A Practical Guide to Showing Your Appreciation with Business Gifts

When to Give Business Gifts And Who To Give Them To?

Gift giving is a gesture of kindness and appreciation that transcends cultures and languages.  Business gifts, also known as corporate gifts, are gifts that are sent on behalf of a company to clients, customers, partners, vendors, employees, and other stakeholders as a way to grow  relationships and show appreciation.

But when should you give business gifts, and who should you give them to?  In this article, we’ll explore the answers to these questions and more.

The Importance of Business Gifts

Business gifts are an important aspect of relationship building in the corporate world.  By giving a gift, you show that you value the relationship.  Also, business gifts can help to differentiate your company from your competitors and increase customer loyalty.  Years ago, when I was a Realtor, I always gave closing gifts to customers when they bought a home and followed up each year on the anniversary of the sale with another smaller gift to keep my business front-of-mind.  As a result, they remembered me when it came time to sell that home, buy another piece of property, or recommend a Realtor to someone who needed to buy or sell.

When done correctly, giving business gifts can be an effective way to strengthen relationships, build goodwill, and grow your business’s reputation. However, knowing when and who to give business gifts can be tricky.  There are many occasions when a gift may be appropriate but it’s important to choose the right moment and the right recipient.  Some common accepted times for business gifting include holidays, corporate events, business or personal milestones, thank you, apologies, or expressing sympathy.  That said, we can’t stress enough how important the timing of these gifts is. This is because the same gift can have a different connotation and meaning depending on when and why it is given to someone.

Knowing who to give gifts to is also important.  Most often, business gifts are given to clients, customers, partners, employees, vendors, and prospective clients.  Sending a well-chosen and timely business gift can do wonders for building rapport with coworkers or business partners. Each group would have different expectations so it is important to consider their interests and needs when selecting a gift.  In the following sections, we’ll explore each of these areas in more detail.

When to Give Business Gifts

Giving business gifts is a way of showing appreciation and gratitude to clients, colleagues, and employees. However, giving a gift at the wrong time or in the wrong context can have unintended consequences. Therefore, it is important to know when it is appropriate to give a business gift. Here are some occasions when it is appropriate to give business gifts:

  1. Holidays: Giving a gift during the holiday season is a common practice. It is a way of showing appreciation and building relationships with clients, colleagues, and employees. Some popular holidays for gift-giving in the business world include Christmas, Hanukkah, and Thanksgiving.But other holidays can be gifting occasions as well if the gifts are carefully chosen for the recipeint.  We’ve given gifts to customers for the Valentine’s Day holiday with a card that reads: “We Love Our Customers.”  We’ve also had financial planning and bank professional customers order ” We Appreciate You” gifts for their widowed clients on Valentines Day.
  2. Employee Appreciation Week:  Years ago, it was called Secretary’s Day then Administrative Professionals Week.  But the accepted name has expanded to include all employees.  This is a week to recognize and show appreciation for your employees. Doctors give to their
    nursing staff. Attorneys give to paralegals. Carpet cleaning companies give to their technicians. It is a great opportunity to give a gift to your employees to show that you value their hard work and dedication.
  3. Business Milestones: Celebrating milestones such as the company’s anniversary, successful completion of a big project, etc are occasions when it is appropriate to give a gift. It shows that you appreciate the hard work and dedication that has gone into building the company.  For example, you could give a gift to celebrate a new contract or, to show appreciation for helping with a successful office move  if you have to move quickly.
  4. Corporate Events such as conferences, seminars, workshops, etc:  Gifts can be given to speakers and workship leaders to show your appreciation.  Also small gifts can be given to the participants to welcome them to the event.
  5. Personal Milestones:  Celebrating birthdays, weddings, a new baby, or other personal milestone by sending a gift  is a thoughtful gesture that can help to build a stronger relationship. It shows that you care about them as a person and not just as a client.
  6. Apology or Sympathy:  Made a mistake?  Made someone feel bad?  Sending an apology gift with an appropriate card can show your remorse without a long awkward conversation.  There are also times when support and sympathy are needed as well.  A condolence gift when there is a dealth in the family or other events when support is important.By understanding when it is appropriate to give a gift, you can strengthen your relationships and build a positive reputation in the business world.

Who to Give Business Gifts To

Clients and Customers:

Your clients and customers are your most important asset.  Without them, you have no sales, no profits, no business.

Keeping those customers and clients and inviting them to return again and again is the most important marketing thing you can do.  It is legal for a business to give gifts to clients and vendors, but there are some things to keep in mind. There are tax considerations regarding gifting that small businesses should know. Also, when dealing with government clients and vendors, you should be cautious, as improper gifting is considered bribery.

When you want to show a client or customer how much you appreciate their continued business, send them a surprise gift.  It is a great way to show them how much you value them and to keep your company name in front of them.

Client and customer gifting is a powerful tool for building and maintaining relationships, improving brand loyalty, and creating positive word-of-mouth marketing.

One of the key benefits of gifting to clients and customers is that it can help to create a positive brand image and a way to stand out in a competitive market. In industries where there are many businesses vying for customers’ attention, a thoughtful gift can help to differentiate a brand from its competitors. This can be particularly effective in industries where customer service and relationship building are key factors in decision-making.When a business takes the time to send a thoughtful and personalized gift, it shows that they care about their customers beyond just their business transactions. This can create a sense of loyalty and goodwill towards the brand, which can lead to repeat business and positive referrals.

Gifting can also be a useful way to celebrate milestones, such as the completion of a project or the anniversary of a partnership, which can help to solidify the relationship.  Send a gift to celebrate those personal milestones as well — such as a birthday, new baby, or an accomplishment.

It’s important to note that when gifting to clients and customers, it’s essential to ensure that the gift is appropriate for the person and the situation. Also be aware of any potential conflicts of interest or ethical considerations when gifting.  Never give presents to government officials, or offer gifts that someone could consider a bribe.  Always research a country’s gift giving protocol when dealing with international clientele to avoid a faux pas.


For any type of business, it’s essential to keep your employees happy and motivated. One way to do this is by showing your appreciation and gratitude through gifting. Employee gifting is an important practice that can positively impact your business in several ways.

Employee gifts can help boost morale and create a positive work environment. Employees who feel appreciated and valued are more likely to be motivated, productive, and loyal to their employer. A thoughtful gift can show your employees that you recognize and appreciate their hard work and contributions to the company.  And don’t forget gifts to welcome new employees so that they feel less overwhelmed and more comfortable in their new work environment.

Gifts can also help strengthen relationships between employers and employees as well as improve retention rates. When an employer takes the time to select a personalized gift for their employee, it shows that they care about their well-being and are invested in their success.

It’s important to remember that employee gifting doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive. A small token of appreciation, such as a gift card, a handwritten note, or a thoughtful gesture, can go a long way in making an employee feel valued and appreciated.  Employers should make sure that gifting practices are fair and inclusive to avoid any potential biases or favoritism.

Whether you are welcoming an employee, celebrating a work anniversary, or saying thank you for a successful quarter, the act of gift giving is a fun way of positive acknowledgement.

Partners and Investors:

Partners and investors are people who invest time and money into your business. To show them that you recognize all the hard work they’ve put into helping you build the business, you might think about getting them a special gift.

But, what to give to them?

You probably know your business partner and what he or she likes better than anyone else — other than perhaps their mother or spouse.  Giving a great gift  is a good way to strengthen your relationship so the gift should be something truly unique.  Something they probably would not have bought for themselves but something that will put a smle on their face and make them appreciate you.

Whether youve been a business partner with this person for years or just starting cooperation, there are some things regarding gift-giving that you should keep in mind.

Here are some questions that you’re probably asking yourself as well as the answers to them.

  • Should I wait for the holidays to send a gift? The short answer is no. Although this is a common practice, you can choose what occasion works for you. So, if holidays are too far away, closing a deal is more than enough reason to do it.  And unexpected surprise gifts are frequently the very best ones.
  • Am I overdoing it? It depends. You don’t have to give out an expensive gift. Usually, simple things that come from the heart will work the best.
  • Does the gift need to have a personality? Yes, of course. You don’t want your present to be stuffed in a drawer, do you? Don’t be afraid to put some character into it. Think of your relationship and find something that reflects it.  If they have a special hobby or interest, such as football or golf,  that could make a great themed gift that they will love.
  • Is my gift memorable? To get an answer to this question, think about the business gifts you’ve gotten through the years.  Most likely,  you don’t remember many pens and mouse pads you got. Your best bet is to go with something created just for them. And if you can make it personal, even better.

Prospective Clients and Customers:

In addition to keeping current customers, it is also important to obtain new ones if your business is to prosper and grow.    Giving small gifts to encourage prospects to try your products and/or services helps keep your business front of mind.  If you are making a presentation about your business, you definitely want to leave something more than just a sales folder behind. They are also a good way to remind existing customers that you appreciate referrals.

These gifts are sometimes referred to as “pop-by gifts” or “drop-by gifts” because, even though they can be mailed, they are usually dropped off with the prospect.  These are small inexpensive products with a catchy tagline, usually printed on an attached card. An example would be a package of flower seeds with a tag that reads:  “Your referrals are the SEEDS that make cour business BLOOM.   Another example would be a package of microwave popcorn with a tag that says: “Just poppin’ by to say Hi and let you know we would love to have your business.”

How to Choose the Right Gift

Choosing the right business gift can be a daunting task, as you want to make sure that your gift is appropriate and well-received by the recipient. Here are some tips to help you choose the right gift:

  1. Consider the recipient’s interests: The best gifts are ones that the recipient will actually enjoy and use. Take some time to think about the recipient’s interests, hobbies, and preferences. For example, if they are a coffee lover, you could consider giving them a high-quality coffee mug or a gift card to a local coffee shop.
  2. Keep it professional: It’s important to choose a gift that is appropriate for the workplace. Avoid anything that is too personal or intimate, such as clothing or jewelry. Instead, consider gifts that are practical and useful, such as office accessories or tech gadgets.
  3. Think about the occasion: The occasion for the gift can also influence your choice. For example, if you are giving a gift to celebrate a business milestone or achievement, you may want to choose something more substantial, such as a personalized plaque or trophy.
  4. Don’t forget the packaging: Presentation is key when it comes to gift-giving. Make sure your gift is wrapped nicely and accompanied by a thoughtful note or card. Consider using branded packaging or adding a personal touch, such as a handwritten note or ribbon. Handcrafted Fairytale Brownies can be personalized for that extra something.
  5. Consider cultural differences: It’s important to be mindful of cultural differences when giving business gifts. Some cultures may have specific customs or taboos around gift-giving, so it’s important to do your research beforehand and choose a gift that is appropriate and respectful.
  6. Giving a gift to a group or office:  A gift basket containing a variety of different products for different tastes is a gift that is easy to share.  With treats like cookies, gourmet popcorn, pretzels, artisan cheeses, meats and crackers, chocolates and other sweets, there is something for everyone.  This is much more desirable than a big tin of popcorn or even a cake.  I remember when I was a Realtor, we had so many gifts of tins of popcorn that we were eating popcorn in mid-summer.  By that time, no one knew or remembered which company had given us the tins.
  7. Consider your budget:  This is an important consideration when trying to find just the right gift for the recipient and the occasion.  If the budget is tight or you are out of time to shop, remember that a gift card or a gift certificate to a local business are also appropriate business gifts.


Business gifting should be an important part of your marketing plan and budget because they bring so much value to your business relationships.

When done correctly, giving business gifts can be an effective way to strengthen relationships, build goodwill, and grow your business’s reputation. Some common accepted times for business gifting include holidays, corporate events, business or personal milestones, thank you, apologies, or expressing sympathy.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money.  Inexpensive gifts or even a private message in a card can mean much more than you think in certain situations.








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