Listed below are a few suggestions to avoid in the gift giving arena. Make an attempt to steer clear from some of these examples, and it really should keep you off the "Bad Gift Giver" list this season!
( In decreasing order, one being the most awful )
10. Inadequately Funded Gift Cards or Certificates
Certainly one of the most negative encounters I've had, was getting a $20 gift card to an expensive shop, merely to realize that I couldn't purchase one item in the shop with that amount of money. Almost everything in the shop was a lot more than $20. As I searched around for a little something I could toss some extra money in for, I said to myself "Didn't someone in management really know what kind of shop this was?" It just simply didn't make the management seem like the brightest of individuals. If perhaps your financial budget is strapped, try to find a few other innovative ways to gift this season. The $10 gift card probably will not produce the big impression you're looking for.
9. The Branded Polo Shirt
I have to acknowledge that this isn't the most awful gift to give someone. Nevertheless, gifting any kind of apparel is always a gift risk. The typical "small" may totally swallow a very small woman, whilst the largest sized extra large may become a midriff to a big fella. And if it's the completely wrong color, forget about it. That polo will likely be thrown in the Salvation Army bin and then forgotten easily!
8. Business Mugs
I can't think of exactly why this isn't a very good present besides the reality that my cupboard is over-flowing with logo'd mugs. I always have clean mugs sitting within my cupboard regardless of how much coffee or tea I consume. They are constantly sitting there taking up space or room. In fact, if I get one more logo'd mug I may just lose it entirely. Enough said.
7. "Scaling Down" your gifts
Everyone knows that financial budgets are tight nowadays, but don't make it totally obvious in your gift giving. Whenever a corporation starts out giving away wonderful gifts, and then scales all the way down to grandma's knitted booty's, it results in a bitter taste in the mouths of the recipients. Allow me to give you a good example:
2008- $ MP3 players for everybody! Whoo-hoo!
2009- $ 20 Supermarket Gift Card
2010- $ A company Logo'd Pen and Pad set.
See what I am talking about? Sort of deflating right? Work with your financial budget, thoroughly crunch the figures and then get imaginative with your gift giving. Don't leave your recipients eager for more.
6. The USB drive
For me personally, I adore getting USB drives! That's due to the fact I'm a want to be IT nerd. Nevertheless, I realize that everybody else is not! Many people who get USB drives don't actually make use of them. They wind up jammed in the back of the desk someplace gathering dirt and dust. And individuals that DO use them, devote the majority of the time formatting them to get the company advertisements eradicated to make more space! Truthfully, unless you are employed in the IT industry, USB drives don't make the best of gifts.
5. The Calendar
Most likely, most people in the corporate and business world are already making use of a completely functional calendar. They most likely aren't looking for yet another one with your company logo on it. Calendars are okay as an additional "throw in gift" from time to time, but as a holiday gift, it leaves a lot to be desired.
4. The Mousepad
The average person is not really looking for a mousepad. And with laptop sales increasing, they won't need one in the foreseeable future either. Somebody got creative once and provided me a notepad/mousepad combination one year. I seriously can't tell you exactly where that thing is right now.
3. The Paperweight
Now, maybe I am just way too young to know ( I very seriously doubt it ), but when were paper weights ever actually needed? A large amount of corporate execs work inside, and so I can't really see the need for a paper weight inside a business office. My only memory of paperweights is messing around with them on my father's desk when I was growing up. Apart from that, I genuinely can't think of a practical use for one. A doorstop perhaps?
2. The Logo'd Pen
Ah yes, the notorious logo'd pen. It usually seems like a good idea to the OWNER of the company that the pen is on, however for the receiver here are the standard numerous uses:
- The pen which is usually left on the counter to take messages
- The pen which is left in the car, just in case
- The pen which is not remembered after it is received, and left on the desk of the individual who gave them the pen.
1. Stress Ball
Last but not least, the most awful gift to give is a logo'd stress ball. Now I am certain that you don't want your brand/logo connected with stress. As a matter of fact, it's sort of ironic to many employees when they receive stress balls from their employers. It may be interpreted as a means of reducing existing employer imposed pressure, or maybe a whole lot worse, giving a stress ball as a gift says: "Hey, take this stress ball, you'll need it for what's coming!"- Not a very good message to send your employees!
Of course, this entire list is my slanted viewpoint on exactly what bad corporate gifts are, however I'm open to suggestions. What are your views? Better still, what is actually the positively most awful corporate gift you've ever received? Leave your feedback below! I will enjoy hearing from you!
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What about you - what's the worst Christmas gift you've received?