Gifts and incentives to build long-term relationships

Corporate GiftsTo understand what makes an effective corporate gift strategy is, it helps to follow what it isn’t. Begin by making the differentiation between incentive award and gift giving. Though gifts and incentive awards may often involve similar types of recipients and similar type of offerings, the two vastly differ on both practical and strategic levels.

Gifts are more or less spontaneous whereas incentives are planned. The latter are awards for meeting pre-set levels of activity, such as good attendance, increased productivity and sales quotas. In contrast, gifts are given not as part of any defined or predetermined exchange between giver and its recipient. The recipient doesn’t anticipate a gift for meeting any targets, whereas the recipient of incentive does.

It is rather tempting to view incentive programs and gift giving in the same light. At the end of it, you want to make sure that you’re getting your money’s ‘worth’ from any business investment. Most givers are keen on motivating the recipient in one way or the other, But this is where one needs to be careful.

Leaving employees or customers with the impression, that they are being pushed and not simply rewarded can do more harm than any good. Instead, be subtle in your approach. Look to develop a long-term process of fruitful relationship through a mixture of surprise gifts and publicly announced incentives so that they help in winning the confidence of receivers.

Creative ideas are desirable when it comes to the theme and the occasion. It becomes imperative for the vendor to develop innovative themes and packaging ideas that not only suit the occasion but also encapsulate the corporate identity. One simple thing you can do is to compose a nice personalized, ideally handwritten note or card. It will create an impression that it’s a personal gift, and not a generic one! This gesture can be as meaningful as the gorgeous gift itself, since it conveys to the recipient one’s genuine, non-business-like intentions and also the sincerity of your gift giving act.

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