Business is all about relationships. But those relationships – with clients, employees, and outside partners – can collapse with even the smallest misstep. Take a step in the right direction and cement those relationships with business gifts given during the holidays.

When a company makes the effort to offer a gift of appreciation to clients, partners or colleagues, the result can make business dealings easier and the relationship stronger for a long time.

Business gifts add a personal touch that is sometimes missing. When given with some thought behind them, their impact can be quite powerful.

Do’s and Don’ts
Here are three do’s and a don’t in the quest for perfect presents to strengthen those bonds.

  1. DO give with a goal, and measure how well you achieved it. Don’t give just to give. Find the best way to present your brand with a clear communication of the message the gift is supposed to get across. For example, if the goal is to thank recipients but also stay top of mind on a regular basis, then a useful gift is going to mean more impressions over a given time. Possibilities include a drink tumbler and an insulated lunch cooler; both would get a lot of use in an office. A leather portfolio would likely be used for internal and external meetings. Another idea, a cutlery set that recipient’s could use in their home for years.
  2. DO use the right presentation to increase a gift’s effect. Creating a big deal around a gift’s presentation will raise it’s effectiveness. A thoughtful presentation not only boosts the perceived value of the gift, it boosts the perceived value of the recipient. If your gift is a nice pen, use a lined box wrapped with ribbon, accompanied by a hand-written card with a message specific to the recipient.
  3. DO customize and personalize as much as possible. Particularly at the higher end, evidence of thought and effort in selecting the gift pays big dividends. Adding personalization adds serious value to a gift. The recipient knows that the gift was meant for them personally, and this gives them a greater emotional connection with the gift and a feeling of being valued. Plus, putting the recipient’s name on the front cover of a portfolio is a classy touch that encourages frequent use.
  4. DON’T buy at the low end of a product category. It’s better to buy at the high end of a lesser product category. If you’ve got a smaller budget to work with, pick a higher quality item in a more modest product category. In other words, always choose quality. If you buy too cheap, the item won’t be used – you might get one impression from the gift, and it wouldn’t be a good one. The goal is to deliver perceived value, which results in a favorable cost per impression.