What Makes A Good Corporate Gift?

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, best practices, plus some ideas for when to send corporate gifts when they least expect it! 

After designing and shipping thousands of corporate gifts and swag 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?

So, what is a corporate gift? We’re so glad you asked! 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 and are often to express gratitude and appreciation. There are different types of corporate gifts – like client gifts, gifts for employees, promotional swag, conference gifts, and more! 

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. It’s all in the psychology of gift-giving!

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 Give Good Corporate Gifts

When it comes to corporate gifting, 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? There are so many types of corporate gifts, so it can be a daunting task! But here are our top tips for how to make a good corporate gift:

1. Use Tasteful Company Branding

To brand or not to brand… that is the question!

Seriously though — this is actually 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 corporate gifts (and even branded swag!) we’ve found that it’s most effective to fall somewhere in the middle. These custom gift boxes for Databricks are the perfect example — their logo was tastefully added on the exterior of the gift with branded packaging, but they opted for only one branded product to include in their gift boxes: engraved wooden logo cutting boards!

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2. Tell A Cohesive Brand Story

Have you ever received a gift that felt like it was just a bunch of leftover merch 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 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 some unique event gift ideas!

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 gifts to onboard new employees? Use the gift as a way to show off your unique company culture and increase employee engagement!

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3. 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 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 or celebrate a work anniversary? 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. 

Never underestimate the power of personalization!

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4. 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 custom 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!

5. Include a High-Quality Keepsake 

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 — maybe branded water bottlesbranded mugs, or even some awesome branded speakers!

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!?

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Customer Spotlight

Types of Good Corporate Gifts

Conference Gifts for Paycor

What better way to hype up your prospects before a conference in New Orleans than with a custom conference gift inspired by the bold flavors of the French Quarter?! ⚜️ That’s exactly what Paycor did for the SHRM Conference this past June! The best part? All the products were from local small businesses in New Orleans!

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New Hire Gifts for Celtra

These employee gift boxes for Celtra’s new hires were the perfect introduction to the company! Complete with office supplies, an important read, and honey from Slovenia, a nod to the founders’ home country — this gift is a great way to make them feel a part of the team!

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Client Gifts for Legal & General

Take me out to the ball game! These Redsox-themed client gifts for Legal & General’s Boston-based clients were the perfect way to kick off the start of baseball season. After all, experiential gifts are one of the most popular gifting trends!

A Good Corporate Gifting Strategy

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.


1. DON’T Go Overboard with the Company Branding

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, like a branded notebook and high-quality pens, were the perfect balance of custom elements mixed with high-quality items the recipients will actually use.

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2. DON’T Default to Standard Company 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 gift boxes 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 custom client gift for them, including custom socks! 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 ideas for creative corporate gifts. Check out these unique corporate gifts for a little inspiration!

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3. DON’T Only Send Gifts During the Holidays

Another common mistake we see companies make is only sending business Christmas gifts. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with business Christmas gifts and corporate gift boxes for the holidays (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 business Christmas 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 business Christmas 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 corporate holiday gift ideas, 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??

When is the Best Time to Send Company Gifts?

It’s 2023, folks! Corporate gifts aren’t reserved only for end-of-the-year holiday gifts anymore. So, when is the best time to send business 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, let’s take a look at some of the most popular ones!

Popular Reasons to Send Corporate Gifts

  • To onboard a new client or employee
  • To win over a prospect
  • To celebrate success at work and 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 work anniversaries and personal milestones (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 — and seasons — that are great for gift-giving! Be sure to check out a bunch of our corporate gift  ideas for SpringSummer, and Fall! When you give something besides business Christmas gifts, corporate gifts can be extra memorable. So don’t be afraid to color outside of the lines and try something new and different!

Written by Lisa Cox. Updated Aug. 2023.