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The Official TCMPi Blog

TCMPiWould You Even Consider Giving Gifts Like These?


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The Official TCMPi Blog

A collection of gifts you would probably never give – but someone did.

We all have our personal preferences when it comes to gift giving and gift getting. Even faceless corporations generally have some guidelines as to what’s an appropriate gift both from brand image and financial perspectives. But sometimes things go awry.

Gifts that were just plain wrong

Believe it or not, the list of “what were they thinking” corporate gifts has included things like live snakes and amphibians, rocks, used candles, live bees and chocolate covered ants, pigeons, sledge hammers and memberships to weight-loss clinics. Perhaps the most outlandish was the dentist who sent some of his patients paperweights made from the casts of their mouths. Nothing like a replica of your gums to anchor those papers, eh?

Gifts that did not say “when you care to send the very best”

On the other hand there are gifts that, while not overtly wrong, definitely send the wrong message. Tops among these are gift cards for absurdly small amounts or to ridiculously high-end stores, cheap merchandise with little or no value (often imprinted with the giver’s logo), and damaged or out dated goods. You have to wonder about the wisdom of the company that sent food baskets of “gourmet” soups and crackers clearly showing an expiration date of two years prior.

Gifts that stretched the budget – and the relationship

At the other end of the spectrum are the gifts that are over-the-top and therefore viewed askance. Paid-for vacation cruises, motorcycles, no-holds-barred shopping sprees, cars, country club memberships and the like have all found their way onto corporate gift lists. While generous, such gifts are often viewed as too extravagant at best and as bribes at worst.

In the final analysis, when it comes to gift giving, companies must think twice. Gift giving is supposed to show appreciation. When they do, they create a lasting impression of goodwill. When they show a lack of thought or sincerity, they also make a lasting impression, but not a good one. Better to give no gift at all than one that is inappropriate.

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