Saturday, 3 October 2015

Gifts to Employees: Should you do Branding on All Gifts

I have come across people who would like to do branding on anything which is available on earth. While you love your brand and there is nothing wrong in it. However when you are Gifting to Employees (also Gifts to Clients), you should be very careful. Sometimes, it becomes counter-productive. Remember over-doing something is always harmful. I again recommend that Put Yourself in Employees' shoes and see if they really want branding on each and every Gift they receive from an Organisation.

Put Yourself in Employees' shoes and see if they really want branding on each and every Gift they receive from an Organisation

I would like to highlight one story here. Recently an organisation bought Wrist watches from us for Gifting to their Employees on completion of their targets. They asked me if we can print their Logo (Branding) on the Wrist watches. We said "Certainly, Yes". However I asked why do you want branding on wrist watches. The purposes highlighted to me was:

  • Brand Association
  • Employees Engagement with Organisation
  • Visibility of the Brand (Marketing)

Absolutely fine. Then, I asked a simple Question. 
If you want to go to a marriage of your Brother-In-Law, Will your Wife allow you to wear this watch? 
If you want to go to a marriage of your Brother-In-Law, Will your Wife allow you to wear this watch?

There was a pin drop silence. You will certainly not wear the watch with your Company Logo in your family function. Then how does it serve your purposes mentioned above. None of them are getting fulfilled, as Wrist watch will stay only in Cupboard.

How do we Decide which product should have branding (printing Logo)?

The answer is simple. Check if your Gift will be used during Office hours  or not. If the answer is Yes, please go ahead and do branding (Logo printing). If answer is No or partially No, avoid doing any branding on the gift. It will be counter-productive and Gift may never be used by Your Employee. Remember, Employees have their Professional Life as well as Personal Life. They will never like to mix both these life. So when they are in office, they would like to give their 100% and ‘Brand Association’ will work. But if they are living personal life, they would like to have some space from Brand Association.

How do we solve our purpose?

In the case quoted above, We need to ask few questions. If I give a Branded Wrist Watch to an Employee without any Logo printing, what are the chances that

  • Employee will remember who has gifted this
  • Employee will use it in Personal life as well as Professional life
Employee will never forget that the Wrist watch was provided by Your Organisation. He will wear the watch everywhere, even in his Brother-In-Law’s marriage. He will also talk about Your Gift to others, proudly.

So I asked my client to look back to the purposes.

  • Brand Association. Whenever Employee wears the watch, he will remember that this was gifted by your Organisation, irrespective of where he is. This is true even after many years. So there is a Long Term Brand Association.
  • Employees Engagement with Organisation. When he wears Wrist Watch, he will also remember about his contributions to the organisation and the appreciation received from you. So this purpose is also solved
  • Visibility of the Brand (Marketing). Whenever he will meet any of his family, friends, associates, it is very likely that he will quote this watch was gifted by your Organisation.
So in effect, all the purposes are met without doing branding. While if you do branding, it will become counter-productive, as Employee will try to avoid wearing the watch.
All the Purposes are met Without Doing Branding. While, if you do Branding, it will become counter-productive.
It is also important to note that when you Buy Branded products, many companies have policies of not allowing co-branding. While none of us will have access to these policies, you will invite unnecessary legal tussles.

So do not worry. Next time, whenever you pick your Corporate Gift for Employees (or Gift for Clients), ask simple question – “Whether the Gift will be consumed in Office or in personal life” and you have your answer.

Thank You

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