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Laiela Dorasamy - The Art Of Corporate Gift Giving

As we enter the final quarter of the year, our focus begins to shift in anticipation of the merriment of the festive season. Holidays are being planned, party invites begin streaming in, and gifts are being purchased.

Whether you are a planner, or a last minute 'grab a box of biscuits' type of gift giver, many people fail to consider the message that is being communicated through these gifts. In the busyness of life, this simply becomes a tick on the to do list as more pressing issues demand our attention.

I myself have been the recipient of many corporate gifts that tend to sit on my desk gathering dust, are passed on, or are simply useless to me. I have also received a small number of very thoughtful, tasteful and memorable items, which I continue to hold dear, and serve as a fond reminder of the gift giver.

Do you ask yourself, "what do I want this gift to say to the recipient?" Perhaps 'Thank you! I value your business' or 'Your support means a lot to me'. Perhaps you want them to feel special, valued and appreciated. Maya Angelou said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel".

In business, people want to deal with people; the clinical, impersonal approach is dying a slow and welcome death, as personal relationships become the glue that solidifies business deals. Trust, mutual respect, and outstanding service are key ingredients to ensure longstanding business partnerships.

So, come year-end, what message are you communicating to the people who have made your year a successful one? Gifts need not be extravagant, but rather heartfelt and sincere. Even with the smallest budgets, we can recommend solutions that will bring a smile and convey a sincere message of gratitude. We are often asked what is the difference between a corporate or a promotional gift? While the actual items are interchangeable, the manner in which they are given vary.

Promotional items are pretty much what their name suggests; items that are given with the purpose of promoting a business or creating brand awareness. These are usually purchased in bulk quantities, boldly branded and distributed to a broader market, through marketing initiatives such as goody bag inserts, promotional activities, in store giveaways and pack inserts, to name a few.

Think of promotional items as an ongoing advertisement for your brand. Every time someone uses a pen with your logo on it, you will remain top of mind.

Corporate gifts are given to specific recipients, with a more personal approach, designed to show gratitude, strengthen relationships and serve as reminders. These are purchased in comparatively smaller quantities, on key occasions such as year end, Women's Day, Easter, or to celebrate milestones.

They are directed at specific individuals and can therefore be personalised. Personal gifts are often left unbranded or bear more subtle branding, creating a more sincere feel.

While treat hampers, alcohol and flowers are popular items, they also tend to lack longevity. A good idea would be to couple or replace these with items that are practical, functional, fun or creative. Items that will serve as a long-term reminder and be appreciated.

It seems as if these gift giving occasions tend to sneak up on us from nowhere, and many often resort to a desperate lastminute purchase, which rarely communicates the intended message.

Choosing the best items to represent your business can be time consuming, so we encourage our clients to stay in touch with us throughout the year, as we share new ranges on a regular basis. This can be done via our Facebook page as well as our website where you can download catalogues, as well as search a wide range of products.

We are always eager to consult and source items to create custom gifts that are unexpected and make your clients' feel like kids on Christmas morning, keeping your message and budget in mind.

T: 072 298 0148

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