Besides many other gifts, New Year also showers diaries and calendars from business associates. Each year, corporates look out for innovative products to gift their associates, which would be in sync with their brand identity. Hence it comes as no surprise that corporate gifting is today regarded as a fantastic marketing tool. For an existing client, it helps in strengthening the relationship, while it is the best way to create an indelible impact about the organisation for the potential client.
The corporate gifting industry in itself is still unorganised, although the market size is vast. Pramod Arora, Joint Managing Director, Archies, which is the leader in the social expression industry with over 50 per cent market share in the gifting sector, said, “One cannot put a figure to the market size of the corporate gifting industry. We have realised the potential in the market and our range of offering would suit all budgets and industries all throughout the year.”
Traditional corporate gifts continue to be calendars and diaries, but with today’s changing scenario, there are a wide variety of categories to choose from – cufflinks, poker sets, traditional chess sets, barware items, wine gift set, cigar case, etc. According to Vinod Jain, Managing Director, Magppie, there was no fixed benchmark to choose gifts. “It depends totally on the one who is gifting, and the category that one is looking at. There was a time when typical utility gifts were in demand, but today people look for products that are different. Even diaries and calendars, which are still popular, have taken a different twist and they have a lifestyle appeal.”
Suresh Selvaraj, Vice President, Outlook Group, is of the opinion that something to keep one’s brand on top of the mind of client stood to be the ideal gift. “It should be something that he or she looks at day in and day out. Personalised diary and desktop calendars still remain the favourite, though one gets these in hordes. The trick is to make it unique, user-friendly, simple and attractive. We give a simple Outlook Diary and are pleased to know that many people do actually use them on a daily basis.”
As per a Nielsen Company survey, the gifting budget of majority of Indian consumers has increased over the past two years and is likely to increase further over the next two years. Said NS Muthukumaran, Director-Online Panel, The Nielsen Company India, “Rising disposable incomes and an overall improvement in lifestyle among Indian consumers are reflected in their gifting attitudes.”
Archies’ corporate gifts range from Rs 165-12,999 to suit all budgets and requirements. Commenting on the budget allocation, Magppie’s Jain said, “It varies from company to company. The range starts from Rs 500 and can go up to Rs 26,000.” However, Veer Kaul, COO, Art d’inox, said, “Corporate gifting basically takes place among business-to-business associations, and companies ideally earmark three per cent of their annual sales for gifting.”
Kaul explained that earlier, corporate gifts were regarded as bribes, although that has changed now. “Now it is seen as an engagement, a part and parcel of building a relationship.” While Jain puts it as, “It’s the human resources that contribute to the success of any organisation, and this is another occasion to make the contributing members feel important and special. It’s a way of saying thanks to everyone for their contribution.”
Selvaraj throws in another perspective. “As much as the trend is veering towards expensive gifts and pampering, there is also a flip side to it, as business decisions do not sway with the size or the value of such corporate gifts.”