Gifts mean love and affection – both for the person giving and person receiving. In our personal life, you give away a Gift as a memento of an occasion or celebration. The warmth of relationship is expressed not by the size or value of the Gift, but by the very act of presenting a Gift. This concept is somewhat enlarged in respect of Corporate Gifts. Along with the expression of friendship, the Gifts also carry a message of advertisement for the giver, and promote the image of the Company that gives away the Corporate Gift, in the mind of the receiver.
History of Corporate Gifts:
Corporate Gifts are generally known as Promotional Merchandise, for they are given away not because of love and affection as in the case of Personal Gifts, but even to unknown persons at large, to impress upon them about the company. Looking back in the history, these Promotional Merchandises started their rounds as early as 1789 in the US. The very first series of Corporate Gifts were advertisement calendars, followed by some wooden items like pen-stand, paper weights etc. Of these, Calendars have come to stay even today, continuing beyond centuries.
The predominant practice for Corporate Gifts is to print the name and logo of the respective company on these Gifts and continuing. Without this, they will lose the status of Corporate Gifts, since Corporate Identity is the main focus behind these give-away items. Innovative ideas emerged in the creation of Corporate Gifts, leading the merchandise from mere calendars to many more items of utility like – apparels, pen-sets, key chains, caps, T-shirts, mugs, cups, ash-trays and so on.
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Yet, the manufacture of such Promotional Merchandise became an industry of its own, somewhere in the 1970s. Corporate Companies worldwide had an extraordinary growth during this period, and recognized the usage and importance of giving away Corporate Gifts. Here again, Christmas and New Year season was predominantly used for offering Promotional Merchandise, as these were festive occasions world-wide. Now a days the tendency has changed to give them throughout the year.
How Corporate Gifts act as Image Builders?
Basically Corporate Gifts are given away during conferences and trade shows of the respective industry, launching of new product line by the company and in every other important occasion relating to the respective company. With the logo and brand name printed over it conspicuously, they often act as tools of promoting business ties, connecting with clients as also expression of message of thanks-giving.
It should be remembered – although the Gifts are distributed on a mass scale, every receiver of that Gift feels personally satisfied and honored. As an item of utility, it carries the image of the Company with it. Hence, selection of this Corporate Gift item should be done carefully, without compromising on quality. Bad quality Gifts will create negative feelings and spoil the very purpose for which it is given.
As of today, there is an entire Industry manufacturing these Corporate Gifts. Items vary from traditional keychain and mugs, to latest Robot Clocks and computer accessories. Still they need not be expensive, particularly if purchased on a large-scale or ordered with the manufacturer, according to individual idea and taste. So it is up to the Corporate Companies to make best use of these image builders in an inexpensive way.