Made up of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom is a northwestern European island nation that’s so strategically centered, it kisses the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel, as well as the Celtic and Irish seas – with a single inland border separating Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland. It boasts an incredible mix of traditions and modernity and stands firmly as one of the world’s most stable constitutional monarchs.
The United Kingdom continues to solidify its rankings in both modern and ancient history; is home to some of history’s biggest and most celebrated soccer teams; has and continues to play a role in the shaping and forming of current judicial, economic, religious, political, and social norms, and is home to some of history’s most decorated literary writers and philosophers: Plato, Karl Marx, and the all-too-familiar William Shakespeare, among others.
As proven leaders in trade, the British have developed silent rules and norms that help them navigate business and its consequential relationships in a lighthearted yet effective and lucrative manner. While there are quirks and nuances Brits harbor, they are a generally pleasant bunch and require very little to no observation of customs to initiate contact and conduct business with them.
In this blog, we look at the British corporate gifting culture and highlight ways that you can wow your clients, staff, and prospects by sending gifts to the UK without seeming too culture-focused or generic.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Sending Gifts to the UK
Above and beyond their diverse culture, politics, Big Ben, a century-old love of tea, and the red telephone, British people value giving in the most general sense, and while not too much emphasis is placed on the gift exchange ritual, there are gifting standards to adhere to, and business etiquette to uphold. As such, it’s vital for anyone with corporate interests in the United Kingdom to understand this culture and be wary of the do’s and don’ts. Let’s look at a few.
DO wait until the business is concluded and deals are closed before offering large and expensive gifts. This way, you do not lead your associates to believe you’re bribing them or are in a hurry to close a deal. Being too hasty is considered distasteful and warrants distrust.
DO offer your British staff, associates, and clients holiday-based gifts. They are big on holidays and will most certainly appreciate symbolic gifts.
DO offer gifts of all types. The British don’t have too many rules governing acceptable items. As long as the gift offers reflect kindness and aren’t too personal or suggestive, gift away!
DO offer gift tokens to all of your associates or staff. It is considered rude and a sign of inequality to offer gifts to only a select few. There are exceptions to this rule, however. Individual gifts may be offered for birthdays, anniversaries, and people-specific celebrations.
DON’T offer gifts that are too pricey, personal, or suggestive.
DON’T offer gifts with religious or political connotations. Be as neutral as possible in your gift choices.
DO offer gifts with company logos on them, but be tactical about it. While adding a logo to your gifts might seem logical to increase brand awareness, you need to keep in mind that some gifts are meant to be about the recipient, and that adding logos might take away from this sentiment. When you use branded gifts will depend on the occasion, but opt for personalized gifts instead, when possible.
When launching a corporate gifting campaign targeted at your UK-based associates, staff, and prospects, it is paramount to make the experience the focus of the exchange, and not so much on the value of the item. The purpose of the gift far outweighs the gift itself, so make sure that gifts trigger emotions, offer an experience, and introduce new ideas (without taking the shape of a sales pitch).
Make Use of Public Holidays for Tactical Gifting
March 22 – April 25 – Easter
May 1st Monday – May Day
May 2nd Sunday – Mother’s Day
May 31 – Spring Bank Holiday
June 3d Sunday – Father’s Day
July 13 – Orangemen’s Day
August last Monday – Summer Bank Holiday
October 31 – Halloween
November 1 – All Saints Day
November 30 – St. Andrew’s Day
December 25 – Christmas Day
January 1 – New Year’s Day
February 14 – Valentine’s Day
April 2 – Good Friday
Why Use a Corporate Gifting Platform?
When launching your campaigns through the Giftsenda corporate gifting platform, guesswork is eliminated from the process, and you can be sure that culturally inappropriate gifts will not make it into your cart. This is because:
- The Giftsenda team has 20 years of international gift delivery experience and a deep understanding of the gifting cultures, norms, and traditions of every region we service.
- Gift items are sourced locally. This way, items align with cultural preferences and adhere to general gifting etiquette rules.
- Recipients have an option to choose from a variety of gift items available in our Gift Catalog and this eliminates chances of inappropriate or offensive gift item selections.
- Recipients can either accept, swap, or donate their gift items when you use free-choice gift links.
- Gift offers can be sent electronically and without the need for actual home addresses. This way, a sense of formality is preserved, and recipients can decide where these are to be delivered.
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.