Sunday, October 10, 2010

Corporate Gifts – New Thoughts on an Old Tradition

Letting customers know you appreciate them with a gift at the end of the year is a widely accepted practice, and a very thoughtful one at that. The traditional time to extend your thanks in December with a Christmas gift.

As our culture has become increasingly diverse, a more thoughtful and perhaps practical time to show your gratitude may be in November to celebrate the holiday of giving thanks…Thanksgiving. It is an American holiday and one that we all have in common when living in the USA, while Christmas is a religious holiday and not all people share the same religion.

There are many reasons to break away from the pack and extend your thanks in November. One is that you do not have to be concerned as to whether or not the recipient celebrates Christmas. Another benefit to an earlier gift is, just that, it will arrive earlier than the others and not get lost in the sea of gifts arriving and trays of baked goods co-workers are bringing in to share with the office. Another benefit is that you will appear to be on top of things as your gift will be the first to arrive and will never seem to be an after thought. You may also be viewed as a forward thinker and one that welcomes cultural diversity. Yet another reason is that some companies and agencies do not allow their employees to receive Christmas gifts (but there are no receptionists on the lookout for packages arriving in November!)

If you do choose not to break with tradition and opt to send your gifts in December…schedule its arrival for early in the month before all the other gifts arrive. Again, not only will you appear to be on top of things but lots of folks take vacation time and travel home to be with family the 2nd or 3rd week of December since not much typically happens in the business world after mid -December.

Now let’s talk about the most important thing, the gift itself. The most beautifully timed gift will short of its desired effect if the recipient will not be able to use it, or even worse…is put off by it. You may likely not know the lifestyle or hobbies of the recipient which is why food has become one of the most popular, well received corporate gifts. Well, a trip to the Bahamas would probably be favored over a tin of nuts, but I think you see where this is going. The last thing you want to do is offend the very person you want to acknowledge.

Gifts that should be off limits, or suspect at the very least: Alcohol… yes, wine has alcohol in it, and are you sure your customer did not arrive home from an AA meeting to find your well-intentioned gift on the doorstep? Ham – those practicing Judaism would not be pleased to open a box and find a ham in it. Beef – About 70% people from India practice Hinduism who, as a rule, follow a vegetarian diet.

Gift baskets top the list of popular corporate gifts because they offer a selection of goodies to sample, making them ideal for one person or an entire office. This also makes them a safe bet because they are sure to find some things they like among the array of goodies included.

When shopping for a gift basket company there are a few things to keep in mind. Remember that pictures can be deceiving, be sure you are comparing the same things by asking what the weight and dimensions are of the basket. Also, be sure that the gift you order will arrive looking like the one in the picture. It is very common to display the contents beautifully for the picture but when the gift arrives it looks like it has circled the globe on the back of a camel. It is advisable to look for a company that has been in business for a while and has the experience to handle your corporate order, especially if it is sizable. Be skeptical when offered free shipping…remember the lesson your grandpa taught you…nothing in life is free. You are paying for the shipping; it has just been hidden in the cost of the basket. Finally, select a company that offers good customer service and will accommodate special requests or substitutions. That will also be helpful in the event that the shipping company has difficulty delivering your package due to an incorrect address, or if your lucky recipient has gone to visit the family for a few weeks and is not there to receive your package.

A variety of gift baskets is available at Basket Affair, including Pittsburgh gift baskets. Christmas gift baskets are also available. Basket Affair has been providing Christmas corporate gifts baskets for more than 20 years, and is just as comfortable creating five baskets as 1500.


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