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Select Corporate Gift Baskets as Business Presents Carefully to Gain Loyal Clients

Updated on April 5, 2015

Know Your Clients before Selecting Company Gift Baskets

While corporate gift baskets can make excellent personalized business gifts to build client loyalty, it is crucial that your selection shows that you actually know your customer and what they would like to receive.

There is nothing that gives away how little thought you put into something than getting them a gift that they can't use or won't like. If you have truly cultivated a close customer relationship, then you really should know better than to make a huge error in your selection.

For example, please don't give chocolate gift baskets to diabetics or smoked sausages to vegans. Nothing will tank the relationship with your clients faster than proving beyond a doubt that you haven't actually gotten to know them at all.

No one wants to feel like a company they are dealing with just sees them as a number or, worse, dollar signs. That is why giving a present that provides an assortment of a wide variety of products they may like (while avoiding those you know they definitely will not like) will come across as such a thoughtful gesture.

To be fair, many client relationships don't involve discussions about the client's personal dietary restrictions. However, if you get to know your clients to the point that you are often discussing personal matters during your business relationship, then you need to maintain that level of intimacy when selecting perfect business gift baskets to match your clients.

While clients who have had fewer close discussions with you will likely be happy with any generic "thank you" business gifts that show your appreciation for their loyalty, clients that have come to expect a closer relationship with you will be severely disappointed at a gift that totally misses the mark. If you are looking to give executive gifts, then you absolutely must show them that you put careful thought and time into it.

Remember Any Dietary Restrictions

If you have spent the time cultivating a close relationship with your client, then there is no reason that you shouldn't have an idea about their dietary restrictions.

Did they ever ask for non-dairy cream for their coffee? Did they grab the Splenda instead of the sugar? Did they ask if there was an organic, vegan restaurant nearby? Besides the obvious clues you may have gathered, here are some other major pitfalls to avoid:

  • If the person has a weight issue, then you should never give a gift basket full of tantalizing treats. Sure, they may love it on one level, but you don't want to open up that can of emotional guilt trips that may result. Any negativity they find themselves feeling due to their personal issues with food may reflect back on you. The only safe food items in this scenario are low calorie treats such as fruits and vegetables (and not the kind dripping in chocolate, either). If you can think of other business gifts for clients that would suit their needs better (based on your personal relationship with them), then it is best to avoid any corporate food gift baskets that contain high calorie junk food for overweight clients.

Healthy, Colorful, and Beautiful

Now this is a nice, healthy fruit basket. Lots of variety to suit anyone's taste. A good example of how intriguing and unique corporate gift baskets can be.
Now this is a nice, healthy fruit basket. Lots of variety to suit anyone's taste. A good example of how intriguing and unique corporate gift baskets can be. | Source
  • If the person is older or has obvious signs of diabetes or some other illness, then avoid sugar at all costs. The risk of suffering from diabetes and other severe illnesses gets higher as a person ages. Additionally, there have been various studies showing how sugar may be linked to various mental issues that affect people more as they age. Why risk worsening a pre-existing illness in an older client? For these types of clients, specifically, you should definitely not consider corporate chocolate gift baskets to be a wise choice. Baskets that contain a lot of healthy food options are far more acceptable, but you must always keep in mind that many snack type foods will be loaded with sugar. Watch out for the sugar content!
  • Be smart about analyzing your client. If they have dreadlocks, wear sandals, and talk about their love of PETA, then going with smoked meat would probably be a huge mistake. While it isn't considered polite to stereotype people, if certain behaviors have a reasonable likelihood of suggesting a strong possibility of a dietary restriction, then it is wise to look for another option.

Variety and Color Are Wise Choices

A colorful assortment is always nice when used as company gifts. Things that don't spoil will always be welcomed, as they are easier to re-purpose, if needed.
A colorful assortment is always nice when used as company gifts. Things that don't spoil will always be welcomed, as they are easier to re-purpose, if needed. | Source

Some Obvious (or Maybe Not so Obvious) Issues to Avoid

Unless you have really gotten to know a client and know beyond a doubt that their personality allows for it, don't use frilly, girly business gifts for men and vice versa. Yeah, this may seem a tad sexist, but it is better to be overly cautious when dealing with this issue than have a client offended when they assume you have deemed them at a level of femininity or masculinity that falls outside gender norms.

While there are spa-themed options that are aimed towards men, it is a better idea to avoid these types of gifts (that tend to lean towards a gender that conflicts with your client's gender). Besides the gender issue, there are other reasons to avoid these particular spa options.

One of the big issues with some of the options that fall into the spa category is the subtle implication that perhaps the client may have issues with cleanliness. If the package leans more towards massage oils and luxury cosmetics, this won't be an issue. However, think carefully about the particular client before getting them a basket that includes soaps, hair trimmers, or other items that could imply they have less than optimal hygiene.

I mean, why else would you be giving them something with a hygiene improvement purpose if it didn't seem like they needed it, right? This concept is particularly true for Asian clients, as some Asian cultures are particularly prone to see a gift including soaps as being an implication of not being clean.

Speaking of ethnicity, be sure that you never pick a novelty gift basket that may be offensive to your client. Don't just assume that a Mexican-themed present will be appropriate for a client of Mexican ancestry. Giving novelty gifts often designed for tourists that will put emphasis on targeting a client's ethnicity is a very bad idea. It almost screams that you are completely ignorant regarding their culture.

The only allowable exception to this rule is if the client has mentioned a particular brand or item that they love that has roots in their native land. Finding a basket made of a client's hard-to-find favorite items from another country is thoughtful and shows your attentiveness and diligence.

However, save the generic ethnic options as tourist gifts after a vacation; never use these as company presents for your loyal clients. Also, never choose a basket based on what you think they may like due to their race. It is a always a bad idea to base your gifting on stereotypes.

Offensive Racist Gift Basket Prank Comedy

Healthy Variety, but Poor Packaging

A relatively healthy option with lots of fruit. The packaging could be a bit nicer, though, to be an ideal corporate gift basket.
A relatively healthy option with lots of fruit. The packaging could be a bit nicer, though, to be an ideal corporate gift basket. | Source

Know How to Avoid Some of the Selection Pitfalls Now?

In general, a lot of clients will be happy with any token of your appreciation. However, never underestimate just how poorly a company present can come across if you don't think about the implications that may be conveyed. Be sure to follow these guidelines, and use these hints as a basis to think about your chosen promotional gifts.

Are they sending any messages you don't mean for them to send? Will they be useful and match the personality of your clients? Be sure to consider these queries when you think about business gift ideas. After all, you won't build a loyal client base without making each of them feel like your close friend. Be sure that the gift you select reflects your knowledge of them.

Hopefully, this article will have provided you with some great unique corporate gift baskets ideas. There is a quick quiz below to help ensure you have fully learned the tips given in this article. You can also add your personal experiences with using these as business gifts by voting in the poll or adding a comment.

Let's See What You Learned about Corporate Gift Baskets

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Have You Ever Broken These Guidelines?

Have You Ever Broken These Guidelines?

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