Going Beyond the Rose for V-Day Bouquets

Roses are romantic, but a terrible cliché! There are many other flowers that spell love

BluebellBluebell
constancy and everlasting love

Ironically enough, it is thought to be unlucky to walk through or bring home. The Latin name for this flower is Endymion who was the lover of the moon Goddess, Selene. The goddess put Endymion into an eternal sleep, so she alone could enjoy his beauty.

CarnationCarnation
betrothal, love and fertility

This flower was believed to be an aphrodisiac, hence its popular use at weddings. Due to its association with love it was widely used in wreaths. Gentlemen began to wear carnations as a button hole, Oscar Wilde developed the fashion with a dyed green carnation.

The various carnation colours can mean different things: white – love; yellow – rejection; pink – I’ll never forget you; red – aching heart.

Forget-me-notsForget me not
true love and remembrance

Mythology describes this as the flower chosen by a brave knight for his sweetheart before going to battle, as he knelt to gather the tiny blue flowers he fell into a river and was swept away, calling to his love, ‘forget me not’.

honeysuckleHoneysuckle
devoted love

It is said to protect your garden from evil. It is known as the ‘love bind’ – symbolizing a lover’s embrace in its clinging growing habits. The heady fragrance of the flowers was believed to induce dreams of love and passion. If the bloom is brought into the house a wedding is said to follow within the year. But – the honeysuckle’s berries are poisonous!

HyacinthHyacinth
constancy

Mythology tells how a handsome youth, Hyacinthus, was loved by the god of the sun, Apollo, but Zephyrus, god of the west wind became jealous and blew the discus that Hyacinthus was playing with and killed him. Flowers sprang from drops of his blood and so became known as hyacinths.

PansyPansy
loving thoughts and attraction

Also known as ‘heart’s ease’, this pretty flower was believed to heal love problems. Anyone wanting to ensure they were loved by their sweethearts would carry a pansy.

PrimrosePrimrose
first love

Its name is derived from the Latin ‘primus’ meaning first, due to their early spring flowering. The primrose is the sacred flower of Freya, the Norse goddess of love and was used in rituals giving honor to her.

VioletViolet
faithfulness and modesty

During mediaeval times violets were believed to provide protection from evil spirits, and the leaves were used on wounds as healing plasters. Napolean Bonaparte sent Josephine a bouquet of it every anniversary and apparently wore a locket containing violets he had gathered from her grave. In medieval times the violet was strewn on the floor as an air freshener due to its sweet perfume.

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Corporate Gifting for the Secret Office Romance

So you have an office sweetheart. You know your job would be on the line if your boss got to know and you have to spend Valentine evening with your spouse, but you’re too much of a romantic to wait for work hours to get over before you give your flame a gift.

Romance in Office

Well, there are ways to get around your exuberance, and here they are –

  • Give everyone a small potted desk plant; hide your sweetheart’s real gift inside. Keep it sweet and small, or tiny and expensive.
  • Post the gift with a Secret Admirer card. If this is for your girlfriend, make it obvious, she’ll love the attention! If it’s for your boyfriend, no matter if he insists otherwise, he’ll love the attention too!
  • A photo frame may not be considered a highly interesting gift, but it is reasonably inexpensive to buy one for each colleague … and the one you give your sweetheart could be a special one. Any raised eyebrows? It is just a photo frame, after all! Slip a romantic card inside, meant for his or her eyes only.
  • Buy a gift and keep it ready for your sweetheart at the store. Email the link to the store website to him or her and give a glimpse of what’s waiting after office hours – he/she will leave with a bounce in his/her step.
  • Get to work early and leave a bouquet or a gift on your girlfriend’s desk – no note, no explanation for the office, but she will know it’s from you
  • Similarly, leave your gift at your boyfriend’s desk and hike the curiosity quotient of the office.

Valentine’s Day in the office when your relationship is supposed to be under wraps is quite a task, but with a few cautionary tactics you can stop it from becoming Land Mine Day. It’s all about presenting something special to your flame while in the public eye without arousing suspicions. Though it is very tough to hide – the world loves a lover and a lover can be spotted a mile away!

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Building the V-Day Mood in office

Valentines day moodSensitivity is the new buzzword in corporate circles these days, much like Friday Dressing and Power Lunching. Today, building solidarity with your employers and colleagues go way beyond mere efficiency on a project – showing team spirit is as much about caring through thoughtfully-chosen gifts as it is about doing overtime with everybody else. Building quasi-friendly relationships in the workplace goes a long way towards making the atmosphere light, stress-free and easygoing, which studies have proved lead to better output. While office decorum insists that V-Day celebrations be kept discreet, there’s no rule that says the celebrations must pass you by!

GENERAL POINTERS:

  • Pick soft shades of warm colours like a delicate pink, muted orange, a discreet red, a pale yellow etc, and deep (not bright) shades of cool colours like a sea green, teal blue and mature purple. Warm colours tend to be too eye-catching and distracting when selected in their vibrant shades, and cool colours tend to be cold and hard when chosen in their bright shades.
  • Keep the roses on the backburner – they’re too mushy and traditionally smack of love, but you can always stick other flowers in vibrant shades in your modern equivalent of an ink-hole and gain an aura of old-world charm.
  • Pick shapes that are slim and curved like a tall, willowy floor vase or an extra-slim watch

GETTING DOWN TO SPECIFICS:

  • Calendars: The only real option you have here is picking one with themes. Calendars come in a variety of love themes from raunchy K-S positions (strictly not recommended for the office!) to historical facts and figures about Saint Valentine would reduce any romantic feeling to dust. Select one that is easy on the eye, un-embarrassing to the recipient and gets the romantic feel across without giving rise to office gossip.
  • Watches: Keep the straps slim, the dial delicate with diamantes embedded in it, and pale colours for women. For men – go the traditional way with bulky black straps; after all, men have to be men!
  • Clocks: They come in various colours other than the usual black and brown ones, and in interesting shapes and sizes. Stay away from the ones whose faces are painted with hearts and teddy bears though as well as musical clocks – they are too distracting in a workplace.
  • Chocolates are the least fussy gift one can give to a person at the workplace – and the most innocent of all Valentine presents!

Celebrations are about marking the passage of time, but each need not be a raucous, loud expression of excitement. It is easy to set the right Valentine mood at the workplace without becoming unprofessional. However, it is always wise to find out from old-timers what the office protocol is, and then take it from there.

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Some tried and tested gift ideas for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s dayWhat is going to work this year? Well here are a few simple and inexpensive ideas that will warm the hearts of both sides and they work every time. Even though these unique gift ideas are sometimes common it is what guys and girls love to get as a gift for Valentines Day.

Here are some tried and tested gift ideas for Valentine’s Day:-

A well arranged bouquet of flowers

FlowersA well arranged bouquet of flowers with a nice note is the safest bet. It always works. Find out about your lover’s floral preferences. Lilies and Tulips are among the more popular choices. And, of course, the rose! Keep in mind the connotations and meanings attached with colors before you pick the flowers.

•    White: Innocence, reverence, purity
•    Yellow: Joy
•    Red and White: Unity
•    Red: Love, respect
•    Pink: Grace, gentility
•    Orange: Desire
•    Two red roses joined together: Engagement or marriage (use it carefully)!
•    Rose buds: Beauty, youth

Silk flowers & plants make a good gift idea since they last forever just like your love for him or her.

Chocolates

ChocolatesThis one invariably works since it spells out sensuality. Nothing indeed melts a heart like Valentines Day chocolate. Keep in mind the taste of your sweetheart and whether he or she prefers dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate truffles or nutty chocolate. They all send a message of love.

Jewelry

his is an idea that will invariably work for any women! Rings, earrings, watches, bracelets and necklaces all work! It may be a bit costly but nothing turns on the charm quite as much as a rich piece of jewelry. Opt for a simple pendant on a shining silver chain for a even more elegant look.

Perfumes

PerfumeIf she has a particular scent, find out what that perfume is! Talk to one of her friends on her choice of perfume. If you cannot figure out which perfume she likes, or she usually buys, simply stick to the more conventional, popular brands. Even men love a good fragrance. Pay attention to the perfume bottle. It should be stylish.

Bonsai

bonsaiThis ranks high on the novelty scale. It is synonymous with recent albeit deep relationships. You can also gift small plants etc. Avoid gifting cacti for obvious reasons!

Candle stand

Candle StandIt’s not as inane as it appears. Especially females are fond of candles. You can select some innovative designs on gift stores like those crafted of wrought iron or pewter. It would be a good idea adding scented candles.

A coffee maker

This ranks high on scale of practicality especially if he or she loves a hot cuppa. It’s a perfect gift if your best buddy is living as a paying guest or sharing an apartment with others. This will make sure that your best mate thinks of you with hot coffee every morning.

Hopefully these great Valentine’s Day gift ideas we have provided will help you bring a smile on your lover’s face this Valentine’s Day

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Gift giving etiquettes in China

Before understanding gift giving etiquette or the act of gifting in China, it is important that we understand how Chinese people approach visitors or guests. Let’s get some basic albeit vital information about way of greetings and introductions in the country.

Chinese Gift givingAlso, let’s get some understanding of Chinese culture & Protocol. Confucius, considered China’s greatest sage, is known to have formed a meticulous system of morals, ethics, hierarchy and behavior, setting the framework of rules for all people to deal with each other. Following are the key concepts in following Chinese culture:

Guanxi: The fundamental glue which holds the Chinese society together. The concept of guanxi is about relationships.

Mianxi: It’s about losing or saving face. It’s very important and needs to be considered at all times.

Li: It popularly denotes the art of being courteous and polite.

Keqi: Ke means guest; qi means behavior. It represents modesty and humbleness.

The Chinese generally do not appreciate doing business with strangers. If possible, try to bring in play established relationships, or an intermediary known by both sides, to establish the first contact.

Gifts are an important way of building and creating guanxi in China. Chinese etiquette demands that a person declines an invitation, gift and other offerings three times before accepting it. It’s expected that the giver of a gift will persist, gently, until the same is accepted.

We shall also see how Chinese behave or react when formally introduced to a guest. Understanding these aspects are as important as learning the gift giving etiquettes.

The Chinese people may appear rather unfriendly when being introduced.
They do not like to display excessive emotion.
Make it a point to stand up when being introduced
Remain standing till the introduction is over.
During introduction, the accepted form of greeting is the handshake. They may also nod or slightly bow.

Never present a gift which would make it difficult for the Chinese person to reciprocate in kind. This would put them in a very awkward position and cause a loss of face. Another important gifting etiquette is to be sensitive to genuine refusals.

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Secrets of successful gifting strategies to build bonds with customers and consumers

In the following paragraphs, let’s try to understand finer aspects of gifting depending on to whom they are presented. Here we shall unravel secrets of successful gifting strategies to build bonds with customers and consumers.

Customers
Gift StrategiesWith today’s added and pronounced emphasis on corporate ethics, it is imperative that you not only scrutinize the gift and its recipient but also the mode of the presentation. Carefully consider the points below before you make your choice:

  • The first key thing is to finalize a list of those who you believe won’t mind accepting gifts
  • Once you have done so, carefully make the gift choice.
  • It is also crucial as how you are going to package and present them. For example, if you choose to ship gifts, you do away with a great opportunity of reinforcing the bonding between your customers and your sales force.
  • The point to be underlined here is that gifts have the maximum impact when they are presented in persona with a customized touch to make the receiver feel privileged.
  • The gift in itself and its worth may not matter so much if it’s dispatched and given in an impersonal manner. What enhances its worth it the way you opt to present it.

Consumers
Creative gift strategiesAt the outset, let’s be clear about that fact noncash awards or merchandise offered to consumers generally fall under this particular category of awards or premiums that come with games and sweepstakes. Now, let’s understand a bit more about the concept.

  • The motive is to add an element of surprise for the customer
  • Another purpose of giving noncash awards or merchandise is building long-term loyalty.
  • The key factor in successful employment of using consumer gifts as a relationship building strategy is to have a specific goal and focus in mind. This, in other words, means, targeting customers whose volume you are in a position to track over time.
  • Let’s take a practical case. A supermarket chain wants is looking to boost usage of its preferred-customer card scheme so it will be able to track their purchase patterns more accurately. It has given incentives to get consumers to sign up and make use of the card. However, its usage has begun to trail off. As part of its effort to keep alive interest in the preferred-customer card, the supermarket dispatches a surprise gift with a nice thank-you note from the president to all those who have actually used the card to purchase goods of say 1000 rupees in a month. This will result in mouth publicity and popularity of the scheme, thus fulfilling its end goal.

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Corporate Gifting Interview With Priyadarshini Kohli, INX Media

Dear readers,

Today, we are glad to bring you an interview with Priyadarshini Kohli, Sr. Manager Brand Communications, INX Media to state the marketers point of view with regards to corporate gifting.

Questionnaire For Marketers

1. Does Your Company do Corporate Gifting?
YES

2. How much on an approximate basis does your company spend on corporate gifting?

NA

3. What is the most unique gift that you have come across?

A very sleek and compact calculator. It had a silver cover and the moment it was touched, it used to open up on its own stand

4. As a promotional tool does corporate gifting impact sales? If yes
can you give an example?


If it is a good looking piece/ if its very useful, it does indirectly impact sales by creating brand recall and keeping the brand top of mind, which indirectly impact sales

5. What are the type of gifts you would normally receive? Which one has
been your favorite?

Over the past have received calculators, drinking glasses, nut bowls, mobile chargers, pens etc. The favourite has been a pocket compact mirror for ladies. Extremely sleek, small and in silver colour in its individual, hot pink, satin case

6. What are the occasions on which you gift your clients? And what is
the gift?

I do not personally give gifts, but I would send a gift for either, Diwali, New Year or a new product launch. Gift would vary based on the budget, the level of the client in terms of hierarchy in the company, etc.

7. Do you read blogs or go use Social networks like Orkut? Which one?

NO

8. Do you know that Giftex has Corporate Gifting Blog which talks about
latest gifting trends in India? (Blog.giftex.in)

NO

9. Now that you know, would you visit the blog?

Yes

Thank you Priyadarshini for giving us your views on corporate gifting with a marketers perspective. We are glad to hear from you.

If any other marketers/companies/sales people wish to tell us their views on corporate gifting, you can contact us by leaving your email ID and comments below.

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Corporate Gifting Interview With Yash Virkud, LOWE, Mumbai

Hello readers,

Today, we are glad to bring you an interview with Yash Virkud, Brand Servicing Manager at LOWE, Mumbai (Formally known as Lintas India) to state the marketers point of view with regards to corporate gifting.

Questionnaire For Marketers

1. Does Your Company do Corporate Gifting?

Not particularly

2. How much on an approximate basis does your company spend on corporate gifting?

Not that much

3. What is the most unique gift that you have come across?

We give our clients high value ideas i would consider that a gift.

4. As a promotional tool does corporate gifting impact sales? If yes can you give an example?

We would not know, we are in advertising

5. What are the type of gifts you would normally receive? Which one has been your favorite?

Calendars,Planners.
Fav: ICICI Prudential Planner

6. What are the occasions on which you gift your clients? And what is the gift?

New years: Calenders, folders

7. Do you read blogs or go use Social networks like Orkut? Which one?

adfreak and northpodium
social network: facebook

8. Do you know that Giftex has Corporate Gifting Blog which talks about latest gifting trends in India? (Blog.giftex.in)

Yes I do. Infact I also attend thier exhibition at Nehru Science Centre to see the trends first hand.

Thank you Yash for giving us your views on corporate gifting with a marketers perspective. We are glad to hear from you.

If any other marketers/companies/sales people wish to tell us their views on corporate gifting, you can contact us by leaving your email ID and comments below.

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Corporate Gifting Interview With Nitika Kariwala

Hello Readers,

Today, we are glad to bring you an interview with Nitika Kariwala, Content developer, Corporate trainerCentre for Personal and Professional Excellence to state the marketers point of view with regards to corporate gifting. Marketers of corporate gifts have to make a choice. They have to make a decision about what gift should be delivered to whom and when. They are the one’s who facilitate the happenings within the corporate gifting world. And certainly..

It is important for marketers of corporate gifting to know what other marketers think, why and how? Here’s a little questionnaire that gives a brief about a corporate gifting marketers viewpoint.

Questionnaire For Marketers

1. Does Your Company do Corporate Gifting?
Yes

2. How much on an approximate basis does your company spend on corporate gifting?
30000- 50000

3. What is the most unique gift that you have come across?
A Bonsai plant.

4. As a promotional tool does corporate gifting impact sales? If yes can you give an example?

Well sometimes it does. If the gifts are radical like a plant which people keep on their desk it makes sure that  we are always on their mind. Even after years when u see them with the plant it gives immense satisfaction.

5. What are the type of gifts you would normally receive? Which one has been your favorite?

Well I have received small clocks with company logos, planner diaries with my name printed, a nicely packaged box of spices and honey etc… My favourite has been a  personalised qoute book.

6. What are the occasions on which you gift your clients? And what is the gift?

Diwali and New years. Mostly they have been honeyed dry fruits packed in nice boxes which can later be used for keeping knick  knacks.

7. Do you read blogs or go use Social networks like Orkut? Which one?

Well, yes I do. Social networking sites are Orkut and Facebook.

8. Do you know that Giftex has Corporate Gifting Blog which talks about latest gifting trends in India? (Blog.giftex.in)

yes, I do.

9. Now that you know, would you visit the blog?

Oh yes, I have already visited the blog. It has some good information.

Thank you Nitika for giving us your views on corporate gifting with a marketers perspective. We are glad to hear from you.

If any other marketers/companies/sales people wish to tell us their views on corporate gifting, you can contact us by leaving your email ID and comments below.

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Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

Looking a Gift Horse in the MouthIn ‘America’s Sweetheart’, Billy Crystal’s character, super-publicist Lee dishes out pearls of wisdom on promotional strategies to his underling. One of them is this:

“Survival Rule no. 3, kid, you’re not here to love anybody, you’re here to promote a movie, that’s it – period. Say you’re here and you got word that your mother died, got hit by a bus or something. You go downstairs, shed a tear and say…It’s a shame, she would’ve loved this movie.”

And that’s how the cookie crumbles. Everything is about promotion and everybody wins in the game. The magazine editor wins with baskets of freebies, the movie producer wins with free merchandise that makes his characters look hip and the company wins with rising sales figures. It all began rather innocuously some time ago but burst in everybody’s face with Dil Chahta Hai where an MRF tyre was shot at close range from a stylish angle. Quite an ad.

Today it is all about selling the product, and boy does bollywood sell! Think ‘Bunty aur Babli’ when Rani Mukherjee’s patiala salwaars made sales shoot up. So clothing brands immediately latched on to what they rightly saw as a great promotional strategy. If Farah Khan wanted to sell Om Shanti Om, Shopper’s Stop wanted to sell its clothes; the two teamed up and the clothing brand stocked the movie’s clothing line, which ignited the 70s craze in Indian fashion. Kareena has donned a new look altogether for Globus and is all set to launch her own line of clothing through the company.

Today brands are in on the PR formula. Widespread advertisement through films (for a price of course) and goodwill promotion through corporate events is the best deal a brand can strike up, and the best way a corporation can reach out for mass appeal. It’s not for nothing that ABN Amro teamed up with fashion’s enfant terrible to design credit cards! Notepads do the best business for one is always needed at PR events to give to journalists. On a more strategic note, companies would do well to tie up with brands for their promotional schemes. Say, the editor of a new fashion magazine can easily rope in any company she wants for her launch party where several celebrities and socialites will be given gift baskets. Once the celebrity falls in love with the product she will definitely visit the store for more.

This is any company’s best bargaining tool. Whether it is a watch or a tyre or a shoe or a dupatta, the gifting strategy has more lanes and bylanes than the New York gridline and at the end of it all, everyone’s a winner.

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