The Art of Corporate Gifting: Five Steps to Gift Smarter
“Gift baskets are the essence of class and fanciness. They are the ultimate present that a person can receive.” — Michael Scott
Michael Scott, everyone’s favorite fictional manager, was onto something in The Office’s iconic season four episode, “Dunder Mifflin Infinity.” Threatened by the paper company’s forthcoming online sales launch, Scott returns to his “old-fashioned business methods.” With the help of the eccentric Dwight Schrute, he delivers gift baskets to former clients in a valiant effort to win them back from big box stores. And while the dynamic duo ends up driving their company car into a lake en route — another stand against technology — their hearts were in the right place.
Gifting can be a powerful tool to show someone that you truly know them, value them and care about them. In fact, it’s one of the five major love languages — how one prefers to express and receive love. There are several companies out there today that offer readymade, thematic gift boxes for virtually any occasion, such as “Something Blue” for a baby on the way, or a “Work from Anywhere” set for remote employees. But the art of gifting is in the details.
When you search the term “corporate gift basket,” you’ll see endless images of wicker baskets wrapped in shiny cellophane and tied with an oversized bow, overflowing with nuts and chocolate-covered somethings that will likely go stale before anyone unwraps it. Let’s challenge that. We’re here to demonstrate the power of custom corporate gifts, and how you can curate thoughtful, beautiful and authentic gift boxes that surprise and delight at every turn.
Choose a theme, and stick to it. Start with the occasion. Are you celebrating a brand launch? Announcing a restaurant opening? Expressing gratitude? Begin by developing a narrative, which will act as a guide to building a gift box that truly delivers. If each item is meticulously selected, everything will work together in harmony to tell your story.
Prioritize personalization. When curating your gift box, go beyond general interests. What is the recipient’s daily routine? What will they actually use and enjoy? Will they appreciate goods from local makers? Can you introduce them to something new? What brands will impress them or align with their tastes? The thought you put into answering these questions will translate into a deeply personal and special gift.
Don’t get lost in a sea of brands. It’s easy to print your logo on a travel mug, but we encourage you to dive deeper. What items can you repackage to maintain visual consistency and reinforce your brand? Simple touches such as custom labels are cost-effective and noticeable. Color matters, too! Choose products that align with your brand’s visual identity. Attention to details like this can go a long way.
Invest in packaging. People judge a book by its cover, and first impressions matter. While it’s convenient to order plain corrugated mailers with next-day shipping, a wooden box is a showstopper. Your gift box’s theme can also inform this decision, because the gifting experience starts with unboxing.
Consider what’s next. Depending on the occasion and purpose of your gift box, what can you include to encourage ongoing engagement with your audience? An invitation to an exclusive event or a gift card for your company’s products or services are just a few ideas to make the gift box work smarter.
And of course, don’t forget to have fun. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by sell sheets, lead times, labels and assembly, but we can assure you that the time and resources you’ll invest into these gifts is absolutely worth it.