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BEST PRACTICE: Business gifts

Business gifts can be anything. Literally anything. Their value in the recipient's mind has little to do with cost, which may be anything from a few pounds to a few hundred, but far more to do with innovation and practicality. In a national survey carried out by business gift company Source-e in April, 82 per cent of recipients kept an item they were given as a business gift, while 52 per cent purchased from a company whose branded gift was visible on their desk. The real power of business giving is the thought behind the gift, the consideration and creativeness of the giver and the way gifts are used within a business's overall marketing strategy.

Business gifts can be used to create awareness; communicate a specific business message; increase or strengthen brand recognition; thank customers, partners and staff; tempt customers to use products or services; recognise ongoing business; remind staff and customers of a company's qualities and long-term ideals, and welcome customers,staff and support sales, in particular resellers and distributors.

Because of their versatility business gifts are used not only by marketers but also by a wide variety of executive staff including HR departments, general managers, despatch managers and executive PAs.