What to Know About Sending Corporate Gifts to the USA

From chocolate chips to drones and the world’s most used search engine, a plethora of genius products have emerged from US soil, gained global relevance, and made their way to shelves and warehouses halfway across the globe. As a result, the United States of America remains one of the epicenters of the modern corporate gifting traditions the world has come to embrace.

Now, how does one wow your US-based associates and staff with gifts when they have everything right in their backyards? Exactly! Through this article, we’ll explore some elements of the diverse US corporate gifting culture and look at ways that you can leave a lasting impression on your recipients when sending gifts to the USA without seeming too generic. Read on for some valuable insights. 

Chances are, they’ve seen it before, so make it special!

As brightly highlighted above, the USA is the world’s creative and corporate hub, and the chances of more than half of a random gift basket’s contents being of US origin are incredibly high, so curating gift options for your US recipients may prove a tad difficult. There are, however, ways to remedy the familiarity and have your gifts yield the desired effects. Let’s explore some. 

I. The magic is in the messaging

Plain and simple! More often than not, the personal touch that turns an ordinary glass gift into the recipient’s most loved drinking glass is the messaging. When well-conveyed, the message accompanying a gift can trigger positive emotional and psychological responses and change the recipient’s general outlook regarding the actual gift items. With the right messaging, a Parker pen that is only distinguishable by its markings can become an associate’s favorite out of their entire collection.

II. Send corporate gifts that highlight your services

You’re correct in stopping to think whether the gift item you’re opting for has been sent to your prospect a few times. Remember familiarity? However, it is important to remember to communicate your business offerings through your gifts, no matter how repetitive you reckon they are. Manufacture organic cocoa products and looking to be named the official supplier for a well-staffed company? Send them chocolate bars in the shape of their company logo or the Directors’ initials. The difference is in the detail. 

III. As moderately as possible, add a ‘personal’ element to your gifts

Now that the international corporate world has shifted toward establishing work-life vs. home-life scales that assist their workforces to better deal with the stresses and restrictions that emerged with the pandemic, the lines that separate personal and professional life have become blurry. As a result, corporate gifts are no longer limited to cups, pens, and branded merch – they can become personal too (all within reason and adhering to restrictions, of course). Decision-makers now sit in their home offices instead of board rooms, so the gifts need to address this change. A new set of golf balls for an amateur golf enthusiast associate, a witty “Knock, it’s still an office” home office door sign for a prospect, and a family snack basket to rekindle a business relationship with a former client. Familiar items, endless gifting possibilities. 

IV. Make your gifts season/occasion relevant when sending gifts to the USA

The American holiday calendar is as colorful as the gifts exchanged during commemorations. From Martin Luther King Jnr Day to Juneteenth, and all the way up to Thanksgiving and the festive season, there are more than enough occasions to tap into when curating gifts for your US-based associates, prospects, and staff. Do, however, remember that there are minority groups that commemorate during non-federal holidays, so sending a ‘Ramadan Kareem’ to a US-based associate that observes Ramadan is sure to leave a lasting impression on them. Below are some holidays during which to consider sending your gifts:

Public holidays in the USA

  • Memorial Day- May 31
  • New Year – January 1
  • Independence Day – July 5
  • Valentine’s Day – February 14
  • Halloween – October 31
  • Thanksgiving – Fourth Thursday in November

Christian Holidays in the USA

  • Christmas – December 25
  • Easter

Jewish Holidays in the USA

  • Hanukkah
  • Purim
  • Passover

Muslim Holidays in the USA

  • Ramadan
  • Eid Al-Fitr
  • Eid Al-Adha

As far as possible, however, be mindful of policy-backed restrictions regarding some gift types. Some corporations do not allow their staff members to receive gifts of exorbitant value, alcohol gifts, or those with religious or political connotations. With Giftsenda, however, you can cut out the possibilities of unknowingly bending policy by allowing your recipients to consent to receive your gifts, choose what these gifts are, and when to receive them. 

Other US corporate gift-giving etiquette you should know:

  • Gifts are usually opened immediately and shown to everyone in attendance.
  • While Christmas is the most widely celebrated holiday in December, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are also an excellent time for sending gifts to people who observe those.
  • Flowers and wine are great choices for gifts.
  • Gifts such as clothing or perfume are considered very personal and shouldn’t be sent to business associates, prospects or staff. 
  • There are a TON of different cultures in America, and while this is a general outline, keep in mind the customs and traditions of your recipient.
  • It’s the thought that counts. Most Americans aren’t worried about the monetary value of your gift.
  • Your recipients will appreciate unique gifts from other regions. So do consider ornaments, art pieces and symbols as options when sending gifts to the USA. 

Ready to get started with corporate gifting on a global scale? Book a 30 minute demo with one of our Gift Campaign Managers to see how our gifting platform works and to get access to a free trial.