The Worst Thing About Corporate Gifting is That It’s Corporate

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Corporate gifting is a time-honored tradition for all kinds of companies, from Real Estate agents to financial institutions, and for good reason. Having a well-executed corporate gifting strategy for your clients and employees can result in huge ROI for your business—if it’s done correctly.  

If your idea of the best corporate gifts includes branded pens and coffee mugs featuring your company logo, it’s time to change your perspective. The best corporate gifts don’t feel corporate at all. Instead, they’re practical, thoughtful, and meaningful, and your recipients are unlikely to forget them.  

Take your gifting strategy to the next level and turn your corporate gifts into thoughtful surprises that are sure to put a smile on every recipient’s face.  

What’s so great about gifting anyway? 

If you’ve ever received an unexpected gift, you know how such a small thoughtful gesture can put a smile on your face and turn your entire day around. You can give your clients that same feeling with meaningful surprises that show your gratitude for their business.  

When done right, corporate gifting can help: 

  • Build professional relationships 
  • Drive brand loyalty Show gratitude and appreciation 
  • Make your company stand out 
  • Add a personal element to corporate interactions 
  • Demonstrate respect and esteem 

Show your clients how much you care with situational care packages that arrive at just the right moment. Whether your client just purchased a new home or is about to welcome a new baby to the family, they will feel valued and seen with gifts that offer the perfect personal touch.  

Clients aren’t the only ones who should be included in your corporate gifting program. Surprise gifts are a fantastic way to show appreciation for employees, rewarding their dedication and commitment to your company.  

Gifting can motivate and inspire employees, leading to higher quality work and improved retention rates. Investing just 1% of your payroll budget into employee appreciation can strengthen employee loyalty and even improve your customer experience.  

So, what are you waiting for? Make your company stand out with memorable gifts and thoughtful surprises that your clients and employees won’t soon forget.  

Put effort into personalizing your gifts 

Gone are the days of buying company gifts in bulk. Save those pens and lanyards for your next conference or event. If you want to give a truly memorable gift to a client, consider their interests and send them an item they will actually enjoy and use.  

Not sure what your client loves? Pay attention in conversations and take note of their passions. Maybe they love to travel or can’t stop talking about their pets. When you send a gift related to the recipient’s interests, it shows that you value them beyond a source of income. They will likely be touched to know that you listened, even when they weren’t talking business.  

And don’t forget to include a personalized note. Even better if it’s handwritten. Little touches like a few genuine words of gratitude can go a long way in making the recipient feel valued.  

Be considerate and sensitive

The best corporate gifts take the recipient into consideration. When choosing gifts for clients or employees, make sure to think about how your gift will be received. It’s always a good idea to let trusted people review your gifts before sending them to make sure there are no subtle unintended messages.  

Every person on your list comes from a different background, so take into account cultural differences, religious beliefs, gender, and any other details that could impact your recipient’s reaction to your gift.  

You should also be considerate of any circumstances like dietary restrictions or allergies when gifting. This is where getting to know your recipients on a personal level will really come in handy and help you avoid any major faux pas.  

Choose quality over quantity 

A box full of goodies may seem like the perfect gift…unless those items are low-quality. A few carefully selected, high-quality items will have a much better impact on your chosen recipient than a thrown-together box of cheap things.  

You want your clients to enjoy their gifts and hopefully keep them, and quality plays a major part in whether people choose to keep the surprises they receive from other corporate gifting programs. If your gifts feel too cheap, the recipients won’t value them. And they may feel that you don’t value their business either.  

Select practical gifts 

While sending quality surprises is certainly important, remember that recipients are more likely to appreciate practical gifts too. For example, a high-quality paperweight may look good, but most of your clients won’t find much use for it.  

Useful gifts will find a place in your client or employee’s home or office space and will serve as a reminder that your company appreciates them. Sure, everyone enjoys a surprise gift, but a practical surprise gift will be cherished.  

Focus on presentation 

The goal of gifting is to show appreciation to the recipients. And while we all know that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, your client’s first impression of your gift can have a huge effect on how they feel about the gift itself and your company.  

The most incredible corporate gift won’t have the desired impact if it’s poorly packaged. If you want to be memorable, be sure that your gift is presented in a visually appealing way. A sloppy presentation can give the impression that you didn’t care about putting effort into your gifting, which can also make the recipient feel that the gift was obligatory, not genuine.  

Think beyond the holidays 

Nothing says “obligation giving” like sending a gift at the same time as every other company and individual. Holiday gifts are great, but they can often get lost in the crowd. 

If you want your gift to stand out, consider giving at other times of the year. Gifts in other seasons are more surprising, and clients are more likely to remember an unexpected gift than a holiday gift. Plus, receiving a surprise gift in the summer or spring can help the recipient feel more valued and appreciated. 

Find the spending sweet spot 

You want to invest in high-quality gifts, but you don’t want to overspend. Sending pricey luxury gifts to clients can make them feel like they need to repay you with more business. Even worse, expensive gifts can feel like a bribe, instead of a thoughtful gesture.  

On the other hand, cheap gifts can come across as thoughtless. Clients can easily connect the gift’s value to their own personal worth to the company. If the math doesn’t add up, you could lose a client and valuable business for your organization.  

Keep away from marketing 

A thoughtful, personalized gift can strengthen your professional relationships and convey gratitude and appreciation. It’s not the place for promotional items.  

Marketing is essential for any business, but it should never be a part of your corporate gifting strategy. Your clients already work with you, and they don’t need to be more aware of your business and what you offer. A truly thoughtful gift will help your clients remember you, even if it doesn’t feature your logo front and center.  

Stretch the giving experience out 

Instead of a one-time gift, try sending multiple gifts throughout the year, whether each quarter or every couple of months. By making gifting a regular thing, you can stay top of mind with clients and encourage them to use your services in the future.  

You can even send a gift for each season of the year and make the items themed. For example, a cozy movie night gift could be the perfect winter surprise for not just your client, but their whole family! 

Final Thoughts 

Remember that the gifts you choose will always make a statement about your company. It’s up to you to determine whether that statement is positive or negative.  

Before you start sending out gifts to your clients, determine if each gift (and its packaging) properly reflects your company and its values. What impression do you want to create? Will your gift make your client feel valued and appreciated?  

The best corporate gifts should fit perfectly with your brand without featuring a logo or company slogan. You want the recipients to feel proud to be associated with your business and eager to work with you again. It’s time to forget corporate gifting and make someone’s day for real.