What Makes a Good Corporate Gift?
Learn from the experts about what makes a good corporate gift! We're sharing our top tips for how to get corporate gifting right, the most common corporate gifting mistakes and how to avoid them, plus insights on when is the best time to send corporate gifts to clients and employees.
After designing and shipping thousands of corporate gifts over the years, we’ve learned a thing or two about how to wow your recipients with a gift they’ll love. We're sharing it ALL – but first, let's go over some of the basics:
What is a corporate gift?
A corporate gift is any item or experience that is gifted from a company to its clients or employees. Companies give corporate gifts as a polite gesture, oftentimes to express gratitude and appreciation. There are tons of different types of corporate gifts – think gift cards, gift boxes, swag bags, or even experiences (like fancy dinners or concert tickets).
Why do companies give corporate gifts?
There are tons of reasons companies decide to give corporate gifts throughout the customer journey or an employee's career, but regardless, corporate gifts are simply a polite gesture, often used to express gratitude and appreciation.
Why is corporate gifting important?
Corporate gifting has become increasingly popular in recent years, and that’s because it's hard to deny the positive impact that gifts have on business relationships. Not only do gifts make people happy, but they create a sense of connection between the giver and the recipient. In fact, corporate gifts have been found to increase feelings of reciprocity and trust – think higher customer loyalty, increased referral rates, and improved employee retention. Who doesn't love that?! At the end of the day, these connections and relationships with clients and employees are a crucial part of running a successful business. The more you invest in nurturing those relationships, the more likely you are to achieve better business results in the long term.
How to Get Corporate Gifts Right
When it comes to corporate gifts, don't overthink it! Instead, take the same approach you would with any other gift: you want the recipient to genuinely enjoy it. And you want the gift to come across as meaningful!
So, how do you do that when you're sending gifts to 5, 500, or even 5,000 people? We're so glad you asked! Here are our top tips for how to make a good corporate gift:
Use Tasteful Branding
To brand or not to brand… that is the question!
This really is one of our most frequently asked questions, and for good reason. Branding can totally make or break the gift!
Clients are always coming to us wondering… should you go ALL IN and put your logo everywhere? After all, you want them to remember who sent them this awesome gift in the first place! Or do you take the opposite approach and brand NOTHING to avoid making the gift feel sales-y? But is it risky to assume they’ll remember the gift was from you if your logo is nowhere in sight?
When it comes to branding, we’ve found that the most successful corporate gift sends are those that fall somewhere in the middle. These gifts for Databricks' executives are the perfect example — the logo was incorporated on the exterior packaging, but also on just one product within the gift: an engraved wooden cheese board!
For more examples of branded projects, check out our custom branded packaging gallery!
Tell A Cohesive Story
Have you ever received a gift that felt like it was just a bunch of leftover swag from a company conference or event? Needless to say, that definitely does not come across as a thoughtful gift. So before you wrap up a bunch of random items in a bow, consider the purpose behind the corporate gift and the message it should convey to the recipient.
Is the gift to market an upcoming event? Go all in on the theme – and don’t be afraid to have fun with it! Is the gift being sent as an onboarding gift to new clients? Think of it as an opportunity to make a first impression: the gift should reflect your company’s values in a thoughtful way. Are you sending welcome gifts to new employees? Use the gift as a way to show off your unique company culture!
What better way to hype up your prospects before a conference in New Orleans than with a gift inspired by the bold flavors of the French Quarter?! ⚜️ That's exactly what Paycor did for the SHRM Conference this past June!
These gift boxes for Celtra's new employees were the perfect introduction to the company! Complete with office supplies and honey from Slovenia, a nod to the founders' home country!
Take me out to the ball game! These Redsox-themed gifts for Legal & General's Boston-based clients were the perfect way to kick off the start of baseball season!
Incorporate a Personalized Card
Did you know that “words of affirmation” is the most popular of The Five Love Languages? It makes sense — people LOVE to be told how awesome they are! Use this to your advantage when it comes to corporate gifts by including a card insert with a thoughtful message.
Bonus points if you get really personal and specific! Want to congratulate your team on an outstanding year? Give a couple of examples of big projects you rocked together! Reaching out to thank clients for their support? Give those clients a snapshot of your team and how their support is helping you grow, expand, or try new things.
Add in Something Delicious!
Now here's a tip that doesn't require a lot of convincing! Always include a snack that the recipient can tear open and eat right away. There’s nothing better than opening up a gift box and indulging in an unexpected treat! Here at Teak & Twine, we always laugh when we see recipients share their gifts on LinkedIn or Instagram and the food component has already been devoured. There's almost always a caption that goes something like… “The cookies didn’t last long, but check out this awesome gift I just received!”
Cookies, chocolate bars, granola, and candy are among the most popular snacks to include. But no matter what, you really can’t go wrong with food – after all, it’s the way to anyone's heart!
Include a High-Quality Keepsake
Give a gift that keeps on giving! You want to make sure there’s something that the recipient can keep loooong after the snacks have been eaten and the packaging has been tossed away. Stay top of mind by including a keepsake — think things like insulated water bottles, ceramic coffee mugs, quality travel tumblers, or even a gorgeous wooden cutting board. Tech products are also a popular option, especially things like bluetooth speakers and wireless chargers.
Not only are these items practical and useful for the recipient, but they tend to be of high quality, making the gift more valuable to the recipient. And every time they use these items, they will be reminded of you – how’s that for staying top of mind!?
Common Corporate Gifting Mistakes to Avoid
We've been around the block and we're telling you, these are the most common corporate gifting mistakes we see over and over again. Don't worry, we'll let you know how to avoid them so that you can give good corporate gifts every time.
Going Overboard with the Company Logo
Remember how we were talking about branding earlier? Here's why it's so important: one of the most common mistakes in corporate gifting is going overboard with the company logo. Like, where every single thing is branded from the exterior packaging down to every last product inside the gift. We see this ALL the time, and while it's understandable why companies want to make the gift feel *fully* custom, it usually ends up backfiring. Ultimately, gifts with too many branded items end up looking like a marketing piece — and are more likely to get thrown away by the recipient (sad, but true!)
These gifts for Dribbble were the perfect balance of branded elements mixed with high-quality items the recipients will actually use.
Sticking to the Standard Swag
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: just because you’re sending business gifts does not mean they should be boring! Sure, there’s a level of professionalism to maintain, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun! Instead of sticking with the standard swag (mouse pads, t-shirts, and pens), get a little creative and try something new. More and more, we’re seeing companies embrace their playful sides through corporate gifts and we are here👏 for 👏 it 👏! For example, a company came to us after a big snafu with one of their recent product launches. They wanted to send a gift to acknowledge the mishap, but also to make light of the whole situation. So, our design team created a pickle-themed gift for them! Why? So they could thank their clients for being so patient while their team found themselves “in a pickle.” Not bad, right?!
But hey, if a pickle-themed gift sounds like it might be a little too “outside of the box,” we totally get it. But there are plenty of other ways to get creative with corporate gifts. Like these 13 corporate gift ideas that are anything but boring!
Only Sending Corporate Gifts During the Holidays
Another common mistake we see companies make is assuming corporate gifts should only be sent during the holidays. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with sending end-of-year and holiday gift boxes (I mean, Christmas is literally our Super Bowl around here…) But, it’s not the ONLY time of the year you should be using corporate gifts. The thing about sending holiday gifts is you run the risk of your gift going unnoticed during all the Q4 craziness! Picture it: it’s almost the end of December — most offices are in absolute end-of-year mayhem. You send your client a gift, and it arrives amongst a sea of other packages. Maybe they open it, maybe they don’t. Then, they’re out of the office (maybe even on a vacation!) Then, they come back to the office after the New Year and dive into projects for Q1. We all know how it is!
While that’s not always the case for holiday gifting, it’s a story we too often hear. So, consider gifting OUTSIDE of the holiday season to ensure your recipient's undivided attention! Self-care summer gift, anyone??
So... When is the Best Time to Send Corporate Gifts?
Yep, it's true! Corporate gifts aren’t reserved only for end-of-the-year holidays anymore. But when is the best time to send corporate gifts? The truth is, there are tons of reasons to celebrate throughout the year! Of course, different companies will have different motivations for when to send gifts to their clients or employees. But, here are some of the most popular reasons to send corporate gifts (that aren’t during the holidays):
- To onboard a new client or employee
- To celebrate company milestones and achievements (anniversaries, IPOs, industry awards)
- To create hype for upcoming events and product launches
- To build camaraderie around a team-building event
- To celebrate personal milestones (work anniversaries, promotions, buying a home, newly engaged or married, welcoming a baby)
- To show appreciation, especially on designated holidays like Employee Appreciation Day and Client Appreciation Day
- To win back past clients who may have slipped through the cracks
But that’s not all! There are TONS of other reasons, including some lesser-known holidays, that you can celebrate with your clients and employees during the spring, summer and fall. So don’t be afraid to color outside of the lines and try something new and different!
Fun Corporate Gift Ideas for Summer
Thinking about gifting outside of the traditional holiday season? Check out these summer corporate gift ideas that are filled with fun for June, July, and August!
Gift Ideas for
Your Next Event
Are you planning an upcoming conference or getting your team ready for a trade show? What about your next golf outing or company-wide happy hour? No matter the occasion, there's always a fun gift idea to consider!