Along with pens and mugs, bags are among the most popular and most useful promotional products. Bags come with a huge branding area that wil be used regualry and generate lots of exposure.
Its the most cost effective bradning tool to use.
Check out Rick Steins's wonderfully branded bags.
Our 2015 metal collection has become an irresistible trend setter for contemporary metal pens that are a treat for the eye as well as the hand.
Its creative thinking is in response to the demand for metal pens with visionary design. The latest portfolio effortlessly marries premium craftsmanship with the hottest contemporary designs; the perfect symbiosis of form and function.
“When it comes to the design of metal pens, aesthetic appeal is often a disappointing afterthought”. said Lynn Corrigan, Marketing Manager UK & Ireland. “Although they are the perfect executive gift at Christmas, they are also so much more. A metal pen with a distinctive on-trend design is now a statement must have “accessory” that reflects individual style”.
Demand for metal pen lines is at its highest ever, and its immaculate setting for branding perfection can be attributed to the quality of its base metal, which means that the engraving always matches the trim of the pen, giving a premium finish.
The Image range from oozes sheer good looks and will impress at first glance. With original individual styling, clean lines, and a superior quality finish, this highly regarded pen is well and truly in the ‘must have’ category.
We also offer the retail LAMY collection of pens, and dedicated followers of fashion will salivate at its Special Edition Logo polished. Their fusion of exclusivity and timeless design is the ultimate expression of German quality.
Brands looking to show their appreciation to customers and colleagues now have more choice, more styles, and more originality than they could ever have imagined.
This durable, eco-friendly bag has long carry handles and a handy plastic ring for attaching carabiners, keys etc. It also comes with an external pocket that holds two pens. This versatile bag is ideal for exhibitions and offers plenty of space for branding
MOLESKINE is aiming to brighten up our desks by introducing colour to its Classic Writing Collection. The Classic pens have a sleek and distinctive design, updated in new colours. The inclusion of these colours widens the range to eight. The colours are bold and bright, providing an opportunity to stand out amongst the other writing implements available in this highly competitive market. The rectangular pens are the perfect companion for the classic hard cover Moleskine notebooks as they are specially designed to clip directly and snugly on to the notebooks. Available with a one or full-colour print, Moleskine reckons these pens provide a powerful marketing tool when paired with one of the company’s famed notebooks, which themselves are available with many customising opportunities and in numerous colours. The Classic Collection comprises roller pens, click pens and pencil styles with varying nib widths. Each pen is supplied in a smooth black presentation box, debossed with the Moleskine logo. Additionally the Light Metal Pens are readily available, with the silver metal body and black trim offering a more executive-style writing tool. Again, these are branded in one colour, full colour or laser-engraved and housed in a presentation box.
No one foresaw the monumental success of the 50 shades trilogy – a raunchy book targeted at women. With the film of the BDSM bestseller out this week, brands and companies of all shapes and sizes across industries have capitalised on the revenue opportunities available by offering products inspired by the trilogy.
Traditionally when toys are made for movies, they are usually intended for children however increasingly strange items of merchandise are competing for fan’s money.
Predictably, the adult toys industry are rubbing their hands in anticipation and banking on the hope that the launch of the film this Valentine’s day will generate colossal sales.
Apart from leather restraints, party board games and products of that nature, fans can also choose from many product tie-ins that including apparel, accessories, jewellery, kitchen & housewares, garden, beauty, stationary. Other products you wouldn’t naturally associate with the book include a baby changing mat that boasts words like “Nine months ago mummy read 50 shades of Grey..”, baby grows with the “I’m a result of my mommy reading Fifty Shades of Grey”, says one tiny outfit. Another proclaims: “My mommy pretends Christian Grey is my daddy”. Surf’s fabric softener with “scentsual oils” caused controversy with handcuffs hanging on the “s” of its name.
The author of the books E L James is not missing a slice of the action herself with her website selling a collection of wines and gif sets with her books.
We are pleased to partner up with our pen supplier when they recognised the revolution in full colour digital print which allows photographic images to be produced quickly and cost-effectively, it is a major investment in this new technology.
It now offers what it claims as Europe's largest range of full-colour promotional writing instruments and accessories.
With over more than 80 full-colour pens, pencils and erasers it has enabled us to tap into this growing market.
The Corporate Cap Ballpen is suitable for full-colour printing 360 degrees around the barrel or a multi-colour print on an area measuring 50mm x 20mm.
The Corporate Cap ballpen is also available on a three-day express service when printed one colour, for those last-minute orders.
Designed specifically for full colour digital printing, the patent pending Contour Digital Ballpen is one of Europe's most popular selling promotional pens.
The Contour Digital features a sculpted white barrel with a choice of 10 brightly coloured rubberised grips.
Chrome clips and trims complete the look and the pen meets stringent British and European safety standards.
From Sports bottles and thermal mugs, to keyrings and paper, for the very best promotional merchandise, look no further than the selection of Great British Products from MMP. Designed and manufactured in Britain, this product range offers creative design, high quality manufacture, great lead times and fantastic value for Money!
I was delighted to be able to provide my son's football teams with Hoodies for the winter months.
Since the boys formed as a team over a year ago, they have developed so much that their football skills and team work has come on leaps and bounds and this is all thanks to the coaches and staff who take the time out to help them.
Whickham Fellside Football group was formed in 1980, Whickham Fellside Y.F.C. are a well-established, well-run, much respected, and entirely voluntarily run group, whose member base is taken from the immediate community in the Gateshead area of the North-East.
Well done boy's (Finn, Paddy, Leighton, George, Luke, Joesph, Thomas and Joesph), for yet another win on Saturday!
Survey results reveal that more business people are akin to Michael O’Leary’s money saving ideas than they might care to admit!
89.3 per cent of business people use free branded pens at work
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary once made the bold statement that he bans the buying of ballpoints for the office commenting: “Hotels are great companies that offer free pens so I regularly purloin my pens… and I’m happy to supply hotel pens whenever I can.”*
Whilst many business people may not necessarily ‘purloin’ free pens at every given opportunity, a vast majority are capitalising on millions of items of promotional merchandise that are either given to them or freely available, provided by brands and organisations as an integral part of their marketing activities.
It actually seems to be widespread in business. New survey evidence has shown that almost 9 out of 10 business people had a ‘branded promotional pen’ on their desk.
Gordon Glenister, Director-General of the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) who commissioned the research as part of its activities for Promotional Products Week commented: “It seems that, though many jokes are told about Ryanair’s relentless focus on profits and savings, many business people are actually quietly in agreement with O’Leary’s way of thinking, utilising freebies to their advantage and, by default, saving money on escalating stationery and general office costs.
“It’s remarkable that, as our survey shows, 89.3 per cent of business people had a branded promotional pen on their desk from an organisation – whether it’s from a hotel, bank, conference, exhibition stand or given by a supplier.
Follow the link below to view the survey infographic:
Whats On Your Desk Infographic
“It’s because of the thousands of brands and companies in all markets who recognise the effectiveness of pens and promotional merchandise and invest in them that Mr O’Leary and other business people are able to enjoy using them at no cost at all!”
But it seems that pens aren’t the only popular freebie item that people keep on their desk. 65.4 per cent of the business people asked said they had a promotional mug on their desk, 54 per cent had calendars and post it notes whilst 50.6 per cent used promotional notebooks.
It also seems that the brand name showcased on promotional products are memorable. A staggering 83 per cent could confidently name the company featured on an item on their desk. Furthermore 73 per cent had gone on to purchase from a company that had supplied a freebie.
Business people across the UK participated in the survey, which is part of Promotional Products Week. This takes place from 15th – 19th September and is being run by the BPMA to celebrate the power of embracing promotional products as a key part of the marketing mix. Many members will take part in activities including open days, events and hospitality, new product launches and special offers, as well as the BPMA Student Design Innovation Awards, which is run in conjunction with Brunel University.
A fantastic night at Lane 7 celebrating Drummond Centrals 10 year Anniversary!!!
Go Team "Micks Chicks"
We were really pleased with the printed bowling socks we recently produced.
Everyone enjoyed using them!
The double tree hilton hotel Newcastle, were delighted with their water bottle produced for the runners in this years GNR. Well done to all those who particiapted.....I'm sure the cookie medal and glass of prosecco also went down a treat!
Thanks again for the order.
Our lovely family business were able to celebrate my parents 40th Wedding Anniversary, lucky to be part of this wonderful family... and here is our family selfie xxxx
A fantastic giveaway at any festival this poncho with hood will keep you dry and protect you from Mother Nature!!!!!
If you're looking for ways to build your business, then holding a competition or a prize draw can be an effective marketing tool. It gets your company's message out to the public and usually offers a really good rate of return on investment. Competitions are a unique opportunity to stand out from the crowd and attract new clients without blowing your marketing budget.
How Can You Benefit?
There are a number of reasons to hold a competition. You might have a new product to launch, so having a giveaway of samples of promotional products as prizes can be an effective way of creating a buzz. Maybe you are striving to increase your customer base, so are looking for ways to attract new clients. Offering giveaways to existing customers will make them feel rewarded and valued for using your goods and services, ensuring they remain loyal to your brand. Alternatively, you might just want to show off your company's generosity – which will in turn hopefully raise your brand's image.
Make It Relevant
The most effective competitions will tie in with your company's image and products. For example, if you make kitchenware, a competition for the best biscuit recipe will be appealing to the type of people who are most likely to use your products. When advertising your competition, choose promotional channels that are relevant to the result you hope to achieve. For example, a contest advertised on a social networking site may not be very effective in boosting your number of clients in the 65+ age group.
Keep It Legal
There are several guidelines you must adhere to guarantee your competition is run fairly and doesn't fall foul of the CAP code enforced by the Advertising Standards Agency. Make sure you have clearly set out the terms and conditions of your competition and ensure that all entrants have confirmed that they have read them. There must be an advertised date after which no entries can be accepted. Remember that if you are picking winners randomly from a pool of entrants, this is a game of chance and so should be referred to as a draw or giveaway. If there is an element of skill, such as answering a question or submitting a picture to be judged, then this would be a competition.
Giving away promotional products that advertise your company is a great way to win new business by creating excitement about your brand and attracting more clients.
Business Basics – Establishing a Strong Brand
Whatever your new business idea, there are lots of issues to consider, from stock management and finding premises to hiring staff and getting your venture up and running. Before you do any of these things, first you need to establish a brand.
What's in a Brand?
In a nutshell, your brand is the identity of your company or product. It encompasses all the different values, ideas or characteristics of your business in a way that is easily identifiable. One of the most exciting aspects of setting up a new venture is choosing the name. This may be as straightforward as using your own name — perhaps with a reference to the goods or services you intend to supply. Alternatively, you might want to choose something more creative. Make sure that it is easy to spell so prospective clients can search for it online and that it will work well in local, national and global markets. You want something catchy and distinctive that ideally gives some clue about the nature of the business. Customers should be able to know what you stand for and what kind of service they can expect just by looking at your brand, so it's important to get it right and ensure you are creating the right impression.
Designing a Logo
Once you have the name you can think about a logo, which is the visual symbol of your business. The strongest logos are quite simple, using striking clear fonts and strong colours – you can incorporate a picture if you want but bear in mind that this may reduce the logo's impact. Think about where you will use your logo. It needs to work in a variety of formats and sizes, from small letterheads and compliments slips to larger promotional items such as wall posters or even exhibition banners. A text-based logo is relatively easy to design yourself, especially with the wealth of computer software available nowadays. Alternatively, you could commission a designer to create one for you.
How Is It Used?
Your brand should be at the forefront of all communications with prospective clients. This includes items such as business cards, flyers and other promotional items that are the basic essentials of your marketing strategy. But there are plenty of other openings for you to advertise your brand that you may not have thought of. Your website, sales emails, premises, staff uniforms and company vehicles are all further opportunities to raise your brand's profile.
Creating a strong brand is the first step in implementing an effective marketing strategy, helping you to build your business.
Small Ideas to Give Your Marketing Mailshots a Big Impact
Building up a mailing list is a key part of any company's marketing strategy. Keeping accurate contact details of existing and potential clients makes it easier to spread the word about a new product or exciting development you may be planning. Including promotional items within your mailing can reinforce your message and raise awareness of your brand. However, budgetary and logistical constraints mean that any branded products you give away will need to be both small and light. So what should you choose?
Small but Perfectly Formed
One of the most popular items to include in a marketing mailshot is a pen. Light, practical, brandable and always useful, they are an effective way to get your message across and represent excellent value for money. Other small but appealing items are key rings, fridge magnets or badges. These are easy to add to a mailing and will not land you with a large postage bill.
For an alternative idea to keep the weight of your mailing down, what about enclosing an inflatable item? This works particularly well for companies wanting to show off their company's fun side. Inflatable beach balls or other sporting goods are always popular, but you could opt for a more unusual novelty items. If your company produces a particular beverage or foodstuff, inflatable versions of these can make quirky and memorable giveaways.
These are some of the simplest items to include as they can be mailed flat with no special packaging. They are available in a whole host of different shapes, from a simple cube to pop-up diamonds, pyramids or balls. You could even include a pop-up cardboard house! They can be printed with a logo or photo, used to advertise a particular event or even made into a desk calendar. Functional pop-ups such as pen holders or desk tidies are particularly effective as they are useful, guaranteeing them a longer shelf-life on a client's desk. There are also plenty of other printed products you could use as promotional brochures that are both innovative and sufficiently light to be posted. Swatch cards, carry and keep cards or fold-out map-style pamphlets are all excellent ways to impart a lot of information that can be folded away and carried as very small pocket-sized documents.
Promotional items don't need to be large or heavy to make an impact. Small can be very beautiful and just as effective at getting your message across to your target market, in addition to keeping your mailing costs down.
Finding the Perfect Corporate Christmas Gifts
Sending corporate gifts can be an integral part of your company's marketing strategy, helping to raise your profile and attract new business. They are also a great way to foster new and existing business relationships by showing appreciation for those individuals and companies you work alongside. Christmas is a popular time for sending gifts to clients, so start thinking about your perfect presents now.
Make It Special
Although an overly extravagant gift can be misconstrued and potentially make the recipient uncomfortable, sending something too cheap gives entirely the wrong message too. Gifts that advertise your company can be a good idea, providing they are of a decent quality. Bear in mind that almost everyone produces company calendars so they are low on novelty value and impact. A plastic company pen is unlikely to make much of an impression, but if your firm produces high-quality luxury goods these can be a good option. Think about the intended recipient – do they have any hobbies that you know of that could be the basis for a good gift? Do they travel extensively, read lots of books or play a particular sport? If you are sending lots of corporate gifts then it might be easier to choose one item that is likely to appeal to a wide range of people. An attractive notebook is always useful and can be discreetly branded with your company's logo as a subtle reminder of the sender. If you produce technical equipment, what about samples of your latest gadget or accessory? Not only will this make your gift stand out from the crowd, but it can also be a good way to start building up some hype prior to your product launch.
Food for Thought
Wine and chocolates are among the most popular Christmas gifts to send. But although these are nice enough, they are hardly original and suggest that not much time and effort has been spent on finding fabulous presents. Chocolate won't be appreciated by a diabetic and alcohol may not be appropriate for cultural or religious reasons. If you do want to send an edible gift, what about some produce local to your area, such as an interesting cordial or special cheese? Don't forget to consider how your gift will be packaged and how long it might be until it is opened to avoid giving the recipient a very unwelcome surprise.
The right corporate Christmas gift will help you and your company make a good impression on any existing or prospective clients, hopefully ensuring they think favourably of you over the coming year.
Fun with Promotional Toys and Games
When choosing what promotional items would best suit your company, it is important to consider what type of image you want to portray. The right product will give potential customers a good idea of what kind of company you are, from serious and professional to quirky and exciting. If you want to show off your firm's fun side, then branded toys and games can be a great idea.
Little gifts that can keep the kids entertained can be invaluable to parents, so puzzle books, colouring sheets and crayon sets will always be in demand. Plastic square sliding puzzles can be printed with a picture relevant to your business and are great to keep little hands busy. Designing and producing a bespoke jigsaw puzzle is easier than you might think. You could choose a picture associated with your business, use a photo of any interesting office locations and even include your company logo.
One of the simplest yet most effective types of promotional item is the humble ball. Whether you choose small bouncy ones, large inflatable beach ones or simple plastic footballs, they appeal to kids everywhere. Water pistols would make an appealing giveaway during the summer months. Other sporting goods that make effective promotional products include Frisbees, golf balls, mini boomerangs, yo-yos, table tennis sets or even plastic cricket bats. Not only are these items fun, but they are a good way to encourage kids to be active, in turn reinforcing a positive message about your company.
It's not just young ones who enjoy getting their hands on a new game – there's plenty of fun for grown-ups too. The classic stress toy is an executive must-have and can be made into just about any shape imaginable. From different types of fruit to exotic animals or even modes of transport, this little gismo can be incorporated into virtually any marketing strategy. Fun and quirky, these novelty items are often kept on recipients' desks, making them a good way to keep your company at the forefront of their mind. For a more practical gift, what about a branded key ring? Useful little gadgets are rarely thrown away so these represent a great marketing opportunity.
Ensure your company really stands out by commissioning some unusual promotional items. Games or toys appeal to potential customers of all generations, so let your firm show off its quirky qualities and make a lasting impression.
Does Your SMB Need a Loyalty Scheme?
We're used to big businesses running loyalty schemes, with rewards ranging from corporate gifts and money-off vouchers to free products. But they are not just the preserve of multi-national corporations such as supermarkets and global coffee-shop chains. Even small and medium-sized businesses can find the introduction of a loyalty scheme a useful addition to their marketing strategy.
What Are the Benefits?
The main advantage of a loyalty scheme is that it encourages more frequent customer visits, alongside increased consumer spending. Not only are customers more likely to use your products or services over a competitor's, but they are likely to buy more than they might otherwise in order to qualify for potential rewards. Additionally, a loyalty scheme demonstrates your appreciation of your customer's decision to choose your particular company. You reward them, they feel more positively about your firm and this in turn is likely to lead to repeat business from them and new business as they recommend you to their friends. And so it goes on.
What Type of Scheme to Use?
The kinds of loyalty bonuses or corporate gifts you offer largely depend on the types of goods and services that you provide. For example, a popular loyalty scheme among coffee shops is to stamp a business card every time a purchase is made. Once a customer has bought nine coffees, they get the tenth for free. An alternative option might be to introduce a scheme where a customer receives bonus points every time they spend money, such as a point for every pound spent. Once a certain target has been reached, you could offer a cash-back incentive, such as a five pound discount once they have accrued 100 points.
A successful loyalty scheme has to be worthwhile for both the customer and the business. If the rewards are not sufficiently enticing, then they will not encourage new customers. Stamped business cards are easy to implement but potentially simple to forge – ensure your company uses a custom-designed stamp to prevent fraud. It is also difficult to monitor the success of a paper-based system such as this. Another option is to subscribe to a company that specialises in providing digital loyalty systems. These utilise new technology such as smartphones and swipe cards. Not only do these make it much easier to track customer data and assess the efficacy of your loyalty scheme, but they give even small businesses a high-end, professional feel.
Implementing a loyalty scheme is easier than you might think and can lead to great rewards for both your customers and your business.
Sponsorship Opportunities to Give You That Festival Feeling
Whether you're a business looking for ways to raise your profile or the organiser of a local event, you will find that festivals, fetes or concerts provide plenty of opportunities for sponsorship. If you want to boost your marketing strategy and attract new customers, branded promotional items such as lanyards or goody bags will help you get your business message out to a wider audience. And for event organisers, sponsors can provide much-needed revenue. So what are some of the options?
There are lots of items that can be sponsored or branded at festivals. For example, attendees may have to carry passes with them, so lanyards printed with your company name and given to each festival-goer on arrival would be useful. Some festival or concerts give people wristbands to wear so they can come and go freely without having to continually show tickets – these can also be sponsored. If it's a food, craft or Christmas festival where people might be buying lots of things, supplying carrier bags with your logo on could be an option. T-shirts or sweatshirts with a list of the performing bands are always popular at music festivals.
Organisers of a concert will usually produce a programme which sponsors are welcome to take advertising space in. Think about including a voucher code or money-off coupon along with your text to attract new business. Is there a refreshment tent? Or a seating area? These are both places that you could offer to sponsor in exchange for banners advertising your company. You might even be able to have your firm's logo on advertising for the event itself. Getting your company name on the event posters is one way to attract new customers, but there are lots of other places to advertise. Intimate media, otherwise known as posters in toilets, can be a novel way to get your message across. Virtually everyone who attends an event will need to pay a visit at some point, so you have a unique opportunity to promote your brand. Whether you hang posters by the washbasins or on the back of the cubicle door of a Portaloo, this type of advertising will reach a wide range of people.
There are plenty of ways for potential sponsors to get involved in local events. From giveaways of promotional items to advertising in the event programme, this type of sponsorship can be a valuable addition to any firm's marketing strategy.
Getting the Most from Your Exhibition Stand
Taking a stand at an exhibition or trade show is a great way to promote your company. Since you are likely to be investing a fair proportion of your marketing budget in the venture, it's vital to get the most from the experience. Careful preparation before the event will ensure everything runs smoothly.
There is no point in spending money on a stand if you are unlikely to reach new customers. Make sure the attendees are the type of people who fit the profile of your target market. Reserving a spot as early as possible will give you the most choice of location, although sometimes there are discounts for late booking if there are still spaces available. Study the floor plans and pick a spot in a busy part of the exhibition. A space near the entrance, the catering or even the toilets will ensure high levels of traffic. Alternatively, choose a spot near a large company that you know will have a popular and busy stand to hopefully pick up some of their passing trade.
If there is an exhibitor manual, make sure you read this thoroughly. It will contain logistical details of everything from furniture hire and parking passes to how to order your shell scheme and fascia. Filling in the appropriate forms in good time will make things run more efficiently. If you have a large exhibition space, don't forget that adding in a seating area can attract more visitors to your stand. Design and produce all banners, brochures and promotional products that you will need. Look into any potential sponsorship opportunities to maximise your presence at the show.
Get It Right On-Site
Working on an exhibition stand can be tiring, as the days are very long. Wear smart clothes and comfortable shoes. Ideally, there should be at least two people working on the stand so each has the opportunity for breaks. Have snacks on hand as the catering stands will probably be very busy, and don't forget to drink lots of water as exhibition halls are typically quite warm. The main purpose of exhibiting is to make new business contacts, so don't forget to collect as many contact details as possible. Larger trade shows often offer electronic lead-retrieval systems that scan attendees' badges – this is a quick and simple way of gathering information for your client database.
Exhibiting is a fun and effective way to target new customers. Ensure you prepare thoroughly, choose good promotional products as giveaways and you will be on course for a successful event.
The Best Techie Giveaways
When it comes to choosing the perfect promotional items for your company, there are a few issues to consider. Who are you hoping to attract to your company? What kind of items will appeal to them? And what does your chosen item say about your business? To demonstrate your firm's up-to-the-minute credentials, here are some great ideas for gadget giveaways.
Virtually everyone enjoys taking photos so any kind of product related to this makes a popular giveaway. Memory cards can be branded with your company name and will always be useful. A successful promotional product is not only appealing but also has some kind of function. This ensures that potential clients will hang on to it, giving them more time to absorb your company message. A storage pouch or wallet for memory cards is also a neat idea. If you're looking for something a little larger, a digital photo frame is a great option and could even feature a small copy of your company logo.
Devices associated with computing are among the best options as they are versatile and attractive to such a large target market. USB memory sticks and flash drives are used by almost everyone and make a handy little giveaway. Many people use a laptop at home but the majority of offices still retain desktop computers, so a wireless mouse is a useful little gizmo. You could always pair this with a customised mouse mat to reinforce your message. The prevalence of mobile phones also provides plenty of opportunities for sponsorship. For something really different, emergency phone chargers that can accommodate a variety of different models are a fabulous idea. Another invaluable gadget is the mini SIM back-up system – these would be great to brand with your company details.
If you want to attract new clients interested in modern technology, branded headphones are sure to be a success. Stored in a handy plastic case, these would be the perfect tool to reach busy professionals and teenagers alike. MP3 players or miniature voice recorders are both fun and functional. It's even possible to have your company logo on a compilation CD, which makes for a memorable and unusual promotional product.
GThere are some amazing nifty gadgets to choose from that make interesting giveaways. So whether you need small promotional items to give as freebies at an exhibition or larger branded items to present to clients, think outside the box and create a memorable impression
Company Gifts – Crossing the Cultural Divide
The exchanging of corporate gifts serves many functions – to improve relationships, thank staff for their hard work and to even raise your company's standing within the industry. Choosing the perfect present is tricky enough but when there are additional cultural issues to be sensitive to, it can feel overwhelming. Here are just a few pointers to consider when giving a cross-cultural business gift.
Sometimes it is easy to recognise when a gift might be inappropriate — for example, giving alcohol to a Muslim. However, ensure you do not accidentally cause offence with an ill-considered present. A leather briefcase would be a bad choice of gift in India, where cows are regarded as sacred animals. Make sure to do some research first. In some cultures it is the custom to give increasingly lavish gifts, whereas other countries would regard this as boastful. Anything that is overly personal, such as clothing, is best avoided. Something tasteful that represents your country or business is a good choice, providing it is not too heavily branded with your company logo.
Wrap It Right
Every aspect of international gift giving should be carefully thought out, including the packaging. Some countries tend not to wrap gifts but as a general rule it is more advisable to do so. Black paper is best avoided for its sombre overtones but in many Asian countries the colour white is also associated with mourning. Red paper, however, is considered very lucky and would be looked upon more favourably. Including a card or leaflet about the gift, particularly if it reflects your region or is especially unusual, can also be a nice touch. Remember that international corporate gifts need to travel well, so should be portable, durable and guaranteed not to cause an issue with customs or airport security.
Different cultures have different ways of physically giving a gift – in Japan, gifts should be given and received with both hands, rather than just one. In Singapore, it is usual to refuse a gift several times before accepting, but even once taken the gift would be opened away from the giver so as not to appear greedy. However, in Italy the recipient would open the gift immediately in order to express their thanks.
Ensuring you have carefully researched the protocol for giving cross-cultural gifts will not only help you make a more favourable impression, but also minimises the unfortunate possibility of inadvertently causing offence to your valued clients.