Thursday, February 12, 2009

Gift Giving Savvy

Gift-giving customs vary from culture to culture. What may be considered culturally savvy in one culture often becomes a cultural faux pas in another culture. Not only do customs vary from culture to culture, but the importance placed on exchanging gifts, and the protocol associated with giving, will vary.

It is important to understand how various countries view gift giving. Gifts may be viewed as thoughtful gestures, generosity, business development & promotion, bribery, or payment for special favours.

Importance of Gifts by Regions
As a general rule, countries/regions fall into categories based on the importance they place on gift giving protocol.

High priority - Japan

Medium priority - Pacific Rim: South Korea, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, The Philippines, Hong Kong, and Singapore
The Middle East, Latin America


Low priority - United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, South Africa


Why Do People Give Gifts?
People give gifts for a variety of reasons...
To build and maintain personal or business relationships
To promote business products or services
To enhance the image and reputation of the company
To show appreciation
To show respect
To express an apology
To encourage or motivate
To celebrate or congratulate
To acknowledge your host


The Importance of Business Gifts
With few exceptions, good business relationships are built upon strong personal relationships. In Asian and Latin American countries, in particular, relationships are key to business success.

Cultural Savvy Recommendations
Research the cultural do's and taboos for each of the cultures in which you do business. Consider the following:
Status and title of people receiving gifts - Type & cost of gifts
Relationship to people receiving gifts - Wrapping gifts
Protocol of presenting gifts - Gift taboos
Protocol of receiving gifts - Reciprocity

Prepare a list of items that represent your local culture, region, country, company. Keep a detailed list of gifts that you have presented, and the names of recipients. Duplicating gifts shows lack of thoughtfulness. Keep a detailed list of gifts you have received. This is very helpful when preparing thank you letters, and it is an excellent way to evaluate relationships.

Provide cultural training for employees who are responsible for making gift selections, and/or, work with cultural experts that can make suggestions, or review your corporate gift giving programs.
Gift in a Box supplies a stunning selection of on line gifts for all your gifting requirements. Log onto our web page www.giftinabox.co.za to view.

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