6 point checklist to see if your product is an ideal corporate gift or not!

Want to offer your product as a corporate gift – read this first!

With the corporate gifting market almost doubling every year, there is an increasing hunger among most product makers to enter their product on a corporate gifting catalogue some how. I say some how, because I see blind desperation in their language, their emails and even the way they present themselves. Having been in the corporate gifting industry since 1997, we’ve seen the ups, downs, U-turns, bends and bumps of this journey that is so alluring that even a stationery shop at the end of the road, or housekeeping material supplier is turning into a corporate gifting outfit overnight.

The initial 15 years of the game, we projected ourselves (thegivingtree.in) as a pure environment friendly corporate gift house. Until 2012, when it became difficult to offer more products to my best clients, due to a paucity of enough new options in earth friendly gifts. No matter how much they loved our work, they were tempted to do gadgets, apparel, bags and other such products as gifts. Like any company, that wants to keep its customers happy, we did what was the most logical thing to do – expanded our offering. Since the last 5 years or so we got into all these standard corporate gifting items to keep our clients happy and to also look like a full blown corporate gift house.

That brought us to the point where every other day we are flooded with mails and calls from people wanting to sell baby food, protein bars, maternity gift sets, manicure sets, premium teas and coffees and so on. While it has given us a great opportunity to see what new products are arriving in the market, it is also overwhelming to see products that are best suited for retail also insisting that they be added to our catalog.

Can you create a product that staggers and disrupts the marketplace by the quality of its individuality, its utility and the problem solving it provides?

No matter what product you make and are keen to enter the corporate gift market, here is a quick checklist that will help you see if your product is a right fit for the corporate gift market or not.

  1. Can you deliver orders as low as 50 nos. to begin with?
    This will help you keep your inventory low, and will give the buyer a good taste of your product and service with a small quantity being ordered. Make sure your backend is robust enough to handle larger orders too.
  2. Can you deliver within a week once the order is placed?
    Understand that the corporate world is highly unorganized when it comes to doing their gifting. It’s almost as if they think a night before the event and then scramble the market for gifts.
  3. Have you worked out reseller margins?
    In this business, unless you don’t have a double digit margin to offer, it does not make commercial sense for anyone to publicize you to their customers for wafer thin margins in return.
  4. Does your product fall under the usual category of corporate gifts?
    If yes, what is your USP? Why should a buyer opt for your product as opposed to existing ones in the market? You can use success stories and testimonials for this one.
  5. Is your product a new innovation or a new idea?
    If yes, then are you ready with a story to sell it? Stories are a great way to sell a new product in the market, because remember, as humans we all resonate more with stories. If not a story, do you have your USP ready? And most importantly, why do you think a corporate company would want to buy your product? What is the demand for something like let’s say maternity gift sets? Assess the need before you take the plunge.
  6. Get real – is this the best segment for your product? 
    If your product is better suited for retail sale – it makes sense to stay away from the corporate gifting segment and dive into an online retail presence, or supply to stores that are a good fit for your product. This allows you to test the market before beefing up your production.

Remember, while the corporate gifting segment is very tempting, it comes with its risks and setbacks. Be aware, consult with a mentor, or have a real conversation with a corporate gift house to understand if your product is a good fit. Make sure you invest your time, energy and money in activities that help your product get more eye balls and sales. And this will happen when you know who is your target audience and what places do they visit often!

Leena Munot
Co-founder
The Giving Tree

3 tips to make your tea time count!

With the rainy season here, the heart naturally leaps towards that hot cup of chai every morning to get out of bed with a zing in your step and during breaks at work to help you feel rejuvenated again and get back to that pile of work waiting to get done. While there are many schools of thought around having tea and its benefits and its downsides, today, I would like to share a different benefit of having tea!

Tea time is a chance to slow down, pull back and appreciate our surroundings.

Here are a few of my favourite tips along with do’s and don’ts

Connection – Make the morning cuppa a connection time!

Don’t – Read the newspaper with your chai! It feeds your fresh mind with news about how the world is getting scammed, crime and the ugly side of politics – let’s face it, newspapers don’t focus on what good is going on in the world – on the front page!

Do – switch the newspaper-chai combo to chai-and-you or chai-and-your spouse combo. In our fast paced life, these few moments  of quiet with self or quality time with your spouse is a great way to begin the day on a positive and reflective note. If you must read at this time, then pick a book that your mind can feed off and feel inspired in the morning!

Reflect – During chai time break at work

Don’t – Have your chai at your desk and continue to work. Or even worse, meet colleagues at chai and gossip or discuss the news (interesting and uplifting conversations are welcome!)

Do – Step away from your desk, get your chai and go out for a walk in nature for a few minutes and reflect on the day gone by, enjoy the warm liquid and feel it refreshing your senses. (try tea without sugar and milk, to feel even more refreshed!). If you don’t have the luxury of green, worry not – you can still take that small stroll around the office, in the corridor, play some music on your head phones and disconnect from work for a few minutes.

Relax – The evening cuppa with your children

Don’t – Carry work or thoughts of work to your home. Park them outside and disconnect from them once you are home. Don’t use your mobile as soon you get home. (easier said than done – but so worth it, it’ll amaze you!)

Do – Connect with your children and ask them how their day has been, listen to their stories and engage in meaningful conversations to understand how they are doing and what they are thinking (listen to them while they are still excited to share, soon, they will grow up and then may not share as much)

There are a million things you could choose to do with your cuppa chai! These are my favourites, do share yours too in the comments below. You never know who may get inspired by your comment and will take it on board and feel happier! And you can indulge in a range of some great teas by clicking here! 

Leena Munot
Co-founder
The Giving Tree

 

 

 

 

3 tips to get prepared for Monsoon!!!

Come monsoon and you want to have your coffee or chai with an added dash of pakodas while enjoying the rain and some great monsoon music too. It also brings along the hassle of sudden downpours, longer traffic jams and power cuts. Here are 3 quick tips to ensure you experience the fun side of monsoon, by being well prepared.

Stay hydrated
Soon after summer, where your water intake is high, the rainy season can get you dehydrated if you suddenly cut down on your fluid intake. So ensure you continue with you 2 to 3 litres water intake daily. Avoid drinking outside water. Instead opt for your own bottle or sipper. It’s good for the environment and good for you.

Carry your rain gear
Carry a raincoat or an umbrella wherever you go and a good quality water proof backpack that ensures your laptop, phone and other important things are well protected. A bonus tip would be to carry a pair of eye wear to keep you safe while driving (if you are riding a two wheeler)

Remember the power bank!!!
The rains can put you on hold in traffic or at your workplace for longer than usual. Additionally you may also face power cuts. Get monsoon smart and carry a charged power bank on you at all times. This will help you stay connected with family with enough charge on your phone at these times.

Prep up well this monsoon, so whenever the rains hit you, you find yourself enjoying the monsoon, instead of running for cover! Before I end this blog, a quick reminder – sippers, rain coats, umbrellas, waterproof backpacks and powerbanks are all available in various sizes and with varied quality. A cheap backpack will let the rains in, a weak umbrella will fly way with the rain and a bad quality power bank may not retain enough charge to help you. Don’t be penny wise pound foolish – find a good brand that comes with quality guarantee and promised performance. If you need help finding one, you can write to us 🙂 or check out www.thegivingtree.in

Leena Munot
Co-founder
The Giving Tree

Why Calendars are a timeless option for doing New Year gifting? 

The corporate gifting market has been expanding exponentially over the last 5 years and new entrants flood the market each day. From a promotional pen that is priced at Rs. 1 to a Royal Enfield bike to an all paid one week vacation in the Bahamas….which runs into hundreds of dollars….the market has never been so overwhelmingly full with options. For an old horse like us who’ve been around for two decades we’ve seen all the cycles of this unorganized market…from pen drive hoarders going down under in one night ..thanks to fall in prices in the electronic chip market to the very basic pressure cooker and mixer sellers being forced out by new and snazzy products.

Clients are demanding more than ever – in terms of product range, high ROI, premium brands and what not. Among all the demands they have, the one item that for sure fulfills the Return On Investment criteria is a CALENDAR! The age old yet timeless and classic desktop product which still is the fastest running item despite the plethora of options.

Here is one reason, why calendars are the most sought after New Year Gifts!

This is the one gift that gives your brand a Continuous Presence for a full 12 months, if not longer. When you break down the cost over that amount of time, the price of each calendar seems nearly next to nothing, but the investment long-lasting.

This year send your calendars out to top-tier prospects in your industry to let them know that you’d love to create a mutually beneficial business relationship, thank a client, impress a new prospect or simply flaunt your brand. If you want to grow your business in an economical and effective manner, calendars are the way to go. With a new year upon us, promo calendars lead the pack all the way from the top!

http://thegivingtree.in/product-category/eco-friendly-gifts/calendars/

#business #retail #branding #planning #gifts #promo #calendars #stationery

Leena Munot
Co-Founder
The Giving Tree

 

How to buy a Diwali gift for your teams and clients this year…

Every country awaits the beginning of a festive season. In western countries it is usually around Christmas and you’ll see a buzz of activity in all retail stores, lifestyle stores, both online and offline, around that time of the year. In India, the celebration of Ganesha’s birthday (the famous Elephant head God) marks the beginning of the festive season. It also marks the onset of families and communities coming together to celebrate these festivals through some lip smacking cooking, new clothing and a whole lot of gifts.

The corporate communities have caught up with this very well in the last decade, making the corporate gifting industry go dizzy to feverish levels, by demanding for new and innovative products. Today with over millions of gifting options in the market, how do you know which one is the right one for you? Having been a main stream player in this field for over two decades, I’m excited to share my two cents on simple ways to find the right gift.

Think gift – not product
Start your search by looking for a gift – Remember that little red box gift wrapped with a ribbon, you got as a child? And you were squealing with joy and beaming smiles when you got to open it. Now hold on to that thought…that’s exactly how your recipient needs to feel when he gets your gift. The purpose of a gift is to make the recipient feel special, loved and significant. When go from this perspective, your search gets better and you start thinking more about how the person will feel when you give him / her a Bluetooth speaker, an AI enabled device, a picture frame or a box of chocolates. Try it!

Tip – Make sure you wrap the gift well and add a name tag on it! People love to see their name on a gift. Makes them feel special 🙂

Think emotion – only emotion
I know this one always faces a huge resistance. For a moment get into the recipient’s shoes and imagine getting a gift. What would it mean to touch your heart, to surprise you with the unexpected? No matter which corporate company it is and who the receiving teams are – at a basic level, your gift touches a person’s heart or it does not. It is from one person to another when you break it all down.

Tip – Inside the gift box, place a personal hand written note with genuine words of gratitude and appreciation. Happy emotions guaranteed!

Think value – not budget
Buying a gift is never about a budget – it is always about value. Even if you are the most calculative procurement head, I can challenge you to this one. When you think only budget and settle for a cheaper, sub-standard gift, in terms of performance, brand or features, I can assure you that gift is never going to be used by the recipient. It will land up in the hands-me-down list almost instantly and this rips off your chance of Return on Investment. If the recipient does not use it, your brand recall becomes non-existent.

On the other hand when you think of how the gift is going to add value to the recipient, there is a larger chance of the gift being appreciated, used and therefore serves as a great tool to grow your brand.

Tip – say no to Vouchers! Spend some time and look for that gift! Or call an expert!

Helping people and mother earth feel special is what we do, all day long! And that’s why we love what we do.

Leena Munot
Entrepreneur I Blogger

 

Why T-shirts are a classic promo gift choice!

We live in a day and age of constant struggle to keep our brand in the top of our customer’s mind. Companies across the world spend millions of dollars each year towards this one end. Why? The answer is simple. People are looking for a solution to address a certain need, desire or problem, almost on a daily basis. If your product or service satisfies these, then you ought to be the first person people think of. And how do you achieve that top place in their mind? By regularly indulging in various activities like personal meetings, seminars, exhibitions, networking events, social media and promotional gifts.

While speaking of promotional gifts the markets are flooded with a plethora of options that you can choose from. Gadgets to appliances, stationery to computer accessories and from premium gift hampers to apparel, the list is never ending.

Research shows that the usefulness of a promotional product is the recipient’s number one reason for keeping it.

I fully believe in this, and that’s why every gift we offer goes through this test of being relevant and useful. Speaking of useful gifts – T shirts take the cake! No recipient will find a reason to refuse a well-made T shirt!

Here are a few tips on choosing the right kind to ensure your recipients use these T shirts as a preferred outfit wherever they go, hence increasing your brand recall.

Cheap is Out – Value is In
Gone are the days when cheap sold. Today’s users make a direct correlation between you and the gifts you give. Giving out a cheap T shirt, with quality that does not even last 5 washes, is a sure shot way to wash out any possibility of finding a recall with them. They will have a negative recall about you, and that’s not the purpose of sending out the gifts in the first place. Make sure you indulge in giving out T shirts only when your promo budget can allow that extra spend on a good quality product. At the end of the day, every dime spent on this has to justify a certain Return On Investment (ROI).

Choose the Right Fabric
Pick a fabric that works towards adding extra comfort. Bio wash T shirts are increasingly in trend for this very reason. Bio Wash is a process that makes the fabric smoother, avoids pilling, gives permanent colour and allows your skin to breathe. In addition it is an eco friendly technique and is gentle on your skin, keeping it free from allergies that can be caused by fabrics that are chemically washed.

Keep Boredom at Bay
While you love your brand logo and are even paying for it, remember the end you have in mind – to ensure your brand gets visibility. This is possible only when you keep your logo at a size that is visible yet not overpowering; adding an element of a cool graphic will further align to the user’s preference of your T shirt – not only as work wear, but also as a lifestyle wear, making your brand get more eye balls!

Making some prudent choices can help you ensure that your gifting spends are an investment, not an expense! After all, gifting is about making someone feel special and significant. Do this with much aplomb and class to stand out in the market. I’d go a step ahead and dare you to make a gift that even your competitors want to own.

If you like what you read here and what you see, feel free to share this information and come back for more!

Co-Founder
Leena Munot
The Giving Tree

 

 

 

 

Gift Vouchers vs Hand Picked Gifts

With the advent of modern gifting ideas that range from simple pens to notebooks, from electronic gadgets to apparel and from snazzy branded stationery to premium corporate gifts, the gifting market has never been so over crowded. This is turning out to be a boon and a bane. Too much choice can also leave you confused. And then come the gift vouchers that are meant for the lazy, forgetful and shortcut bunch of people, who are last minute shoppers, don’t know what their recipient may like and honestly they don’t care too much about it.

Can you remember the best gift you ever got in your life? It was either an experience – like a holiday getaway, a surprise party or something that was a product like a watch from your favourite brand, a pen gifted by a special colleague or teammate and no matter how many years pass by, you continue to hold on to these things for the memory of the relationship you share with the person. Do you think you’d have the same feeling if these people gifted you a gift voucher instead? I can bet hands down….definitely NOT!

One cannot take away the joy of receiving a well wrapped gift. It wakes up the child inside,  as your eyes gleam and heart squeals with excitement when you unwrap the gift.

Here are 3 reasons why a voucher cannot replace a gift

Not personal – A gift voucher is a super impersonal and transactional way to gift something to someone. It’s almost like saying, I don’t know what you like and I don’t care, I don’t have the time…so here, take the voucher!

Defeats the purpose – A voucher gets spent on things like necessities, or pools into other general purchases the recipient makes. For eg., if it is an Amazon voucher, chances are people will use it to buy books, clothes, footwear, medicines or even home utilities – anything that is there in their cart, this voucher will be used to pay for the same. This dilutes the purpose of your gift in the first place and won’t necessarily remind the recipient you gave it to them.

Sizes you up– A gift voucher has a money amount mentioned on it. Like $20 or $50 – it gives the recipient an opportunity to raise his eyebrows and size up your giving capacity. Whereas a gift is more about how much you value the person and the relationship not what value you are spending on the gift.

Whenever you buy a gift, remember it has to satisfy these top 2 things.

It’s all about how you make them feel – It should make the recipient feel special because people don’t remember what you say, they remember how you make them feel. A well wrapped gift box with a sensible gift inside it will earn you a lot of brownie points! Add a dash of a personal note of appreciation and there goes the cherry on the cake!

Return on Investment – This becomes negative with a voucher! No memory, no recall, hence no impact. A hand picked gift is the perfect way to make your ad spend bring in recall and therefore nurture long term relationships.

The next time you think of gifting a voucher and getting away…think again! It’s not a good idea – financially and personally and will certainly not help you in building and fostering long term relationships.

Leena Munot

Co-founder
The Giving Tree

For gifts that make people feel special, significant and cared for, visit thegivingtree.in – your most innovative corporate gift house. Meet us or call us today for ideas that will never grow old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going green – whose job is it anyway!

With the growing awareness and media attention to global warming, days such as Earth Day and Environment day are soon picking up momentum and helping spread awareness about going green. Much is being said as most companies are indulging in research to reduce their carbon footprint. As individuals there are simple things we can do to make a start and build a lifestyle that is green!

Four simple ideas that can help you go green this year!

1. Replace paper cups with ceramic mugs – Paper cups come coated with wax which melts when you pour hot liquid in it. Ingesting this day in and day out can be hazardous to health. Also it adds to the landfills – even if it is paper – it is still trash!
Make a switch – Carry your own mug – ceramic, steel, glass, any of these are a good option.

2. While plastic bans come and go with the changing governments, what’s here to stay are people, you, me, our families and future generation.
Make a pledge – To carry your own cloth bag for shopping – whether it is to a swanky mall or to the local supermarket. Be the change our world deserves!

3. Nothing adds more beauty than nature. Artificial plants look good, require no maintenance and provide no value – bad return on investment!
Shift to nature – Get a real plant for your home and office today. Not only does it up the energetic vibration of a place, it also pumps in more oxygen in your space and the green adds to the joy and freshness each day!

4. Say NO to shopping for things you don’t need with money you don’t have! With retailers enticing us with better and newer products each day, it is becoming increasingly difficult to cut down on our spends. Credit cards offering EMIs and cash backs worsen this situation further.
Rewire to minimalist living – When you think before you shop, becoming aware of your real needs, you’ll swipe the card lesser, own fewer things, have more space at home and in your wardrobes, more free time – cause you don’t have to maintain and manage all the material anymore!

The Giving Tree has been in the space of green gifting for over two decades. Our love for all things green has been at the centre of our design and gifting philosophy over the years. It is this love for the planet that has helped us win the hearts of over 1000 corporate companies and 15 lac users globally! Our mission to contribute to a clean and green planet drives us each day to make sure we bring you gifts that make mother earth and you…happy happy!

Leena Munot
Co-founder
The Giving Tree

3 tips to choose the right corporate gift this season!

Did you know? Over 40% of corporate gifts that are distributed among employees of a company are not well received? Either the product quality is not appreciated by the recipient, the choice of gift itself sometimes is the challenge and there are also times when the gift has little or no use for the recipient….like gifting a calculator to a gadget friendly techie and so on.

We’ve been helping corporate companies identify the right gift for every occasion for the last two decades…before you buy any gift, ask us!

3 important tips to keep in mind before you choose the next gift for your teams

1. Float a choice of atleast 3 options that can be used for the occasion and get feedback from them, about which one would they prefer.

2. Match the recipient’s lifestyle with the product you have in mind to get more clarity on what kind of a gift would they prefer to own and show off.

3. Make no compromise on the quality of the product – nothing looks more awful than a good looking gift with bad quality – that makes the product crumble or go dead within a few days of usage.

Follow us to get many such valuable tips on gifting.

www.facebook.com/thegivingtreefanpage

Leena Munot
Co-founder
The Giving Tree

​​5 reasons why you should buy gifts ‘Made in India’ this Diwali!

With Ganesh Chaturthi marking the beginning of a trail of festivals in India, it is also the time of the year when companies look for appropriate gifts to thank their teams, clients and associates. It is also that time of the year that all Indian gifting companies wait for. Being a two decade old player in this market, there are quite a few trends we’ve seen. From the time of pressure cookers and other kitchen appliances being given as gifts to the current time of digital products, the Indian corporate gifting business has weathered many seasons.

In the middle of these trends a decade ago, Chinese products started to kill our local industries by bringing in cheaper products and with some good quality thrown in. Corporate buyers were now at a great place to choose from a huge variety of gifts available at throw away prices. This jolt made our Indian manufacturers wake up and push their quality higher to compete with the Chinese products. Today, our products have improved and we even have cases of our corporate gift houses in India exporting their products to China! (strange…but 100% true, ask us!)

This Diwali we urge you to buy Indian gifts for 5 reasons:

Keep the local industries alive – When you buy local, you help keep our industries alive and if you just look enough, you will be surprised with the number of corporate gift manufacturers who are doing avant-garde work in their respective areas. Be it artisan chocolates, handicrafts with great packaging, desktop accessories, office accessories and more.

Understand that ethical profits are fair – An average customer bargains on price and tries to get a bigger portion of the price battle. A good customer understands profit is not a bad word and works towards arriving at a win-win deal knowing that it is fair for the supplier to make ethical profits. Let’s face it, if you are not making a profit, you are not running a business!

Quick turnaround time – Depending on Chinese products to arrive here in time, can be a dicey situation because of the volumes, custom clearances and situation at the ports. Many large clients have burnt their fingers with delayed deliveries, sub standard quality and compromised warranties on these products. And there is little that can be done to stop that. When you buy an Indian product, geographical advantage helps ensure quick turnaround times and it allows a much required personal interaction with the suppliers.

Be proud to gift an Indian product
It is up to each one of us to encourage, support and create an environment where not only do local businesses thrive but also where you carry pride in gifting a product that is Made in India.
Made in India – the label – fills us with pride and joy!

Flaunt Indian art and culture
Gifting Indian products gives you an added advantage of using our rich folk art, craft and design sensibilities to enhance any product and make it look stunningly Indian and very innovative. Now this is an advantage that we have over any other country in the whole world, why wouldn’t you use it?

So this season, before you indulge in the plethora of gifting ideas out there, be conscious about choosing an Indian product for the above reasons and more. Share with us more reasons why you feel we should buy local! Our editors are waiting to hear from you.

Happy shopping!

Leena Munot
Co-founder
The Giving Tree