Gift Giving Ideas – GiftBook by

  • img
  • img

International Gift Giving Tips

Gifting is an age-old practice that dates back generations. On all corners of the globe, offering another a gift was considered honorable and truce-like. As the world split into opposing regions, then gelled back together again, thanks to technological efforts and the resultant co-dependency, region-specific norms emerged. These governed how different groups interacted, and this would affect acts as simple but noble as offering gifts. Hence, international gift giving tips to help you navigate this space.

This article shines a light on not-so-well-known rules to follow when curating personal or corporate gifts. We consider cultural and interpersonal differences and the effects gift-giving may have on relationships. There are a handful of factors to consider before your corporation, micro or macro, decides to launch gifting campaigns. Keep scrolling for some essential international gifting ‘pearls of wisdom’. 

International gift giving tips: Happy business women showing colleague gifts.

Why You Shouldn’t Generalize When Gifting

The above is self-explanatory for some, especially in the business world. There is far too much at stake to throw every business relationship in the same basket. And, we’ll work with hypothetical scenarios to explain why. Shall we?

Corporation A, with a sum of 20 international allies and prospects spread across five continents, is celebrating a milestone. The marketing campaign manager proposes launching a gifting campaign for the business to celebrate with its partners and potential clients. So, they curate dozens of similar gift baskets and ship them off to their recipients’ mailboxes. Each recipient, regardless of their religion, cultural background, and industry, receives the same gift.

On the other hand, Corporation B, which boasts a similar international profile, is also celebrating a milestone. Simultaneously, the marketing campaign manager launches a gifting campaign to stretch their celebration beyond their borders. However, before deciding on the types of gifts to send their partners and prospects, they do thorough research to distinguish between the different regions’ values and customs. This results in the corporation delivering various gift baskets to their intended recipients.

Looking at the above examples, it is clear that both corporations had a similar goal. To retain, attract, and reward their partners. However, only one of them took the time and liberty to consider the uniqueness of each recipient. And, how their cultures (or preferences) may warrant more ‘appropriate’ gifts.

Let’s delve into the specifics of why generalized gifting should be avoided when looking to make lasting impacts with gifting campaigns: 

The Culture Aspect

As mentioned above, the global village isn’t only divided by borders representing each nation’s sovereignty. Traditions, customs, and contrasting values further distinguish one group from another. While one group may be open to receiving gifts all year round, another group may have religious observation periods that do not allow receiving or giving gifts. It is, therefore, in the sender’s best interest to familiarize themselves with the cultures and customs of their intended recipients. As to avoid insulting, while the intention is to entice. 

The Industry Aspect

Would you send chocolate gifts to an enterprise that manufactures and distributes chocolates? That was a rhetorical question. Senders need to consider this little detail will deciding on corporate gifts. Thorough research and client/prospect knowledge will not only help avoid such mistakes from occurring but will assist in creating or strengthening existing relationships. What’s that thing they say about the thought essentially being what counts?

The Relationship Aspect

While culture is the primary determinant of gift-giving, the kind of relationship is a deciding factor too. The sender must understand the nature of their relationship with the recipient, and there needs to be a consensus. For example, the Malay only participate in gift-giving with close friends and family. Strangers are seldom brought into this unless gifting is unavoidable (think of a corporate gift from a company to a staff member). Gifts are intimate and personal in some parts of the world, so determining the nature of the relationship should be a pre-gifting priority too. 

International gift giving tips: Man holding a gift box and frowning.

Appropriate vs. Inappropriate

This is another point that touches significantly on the application of culture and relevance. Even between businesses and industries, some elements distinguish one entity from another. For example, a manager in the general entertainment industry would appreciate a witty and comical gift, but we can’t say the same about a banking sector employee, given the need for formality.

Yes, we touched on the industry element above, but even with gifts that align with a particular industry, there’s a thin line between what’s appropriate and utterly unacceptable. To help you use the scale better, here are some questions to ask yourself before signing off on a gifting campaign: 

  • Who is the intended recipient? 
  • What is the recipient’s role in the company? 
  • Are you aware of their personal preferences? 
  • What is the purpose of the gift? 
  • When is it appropriate to send the gift? 

The questions above will help you effectively and informatively decide what gifts suit your clients. 

Gifts to Avoid

Yes, bad gifts do exist. While factors like budget, time constraints, and intention must be considered when curating gifting campaigns, there are a few items that should never make it to gifting lists. Again, the need to apply the thin line theory. Discretion is indeed the center of all moral avenues, but even that falls short when it comes to the sensitive act of gifting. For this reason, we’ve compiled the below list to help you steer clear of gift items that could potentially tarnish your entity’s reputation:

  • Cheap gifts
  • Gifts that are too expensive – In some parts of the world, reciprocation is integral to the gifting culture. So gifts that are too pricey may put unnecessary pressure on the recipient.
  • Suggestive gifts
  • Gifts that are too personal
  • Pet gifts
  • Alcohol (culture dependent)
Smiling business men holding various gift boxes

International gift giving tips: Bottom Matter

Now that we’ve highlighted all the factors to consider before deciding on your gifts and emphasized what items to avoid, setting up your international gift campaigns should be much easier. The GiftSenda platform doesn’t only help you plan your campaigns effectively, but you can also allow your recipients to consent to receive your gifts. This way, there are minimal possibilities of getting it wrong.

Additionally, you are given access to a reporting dashboard that allows you to track your campaigns’ performance; this way, you can decide on tweaks and adjustments to enhance conversions. 

You’ve learned a ton international gift giving tips! Now what?

  • Start sending gifts! Discover our corporate gift options.
  • Find more content like this through our blog.
  • Subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive subscriber savings!