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Susan Roth

Susan and her experienced team have been delivering relationship-driven, branded moments since 1985. Trims Unlimited is recognized by American Express, INC 5000, Departures, & Forbes.

Gift "Rap": Tips For Holiday Gifts 2012

Gift giving in the corporate world is a tricky business under the best of circumstances. Add the holidays into the mix, and the process becomes even more challenging. Whether you are trying to strengthen an existing relationship, acknowledge a new one or just say thank you, Trims’ suggestion is to use your common sense and remember it is “better to be underdressed than overdressed.”

gifting2012 Holiday Gift Guide | Trims Unlimited

Gift giving in the corporate world is a tricky business under the best of circumstances. Add the holidays into the mix, and the process becomes even more challenging. Whether you are trying to strengthen an existing relationship, acknowledge a new one or just say thank you, Trims’ suggestion is to use your common sense and remember it is “better to be underdressed than overdressed.” Unless you have a specific request or special knowledge of a recipient’s wish list, understatement will most certainly win the day. But don’t confuse understatement with boring or cheap—it merely means  thoughtful selection and flawless execution should trump optics.

To this end, I offer the following suggestions for those planning to send holiday inspired gifts this season:

Do apply the “Kiss” rule to all gifts—aka “keep it simple, stupid”

  • Restrain yourself when ideas that are too cute, too seasonal or too personal come to mind
  • Try to select gifts that have staying power
  • Think “top of mind.” You want your gift to remain as a reminder of your thoughtfulness for as long as possible (one reason why we  skip gift cards).
  • Personalize items when applicable (initials & names)
  • Avoid gifts that are too personal (perfumes, make-up, grooming items, certain types of apparel)
  • Don’t give anything that requires the recipient to make a purchase to use it (i.e. batteries)
  • Skip the “potent potables” unless you know for a fact it won’t offend
  • If you are giving multiple gifts within a single office or across a company, consider gifts that are
    • Unisex , uniform and of equal value
    • Chosen by gender
    • Mindful of established hierarchies
    • Given to the entire office as a group
  • Remember the “Tiffany Blue Box.” Presentation can be as important as the gift itself
  • Keep your recipient list current (reassignments, promotions in addition to departures)
  • Check company policy regarding gifts in general and possible dollar amount restrictions
  • When giving  overseas, or to foreign companies based in the States, do your homework or hire a company that is well versed in cross-cultural gifting

An appropriate gift is usually a welcome one. But when all is said and done, it’s how you conduct yourself throughout the year that really matters. If you are a valued partner, peer, supplier, staff member or service provider, the gift is nothing more than “icing on the cake.”

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