What Can Go Wrong With Corporate Gifts and How to Avoid It?

With the holiday season approaching, and amidst all the uncertainty and turmoil that 2020 brought to the world so far, that’s a fully legitimate question. This year trained us well to expect the unexpected whenever and wherever possible. Celebrating end of year holidays and upcoming 2021 will not be an exception. So, what can go wrong with corporate gifts and how can you avoid it?

What Can Go Wrong With Corporate Gifts and How to Avoid It?

Let’s start with the basics. Corporate gifts are a great addition to any retention and loyalty program your organization is running, be it for customers, employees, or partners. This approach adds a personal touch, builds stronger connections, and allows to you to take communications with the recipient to the next level.

In a world of globalizing economy, even smaller businesses often face situations where their targeted audiences of potential gift recipients are located abroad. That’s exactly where end-to-end international gift delivery solutions such as Gift Baskets Overseas come into play. Outsourcing your gifting needs to us will allow you to have gifts of your choice delivered to multiple addresses in different countries. You can even add your branding to them as well.

What possibly can go wrong here? Even if all of your recipients are located close to the office — is there anything that can go wrong with the delivery? Apparently, yes. Let’s talk all the cultural and logistical aspects that can make or break your corporate holiday gift campaign. So, without further ado:

What Can Go Wrong With Corporate Gifts This Holiday Season?

There are several things that create a good corporate gift. It has to be culturally acceptable, memorable, delivered on time and in a way that is appropriate for a recipient. Let’s discuss logistics first.

What Can Go Wrong With Corporate Gifts: Delivery

Timing is everything.

Your international or local gift to a customer, employee, or a business partner must be there on the day you selected. Logistics is extremely complicated this year because of local and state-wide lockdowns, limited international mobility, and delivery service shutdowns and closures.

Imagine how a corporate event swag bag could be perceived if it arrived two weeks after the actual celebration! Gifts are almost always a pleasure to a recipient, but for business purposes they can affect a customer’s attitude better when their timing is planned strategically.

So, start planning your gift campaign early and count for significantly longer delivery time. For example, if you want your gift delivered to another country in late December, decide on the gift and inquire delivery quotes as early as end of October – early November.

Be aware of customs restrictions.

Holiday gifts often include gourmet products and alcohol. If your recipients are located worldwide, customs restrictions come into play if you send the gifts yourself or order from another company. A lot of such items are not allowed for shipping across borders. Not to mention that adding flowers (or arranging local delivery of a bouquet in coordination with your branded gift coming through international mail) would be a nightmare.

Even when shipping a food item is permitted, quick and safe delivery is not always be guaranteed. Being located in Canada, I once had an experience sending a gift package to a former colleague back in Eastern Europe. I wanted to include as many “Canadian” things as possible, so a toy bear in a plaid shirt, ice wine filled chocolates, and maple syrup were on the list. I handed this package to the national mail service, and started tracking. It took my package more than three weeks to arrive, and this was way before the pandemic! And when it finally arrived the maple syrup was broken and all other gifts were covered with its contents. Frustrating.

Gift Baskets Overseas with its extensive representation across 200 countries and territories will organize gift delivery locally, so customs restrictions will not be a concern for you. That means gourmet food, wine or champagne, and flowers can be a part of your gift.

Be specific about addresses… Or ask for help.

It’s extremely important to be as specific about the delivery address as possible. It’s especially so during the holiday season with increased load on delivery services. You should provide the correct zip code, full street address, and telephone number to ensure timely delivery.

This year corporate senders often are not sure about addresses of their recipients. After all, across the globe, many businesses switched to remote work. So, instead of one corporate address you will need to add several personal addresses to the list! We can only imagine what a massive task this could become if you need to confirm addresses one by one prior to sending gifts.

This year, as so many professionals moved to a remote setting, Gift Baskets Overseas added a new service to its toolkit: Address Request Campaign. With this, you will be able to:

  • Save money by ordering only for the recipients who are willing to accept your gift.
  • Save time – we handle the address information gathering for you.
  • Prevent mistakes in shipping to an incorrect or inconvenient address.
  • Best of all – this service is absolutely free with any of our Bulk Orders of 10+ recipients.

What Can Go Wrong With Corporate Gifts: Cultural Norms and Personal Preferences

Gifts should always be a positive and memorable experience. But they’re only easy to arrange if you know your recipient rather well. What should you do if you are thousands of miles apart, communicate infrequently, and are of different cultural origins from them?

Research your recipient before deciding on the type and contents of a gift. There are several things you need to consider: their personal taste and preferences, health restrictions, traditions and customs in their country. The only advice here is: do the research. Know what products are acceptable, which flower colors symbolize happiness and good wishes, if alcohol containing gift is okay in their region.

As to the personal preferences and health limitations, only talking to them directly may help. At the same time, just recently Gift Baskets Overseas announced the launch of several new services that allow immediate gift delivery and also a possibility of setting a budget within which a recipient can select gifts they prefer. I believe that’s nice alternative to research that might include multiple people across multiple countries.

Now that you know more about what can go wrong with corporate gifts, what to do next?

Good luck, and happy upcoming holiday season!