May 26th, 2007 by AllGiftBaskets
Gift-giving in business comes with no rules, and many results. Not surprisingly, the types of gifts given and amount spent vary from one industry to the next. When giving gifts outside your industry, do your homework. What’s appropriate on Madison Avenue may not work on Wall Street.
On Wall Street, the range of gifts and their value vary. For large investment banks and money management firms, the price of items sent and received tends to start at $100. For boutique firms, $100 is generally as pricey as it gets. And public finance-based firms send no gifts to clients because of government regulations.
Stock brokers are governed by MSRB and NASD rules which state that gifts should not exceed $100 per year. For one broker, that meant a $50 holiday gift, and another $50 gift some other time during the year. Brokers often skirt this rule by taking clients and associates out to dinner or to sporting events, where it is considered business entertainment and therefore a deductible business expense.
Gifts are a big part of the swash-buckling technology industry, where personal loyalties often last longer than companies. Says one technology sales rep, “My customers have been with me through three companies. You bet I am going to take care of them.”
A marketing manager for a high tech firm also uses gifts to build business relationships. “We have some strategic partnerships that are critical to our business. We are spend $100 to $200 for the top executives, and $75 to $100 for the more junior people.”
Gifts range from $50 to $250, and often reflect the importance of the client to the agency. For smaller agencies, gifts should be more personal and have a more creative focus. An account manager for a large West Coast agency says the price range of their gifts is $100 to $250 depending on the client, and the type of relationship the client has with the agency.
Gifts are part of everyday business in the entertainment industry, and typically range from $75 to $125. Not surprisingly, creativity and the glitz factor are essential - this is Hollywood after all.
The consulting industry varies dramatically, generally mirroring the industries of its clients. For example, a division of a consulting firm specializing in financial services will send gifts in the $100 range, while a group working with the public utilities will send gifts that are more moderately priced, $30-$40.
The range here runs from about $50 to $75. However the appropriateness of gift giving in general depends on the relationship of the giver and the receiver. Keep in mind that in this industry, gifts can cross an ethical line. If you work for a high-profile company, it’s important to watch your step and make sure you are sending the right message.
Real estate agents give a tremendous number of gifts to thank clients for their business. Says one San Francisco real estate agent, “Every broker I know gives a gift after close of escrow to their client. I typically spend $75 to $100 and try to personalize the gift, based on what I know about the client. I know other brokers who spend hundreds of dollars. Brokerage fees have been very generous recently.”
Design and Corporate Identity
In the design and packaging industry, gift givers typically spend between $50 and $100. Special occasion gifts will often cost more than $100, but gifts over $200 can be considered a little excessive.
What’s unique about this client-based industry is their emphasis on creativity. The more unique, personalized or clever the gift, the better. The studios aim to send gifts that are a reflection of themselves, while also promoting their abilities.
Public finance takes its cue from the sector it services. The industry, (or for that matter, any entity that does business with a public official) is regulated by state gift laws which limit and sometime prohibit gifts to public officials.
The price of gifts among the scholarly set ranges from $25 - $50. In this field in particular, choosing the gift to reflect the individual’s personal interests or field of study is critical. Gifts are exchanged less regularly than in the business world, so appropriateness is essential.
The Public Sector
Gift-giving in the public sector is strictly regulated by Uncle Sam. Federal employees can receive gifts valued at up to $25 per item and up to $50 annually from one source. State employees’ rules depend on the state. Generally, gifts from $25 to $50 are safe. But definitely check state laws to be sure.2a03