Gifting is very common in the corporate world, and is often used for marketing and to show appreciation. Whether it is for employees, partners or clients, corporate gifting certainly has its merits, and can help you stand out from the crowd.
On the other hand, typical corporate gifting methods can be very wasteful, and often end up falling into the category of ‘throwaway gifting’.
What is throwaway gifting?
Throwaway gifting is just as it sounds: giving gifts worth throwing away. These could be water bottles or coffee mugs, tacky t-shirts, key chains, or pretty much anything of cheap quality. These items often flash brand logos, slogans, and bright colours, and are likely to end up in the recipient’s garbage bin.
Yet, brands continue to follow this trend in the hopes that their clients or employees will remember them and appreciate the gesture. The truth is, rather than creating a lasting impression, these types of gifts merely clutter up both the physical and mental space of their most valuable corporate relations.
Is corporate gifting necessary?
So, corporate gifting is often wasteful. But, it does not have to be! In fact, the benefits of corporate gifting are vast, and it would be impractical to cut out this long-standing tradition completely.
It is very possible to give gifts sustainably in a corporate setting, while still creating a lasting impression and most importantly, avoiding throwaway gifts. Here are 5 simple ways to achieve sustainability when gifting in a corporate world.
1. Avoid Brand Names and Logos
This may seem counterintuitive, but most clients will not remember you from a branded item you send them. They receive tons of gifts from other companies trying to achieve the same thing, and it will get lost in the pile of unwanted gifts!
Instead, make a lasting impression by giving them something they will actually use. Rather than a water bottle with your logo on it, go for a sleek look, maybe with your brand’s colour instead. Or, go for a high-quality wallet that they will want to use daily, and they will remember it came from you.
As for employees, no matter how proud they are to work for you, they may not want to go screaming it in the streets. That is, they also value useful gifts that show you care about them and their work, rather than using them as a walking marketing tactic.
You can make the gift personal to the client or employee without using your brand’s name or logo. When you give someone a gift, it should be for them and about them, not you. Imagine your mother giving you a t-shirt with her face on it to show her appreciation for you! You probably would not want to wear it.
2. Be Sure to Personalize
This brings us to the second integral aspect of gifting: personalization. Corporate or not, a gift should be catered to the recipient specifically. In a corporate sense, this not only makes your clients and employees feel special, but it will help them to remember you too.
Personalization can mean many things. One way to personalize a gift is by monogramming. Journals, wallets and the like can go from boring to exciting in an instant through this simple process. People may not want to rep your brand on the daily, but they’ll definitely rep themselves.
Photos by Unsplash - Nick Nice (@nicknice) and Kelly Sikkema (@kellysikkema)
Another way to personalize your gifts is to include a note from you, the giver. Don’t make the gift seem mass-produced, where the recipient is just another name on a list. Write a note to each recipient, stating your appreciation and gratitude, to make the gesture personal and authentic.
3. Don’t Overlook Packaging
A pretty package is far more memorable than a regular old brown box, so be sure to put some thought into how the recipient will get their gift. To hand-deliver each one would be ideal, but of course that is not always possible. However, even if you are shipping gifts across the country, you should package it as nicely as possible.
Photos by Unsplash - Tijana Drndarski
This is where you can incorporate your name and logo. Tissue paper of your own design is a nice touch, and with the right packaging the recipient will remember you even before seeing the actual gift.
4. Get the Timing Right
Avoid giving gifts during popular holidays and occasions. These may feel obligatory, but clients in particular will not give your gift the same level of attention as they would at off-peak times in the year.
An unexpected gift can make someone’s day. That’s not to say they won’t appreciate a gift they know is coming, but once again, you will be remembered and appreciated even more when you catch them by surprise.
5. Choose Sustainable Brands
Last and certainly not least, the gift itself should be sustainable! There are several sustainable brands out there that offer corporate gifts specifically to make the whole process easier. Check out this list of brands for inspiration.
Or, try reaching out to your favourite sustainable brands to see if they offer any kind of gifting service upon request! Either way, your efforts will not go unnoticed, as sustainability is a common value among many these days.
Corporate gifting is meant to maintain relationships in a corporate environment, so you should be going above and beyond to give gifts worth keeping. You can do so in a sustainable way, and create a lasting impact on your clients, partners, employees, and the planet.