Corporate gifts are a very valuable part of the relationship building process in business. Receiving a gift can anchor your prospect, client, or a partner in a positive attitude towards your company. That’s something that business owners leveraged for decades since pre-digital age. But the process of gift giving can become a bit complicated when it comes to international connections. Not everything is acceptable and appropriate in a corporate context around the world. Today, let’s talk about selecting business gifts for international partners: how to do it right and what digital tools can help you in the process.
Step 1: Make Your Cultural Research
When you choose corporate gifts for your business partners abroad, cultural norms are enormously important. What is considered appropriate in one cultural environment, can become extremely offensive in another. For example, giving expensive liquor as a gift in western culture is quite normal, but in many eastern countries it is not acceptable.
Flowers is quite a nice gift in many contexts, but in some cultures it can come across as inappropriate in a corporate context. The same can be said about colors of a gift or flower bouquet that you send. In many countries white is a color strongly associated with wedding, but in some cases, it can indicate grief or loss.
Let Me Give Just A Couple Of Examples:
- Chrysanthemum is a national flower of Japan and is absolutely appropriate as a gift, but white color symbolizes grief so white chrysanthemums are restricted to funerals
- In Eastern Europe, even number of flowers in a bouquet is considered to be a bad sign, so one needs to make sure that only bouquets of uneven number of flowers are sent
Step 2: Consider Personal Preferences
Once you have conducted your research, it’s time to take personal preferences of a recipient into account. Even when, let’s say, alcohol and sweets are okay in your customer’s cultural environment, if they are a healthy living geek, then probably it’s better to go with a “green” gift basket or a fitness gadget.
Sometimes it’s difficult to learn personal preferences of a client, and with that professional customer care teams of gift delivery services can help. Knowing a recipient’s location, age, position, they can advise you on the most appropriate gift or a bouquet for them. For example, once I needed an advice on the flowers as a business gift for a partner oversees, I reached out to customer service on a website that specializes in international flower delivery and got plenty of recommendations as to the flowers to send for admin professionals’ day.
Step 3: Ensure Timely And Accurate Delivery
That’s also very important what the experience of receiving your gift will be like. It should arrive seamlessly, not creating any additional hassle in a busy person’s life. Professional delivery services can take care of that, but it could be quite laborious for you to arrange the delivery when it comes to international customers or partners.
So once again our advice would be to get everything arranged by companies that specialize in delivery of the gifts and flowers overseas. There are several of the household names in the space, and you can easily find those operating in your area of interest and delivering types of gifts you selected for your international loyalty campaign. The best players will provide you with comprehensive gift selection tools, automated updates on the status of the delivery of your gifts, and digital tracking.
It can be quite challenging to embrace gifts as a part of your customer or partner relationship program when your client base is outside of your country, but there are several things that can help:
- Conduct a research of cultural norms in their area
- Learn personal preferences and restrictions
- Get advice and organize a delivery with professionals
Good luck with your business gifts!