Diwali - An Overlooked Corporate Gifting Opportunity?
Corporate Gifting, when implemented strategically and in a personalised, thoughtful manner is one of the most powerful relationship marketing tools that businesses have at their disposal.
As the saying goes “people do business with people” and corporate gifting allows you to build rapport, make an impression and create a connection with the recipient, be it a prospective client, investor, referrer or valued member of your team.
Harvard Business Review emphasizes the importance of individual recognition in showing thanks because group acknowledgement leaves people feeling distanced from their individual contribution to achievements.
Whilst Christmas is the mainstay of corporate gifting in the UK, it has become an annual ritual for many companies, thus removing the element of surprise that often makes gifting so impactful and meaningful.
Given the rich cultural tapestry of the UK, there are several other festivals and celebrations that give businesses the opportunity s to realise the benefits of corporate gifting.
Diwali, which precedes Christmas each year is one of the most important festivals for the Indian diaspora community in the UK and a great opportunity for businesses to strengthen business relationships through corporate gifting. The belief underpinning the festival that, eventually, light will triumph over darkness will strike a chord with many during the uncertain and challenging times that we are currently faced with.
Who Celebrates Diwali?
Diwali is a festival celebrated largely by those of the Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh faiths. That said, Diwali celebrations have become mainstream in the UK with people of all faiths and cultural backgrounds joining Diwali celebrations.
Diwali has previously been celebrated in the House of Lords and the House of Commons and the largest public celebrations are seen each year at the London Mayor’s Diwali celebrations in Trafalgar square, where people of all cultures and backgrounds came together to enjoy a street festival of Indian music, dance, food and spiritual knowledge.
What Is The Significance Of Diwali?
Diwali is India’s most important festival—a time to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. Diwali is marked by feasting, prayer, fireworks, family get togethers, merriment and the exchange of gifts.
Diwali is so widely celebrated that it has no single origin story. But while each region of India has its own narrative behind the festival, they all ultimately represent the victory of good over evil.
In North India, Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Ram to his kingdom after a 14 year exile, during which he had to endure many difficulties and defeat several mighty adversaries that represented the epitome of evil. On the moonless night of his return, lamps were lit all across his kingdom to illumine his path back, express the joy of his subjects and celebrate the victory of good over evil.
Diwali is also a celebration of the Hindu goddess of wealth and good fortune, Lakshmi. When Indian was primarily an agrarian society, Diwali coincided with the last harvest before winter—a time to pray for Lakshmi for good fortune. Today, Indian businesses still consider Diwali as the first day of the financial new year.
On a spiritual note, the lights of Diwali also signify a time of inner illumination. Hindus believe that the light of divinity is one that steadily shines from within. Sitting quietly and fixing the mind on this supreme light purifies the mind, body and the intellect.
How is Diwali Celebrated?
Just as the legends of Diwali differ from region to region so, too, do the holiday’s rituals. What most have in common, though, are the abundance of sweets, family gatherings, wearing of new clothes, feasting and the lighting of clay lamps or candles.
In the days leading up to Diwali, people cook sweets, thoroughly clean their homes and decorate them with lamps and rangolis, colourful designs drawn on the floor of their homes.
On Diwali day, people may pray to the Goddess Lakshmi and gather with friends and family for feasts and fireworks. Devotees also set ablaze lamps and candles in the evening. The day after Diwali marks the new year for many Hindus and a time to wear new clothes and exchange gifts and well wishes.
What Kind Of Gifts Are Given At Diwali?
Traditional Diwali gifts include greeting cards, Indian sweets, Indian savoury snacks , chutneys and pickles and last, but not least, candles; Diwali is of course the festival of light and no Diwali celebration is complete without lighting candles, ranging from luxury scented candles to traditional Indian oil candles and tealights.
As cultures have blended and evolved, many Diwali gifts include a mix of the traditional with the contemporary and gifting chocolates, biscuits, nuts, dried fruits and teas is also commonplace.
Gourmet Luxe is a luxury gifting concierge that helps businesses curate highly distinctive and personalised gifts that are “on brand” and provide a memorable, impactful way to thank clients, reward employees and encourage referrals.
This year, they have curated a wonderful selection of Diwali sweets, savouries, biscuits, pickles, chutneys and luxury scented candles from artisan suppliers. Custom branded boxes and branded Diwali Cards are available on request.
If you’re unsure which of your staff, clients, partners of referrers may celebrate Diwali, they can help you identify them and assist with culturally appropriate messaging
For a copy of their Diwali Gifting brochure, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact them on 020 8958 0556