Pinpointing the parameters in corporate gifting

corporate gifting
corporate gifting

Pinpointing the parameters in corporate gifting


It’s that time of year again, when executive secretaries and HR teams have their work cut out for them in selecting – and disseminating – the best they can find in client-worthy gifts. If printing jobs are your forte, you may be keen to read about what the corporate gifting niche holds for the close of 2023.


By Vanessa Rogers on behalf of Executive Placements.


According to, who are preparing to host the next International Packaging and Printing Exhibition for Asia, at BITEC, Bangkok, the paper-based packaging market is predicted to grow more than any other division of the global printing and packaging market as we rush headlong towards 2030.

This is because it “continues to meet consumer demands for lighter, more flexible packaging”, and “to innovate with new efficiencies – such as frustration-free packaging that is both easier for consumers to unpack, and minimises turnaround time for the manufacturer”, this busy conferencing squad advises.


Here in South Africa, we’ve certainly witnessed a significant decline in print readership – which the publishing industry and its print suppliers have had to take solidly on the chin. However, a buoyant e-commerce sector means that “printed packaging and promotional material”, together with “new technologies, such as 3D printing and augmented reality” are able to pull out all the stops whether customers are wowed by this product wrapping in bricks-and-mortar stores, via online shop fronts, or on social media.


Okay, there are rules to follow in corporate gifting practices – Cynthia Schoeman of Ethics Monitor suggests that acceptable gifts are those that “include conventional hospitality, infrequent and modest tokens of appreciation”, together with “small, unsolicited items of a promotional nature that bear your company logo”.

But it’s still possible to completely wow your clients with such a token, or at least the manner in which it comes wrapped, so that they’re still thinking of you when the New Year comes around and your services are still standing tall above the competition.


Tokens of import


An article on LinkedIn Pulse suggests that you begin by deciding on the following three things:

• the intention or purpose of the gift;
• its message to the recipient, which is where the packaging is vital;

• the “wow factor”, which can only be achieved when it a gift is personalised and customised.


The trend in corporate gifting circles is to give something that is useful on a daily basis, such as a memory stick, set of head phones, scented candle for the bath, eco-friendly coffee mug, or luxury pen/stationery item, with your company logo or brand statement embellished on it in a visible yet tasteful way.


The personal touch


The colleague who greets eveyone with a hug, the client who is always first to break the ice around the boardroom table with a memorable joke, the one who mountain bikes like it’s his main job, and the one with the enormous clutch of kids… Yes, you’re advised to take this knowledge of your corporate stakeholders and incorporate it into the way the gift comes wrapped – whether it’s emblazoned on the box, or tastefully hand-written in the card. It really is the little things that count.


Sustainability matters


One of the packaging and printing job touches that won’t go unnoticed, is that of green, recyclable, and CSI choices alluding your company’s everyday decisions.

Has brown paper been used, that can later cover a schoolbook or another gift; or a box that is perfectly sized for later use as Santa’s shoebox for the underprivileged? Is there is brochure inside that describes the supply chain of your printer of choice – who has placed a focus on utilising locally-made materials and offering training in their craft to the unemployed? Have carbon emissions been cut by your insistence that these corporate gifts are delivered by an electrically charged, rather than fuel guzzling, micro-vehicle?


There’s no time like Christmas, year-end, and holiday time with the family approaching to spread a little goodwill. It goes a long way, and it makes you feel good – right?