Tips for Choosing Corporate Gifts

Many successful companies use corporate gifts to set themselves apart from the competition, form relationships with clients, or show appreciation to exceptional employees. It can be hard to choose the right gifts, though. They need to be both personal and affordable and should feel memorable to the gift recipient. Read on to find some tips to make the gift selection process easier.

Make It Personal

Looking for the perfect gift for a retiring employee or an exceptionally valued client? Choose a gift that can be personalized to include the recipient’s name along with the company logo. With laser metal cutting, it’s possible to engrave a wide variety of materials to create unique gifts that will really stand out.

Alignment with Company Values

Make sure the gift aligns with the company’s values and mission statement. Companies that focus on sustainability generally choose environmentally friendly materials. Companies that sell children’s toys should choose family-friendly gifts. Just make sure that the gift, whatever it is, communicates the company’s ethics and values.

Limited Branding

Corporate gifts can provide a great opportunity for improving brand recognition, but don’t go overboard. Limit branding to make sure the gift doesn’t look more like a promotional advertisement. It’s better to make a lasting impression on the employee, client, or partner with a discreetly branded item.

Look Into Volume Discounts

Planning on giving away gifts to all of the company’s employees, or even all of its most-valued clients? Keep costs low by looking into volume discounts. Companies that routinely give away personalized gifts may even want to consider manufacturing them in-house if they have the equipment on hand to do so.

Consider Quality

Corporate gifts are a reflection of the entire company and its services, so don’t skimp on quality. Plus, high-quality gifts are much more likely to end up on display where they will generate positive attention for the company, while low-end, mass-produced gifts will just end up in the garbage. Extend this logic to packaging and delivery, as well. The entire unboxing experience should be a positive one that reinforces the relationship between the client or employee and the company.

Choose Practical Items

If the purpose of gift-giving is to generate positive buzz around the company and its products or services, it’s better to choose practical items than purely decorative ones. These could include nameplates, coffee mugs, desktop clocks, or even photo frames. Just think about what items most Americans keep in their homes or offices and try to give recipients something they’ll have a use for and be proud to display.

Consider Industry-Related Gifts

Want to use corporate gifts as a means of increasing brand awareness? If that’s the primary purpose of the gift, make sure to choose objects associated with the industry in some way. This will help to solidify the association between the company and the gift in clients’ minds.

Give Employees Items for Home Use

Looking for a personalized gift for a top executive or high-performing associate? Including the person’s name and position in the company can be a great idea for holiday gifts or acknowledgments of personal milestones. These occasions are best celebrated by giving away items that employees would use in their personal lives, though, not at work. Save the printed mouse pads for a less-festive occasion and choose a gift that will be a great addition to the recipient’s home, not his or her office.

Consider Goals

It should be clear by now that every gift-giving occasion is a little different. Considering the reason the company is ordering corporate gifts can help to clarify what items will be the best fit. Promotional giveaways are meant to increase brand recognition, while gifts given as a thank-you to corporate sponsors serve a very different purpose. Clarify the company’s goals before choosing what items to give away so they’ll be sure to fit the occasion.

Choose Gifts to Be Proud Of

Those tasked with choosing corporate gifts for holiday parties, retirements, or other important occasions should pick something they would be proud to own. If an item looks like promotional fluff to the gift-giver, chances are, the recipient will see it in the same light. Take on the perspective of the recipient and try to predict what response different types of gifts will elicit, then choose the one that makes the best impression.

Provide Support As-Needed

It’s always good to have a backup plan in place. If a company gives away fruit baskets, flowers, or other perishable products, there should always be a policy in place to handle anything that could go wrong. Giving away plants requires providing detailed instructions, or even one-on-one assistance in case the recipient isn’t familiar with gardening. Offering electronic items may mean that recipients need help setting them up or learning to use them.

Just make sure that the entire process goes smoothly by having a plan in place to provide support on an as-needed basis. Companies that aren’t willing to go the extra mile with support for free items should avoid giving away anything perishable. They should also avoid gift items that require assembly or, in the case of electronics, a learning curve for figuring out how to use them.

Budget for Gifts

Corporate gifts aren’t a luxury for most businesses. They’re an expected and accepted expenditure. They help to cement relationships between the company and its employees, clients, or partners, so it’s worth setting aside part of the company budget to pay for them. List them under customer retention, business promotion, or advertising, but make sure they make the budget list.

The Bottom Line

There is no one perfect corporate gift that will fit all occasions. Those tasked with choosing promotional gifts, retirement presents, or items given away to show appreciation to uniquely valuable clients, employees, or partners need to consider all their options. In the end, it’s best to stick with something simple and elegant that does not require initial assembly or ongoing care. Just make sure the gift is of high-quality and that it reflects the company’s goals, values, and mission.