The art of gift giving in the field of business has turned into a very serious matter, where you can either attract potential customers, or even turn away the customer base you already have with gifts of poor taste. It is therefore important that every company employee is well-versed in what mistakes he or she must not commit when gifting customers at a business level:
• Forgetting the religious faiths of the recipient – assuming that everyone celebrates the very same, exact holidays as you do is the biggest and most offensive mistake you can do when giving corporate presents. For example, when giving corporate gifts in Singapore (which is the most religiously diverse country in the world) and other similar countries where a substantial number of religions are practised, it is important to often keep in mind the faith your recipient practises. If you do not know or are not sure of their faith, it is in everyone’s best interests to avoid any gift which hints at a particular religious holiday or religion, and stick instead to neutral gifts.
• Forgetting the nationality/ethnicity of the recipient – just as you can offend someone by forgetting their religious beliefs, you can offend a person by disregarding their cultural values. Therefore, in ethnically diverse countries like Togo or Chad in Africa, or the Asian countries of Indonesia, India and Singapore, corporate gifts which do not point to any particular religion, ethnic group or nationality are often the safest bet you can go with when unsure.
• Giving something with no practical value – unlike a normal gift you give to an individual, business gifts have the tag of the business image haunting them; as such, you cannot be careless with them, lest you end up ruining the image of the company that any client or customer has in his or her mind. Giving gifts with no real practical purpose is one of the easiest ways you can ruin the image of the business, because it will simply translate into the fact that you either did not think of the client’s interests, or that you simply are not knowledgeable about the art of gift-giving in the first place.
• Giving something to only certain clients – another place where you can easily go wrong with gift giving is when you exclude certain clients. Information travels fast these days, especially when it is about who receives something and who does not. If you are planning to gift something to a client, try to include all the major clients. If this is not possible, do not attempt to hide the fact that you are gifting something to a client, but instead let it be known, so that it won’t look as if you were attempting to exclude the others.