Should Businesses Give Out Personalized Gifts in the Philippines?
Corporate gift-giving isn’t exactly new to Philippine culture: gift-giving has long been part of the rules of hospitality and rules of appreciation in our country. Of late, though, a trend that seems to be on the uptick is to give out not just any regular corporate gift.
That is, corporate gifts in the Philippines like company shirts and mugs are now increasingly personalized. Is it time for you to join the trend?
Gift-giving: A Sound Investment
As the saying goes, you need to spend money to make money. The cycle of expenses and returns is one of the most important rules in the business realm, and the smart business owner quickly learns how to make it work for him. Not all costs are pure expenses, after all: a lot of them are investments too, and corporate gifts rank among these.
Giving corporate gifts to your clients or employees can benefit you in several ways and we noticed this first hand with one of our fav clients, the guys over at United Solar Philippines. First, if given to the former, they can help build your rapport with your customers, aiding you in securing stronger brand loyalty. If recipients are happy enough with their gifts to talk about it, you will also be likely to attract new customers as a result, as you shall have given your existing clients added reason to do your “promotion” for you.
Giving gifts of appreciation to company employees and key personnel builds another kind of loyalty, but one no less important. It can help to motivate your team, which is key when putting up a business. It can show them that good work earns rewards and that you fully appreciate everything that they put into the company.
The continued economic growth in the past year has seen an increase too in the amount of business spending companies are doing. Taken with rising awareness of the points above, this may help explain too why more and more business owners are also investing in corporate gifts.
But now comes the question: Why bother making them personalized too?
Personalization Adds Value
Simply put, personalization is where customer demand looks to be headed now. Some might argue that it’s inevitable: that we’ve been headed to individual satisfaction in all our developments all this time. The fact is, most people now have few qualms about asking to have something their way, or just for them, the way they like it.
It’s partly an appeal to the value-adding proposition of rarefaction: when something is personalized for you, there are drastically fewer chances of the exact same thing being possessed by someone else… And rarity has always been important in determining value.
Personalization also typically translates to added value since it often means added (production) effort. Industrial production processes being what they are, custom work often requires more costly production lines or processes.
When you give someone a personalized gift, you are telling them that you did more than the usual go-to-the-store-and-grab-off-the-shelf gift shopping. You are telling them that you went out of your way to get this gift for them. This adds to the perception of added value.
Finally, it might just be the pleasure of having your individuality acknowledged. This is a critical human need, in a way: to be acknowledged as a unique existence. And when you tell someone you’re giving them something made especially for them, you’re also telling them you acknowledge them as they are. It’s a subtle gesture of respect for another’s being, and it’s why custom-made gifts tend to be more memorable.
Giving Out Personalized Corporate Gifts
Whatever the case, most people tend to prefer customized gifts over “canned” ones. This means they are more likely to achieve a business owner’s goals and promote his brand or reputation more effectively. Fortunately for business owners, giving out personalized gifts in the Philippines is often easier than it would be in most other countries. Why?
First, because labor (which is often part of customization) tends to be cheaper here.
Second, because giveaways and other gifts are generally very strongly welcomed in the culture.
And third, because there are usually no industry-set prescriptions on the maximum value of such gifts.
The last definitely does not mean you can simply go about buying corporate gifts with exorbitant value, of course. Any smart business owner knows it is always wise to have a budget, and setting a price point for the ideal cost per gift is smart.
The exact cost is up to you, although it wouldn’t be wise to make it too high when you can just as easily get a memorable custom gift for a lower price. In the same vein, don’t make it too low. You want something that still manages to reflect professionalism and your company’s standards to the recipient, naturally.
What Gifts Should You Give?
It depends on your organization, recipients’ demographics, and your preferences, of course. A general rule for corporate gift-giving is to aim for something practical, though, so that the recipient often has occasion to look at or use it. This makes its aims (discussed earlier as the benefits of corporate gift-giving) more effective.
Examples of popular corporate gifts are pens, mugs, towels, and desk stationery. Arguably one of the most common now too—and definitely among the most useful—would be clothing.
Clothes make for great personalized gifts, not least since they make such great canvases for the company’s own symbols, helping spread its reputation once the recipient begins to wear it. Logos, slogans, and even business details can be printed on clothing and given out. It also tends to be well-received when done the right way, since it is something that recipients can use regularly.
If you do decide to join the trend of giving out customized corporate gifts, keep in mind some of the ways to make the investment wiser. Look up information on your recipients and evaluate your aims in giving out the gifts before choosing what to give out. If you have the ability, design your own things and just leave the actual production to someone else. On the other hand, if you really want something spectacular but don’t have the talent to make it yourself, look for someone else to do it: it’s better to leave the graphics up to a pro and get a great working draft than to try to do something like design your t-shirt gift and end up with something none of your recipients will like.