come off as cheap or embarrassingly over-the-top. Take your time and shop around for something that’s appropriately priced and dignified. You don’t want to come off as cheap or embarrassingly over-the-top. 

Be Appropriate

Humorous or gag gifts can backfire. What seems funny to one person could be insulting to another. Unless you know someone’s sense of humor, avoid this idea altogether. Be especially mindful of gifts going to someone of the opposite gender so that no one sees anything as too intimate. 

Charitable Donations Work

Do your homework and find out which charities your gift receiver supports. Donating to that cause in the recipient’s name is incredibly meaningful and creates goodwill. 

Gift Notes

What do you say in a note that goes along with the gift? Giving a gift in a professional relationship is an opportunity to communicate your values and ethics. 

Be sure the gift is wrapped in a lovely way, shipped conveniently, and includes a note telling the person what you’re celebrating. Did they get promoted? Are they celebrating 15 years with the same company? Or do you simply appreciate their business? Tell them in a concise, well-written note that accompanies the gift. 

Corporate Gift-Giving Ideas

If you’re looking for the perfect corporate gift-giving idea, Spoonful of Comfort is the place to start. From spa baskets to coffee/tea blends, you can find lovely ways to send business gifts to valued contacts. Shop Spoonful of Comfort’s corporate gift options today! 

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