To Make it Count Make it Meaningful: 3 Ps of Business Gifting

Let’s dispense with the suspense. When it comes to expressing appreciation, nurturing relationships and generating goodwill through business gifting, keep the 3 Ps in mind: “practical, panache, personal.”

Practical is Always in Style

One way to make gifts meaningful is to make them useful, because they have meaning or a place in the recipient’s life. “Special” gifts sometimes end up in the closet, used infrequently and forgotten. The more a gift is used, the more the recipient thinks about who sent it.

On trend gifts include products that support our mobile lives (portable power charger, Bluetooth speakers, screen cleaners, tablet cases, etc.). Since they’re with the recipient on a daily basis, so is your brand sentiment. Also on trend are products that support health and wellness (hydration bottles, activity monitors, chill towels and more).

Food is always in style and is versatile for groups, perfect to share. A combination of sweet and salty treats has broad appeal, and beautifully packaging adds a “wow.” Speaking of gift baskets, they can be especially meaningful at this time of year when tied to a charitable organization.

What about cash? It’s practical to be sure. But it’s quickly consumed and easily forgotten, offers little emotional attachment to the giver, and doesn’t stand out in the wallet. Save it for profit sharing or bonuses.

A few additional considerations:

  • Do you know what the corporate gift policy is at your recipient’s organization? (some industries have restrictions)
  • How well do you know your recipient? (a teetotaler won’t appreciate the finest brandy)
  • Is your gift timely? (a beach towel doesn’t hold much water in December)


It’s Personal

Personalizing a gift pumps up the impression factor, and isn’t that the point? There are many ways to personalize without monogramming, although depending on the item, it may not add much to the cost.

Other ways to personalize your gift are:

  • Packaging (with a “wow” factor)
  • Delivery (in person; if possible makes a statement)
  • Message (hand-written note with a personal statement)

One sure way to de-personalize a gift is put your logo on it. Since gifts are about recipients, not about givers, it feels wrong to turn your customers into walking billboards. In fact, it would devalue your gift. However, a small logo application in an unobtrusive location (i.e., inside a portfolio or on the inside flap of a business case) is acceptable for incentive gifts, work anniversaries, etc.

Panache punctuates the sentiment

This is the “wow” factor that exponentially enhances your gift’s perceived value and elevates your brand. Think surprise, unusual, unique. It can fall under packaging, messaging, delivery, timing-just about any element of the gift that makes it stand out. For instance, deliver a group gift with a singing telegram to kill two birds (delivery/messaging) with one stone.

Extraordinary packaging packs a punch. It can provide creativity that may be missing in the actual gift itself. Perhaps incorporating part of the gift in the packaging is an option. In any case, make sure that the gift is presented in a special gift box. Professional gift wrapping is an art form.

Timing of gifting is another way to standout. I actually think New Year gifting during the first week in January is a great antidote for the post-holiday slump and a wonderful way to kick off the year. Thanksgiving is also a warm alternative.

The 3 Ps should work in unison to create an emotional attachment that the recipient will remember for years to come. Beyond the holidays, gifting should be part of an overall business strategy for attracting business (thank you for the referral) and retaining current clients (celebrating 20 years of doing business with you) throughout the year.

Need a gifting strategy? Need a gift? Need advice? Call us. We live to help you give.