The Art and the Ethics of Corporate Gifting

Given the increased competition and the constant jostle for face time with key decision makers, there are many challenges that marketing and sales teams face on a day to day basis but the two that stand out are relationship building and being top of mind. While interpersonal skills and the content play an important role in fostering the former, for the latter Corporate Gifting has become one of the key tools in the last decade or so. And here too it’s a race to be innovative and different while being relevant. Adding to the confusion is the fact that there is a thin line dividing what constitutes a gift and what can be deemed a bribe!

If you were to leaf through the code of conduct which every employee working in the new age corporate gifts printing corporation has to sign, you will find a definitive paragraph on the do’s & don’ts of the Corporate Gifting policy. In some of the more ethically inclined companies there is a blanket ban on receiving and giving gifts, but most others do give some leeway within defined parameters. Some large multi-national companies work on pre-defined budgets based on organisational hierarchy while others have a one-budget-for-all policy. But such documents exist only in professionally structured and run organisations. In many small and medium companies the outcome of the debate on to gift v/s bribe completely rests on the owner/managements ethical orientation.

Having crossed the hurdle of the moral/ethical dilemma one is confronted with the choice and the price of the gift. Judging by the Google results on ‘corporate gifts’ one can easily assume that the pen and the key-chain sets and their likes are still the most sought after gifts. But for a discerning few, corporate silver gifts seem to be an emerging trend. From table tops to personal gifts like pens and key-chains to divinity gifts there are many choices available. Silver while being a precious metal, also has a certain elegance and finesse attached to it. Corporate silver gifts like visiting card holders, pen stands, photo frames, book marks etc. are most commonly gifted items. Divinity gifts, religious insignias, traditional and designer Diya’s for Diwali are increasingly becoming a part of the list of products to choose from for corporate silver gifts.

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