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Corporate Gifting Guide: Why, When, What and How

Updated on May 4, 2015

Businesses Spend Money on Gifting

In a study conducted by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI®) in September 2014, it was found that 62% of the 303 companies surveyed planned to give out corporate gifts during the holiday season to both customers/prospects and employees. Of the remaining 38%, the businesses had either decided to skip gifting that year or were still in the process of decision making. In addition, 74% of the companies intended to increase their corporate gifting budget that year. So, why are all these businesses so determined to spend their hard earned money on gifts? More importantly, can your business afford to be different?

Why Spend on Gifts

Corporate gifts are an important tool to enhance brand image and create goodwill among one’s target market. They help reinforce your other marketing endeavors and add to the communication mix, according to an article in Corporate Communication: An International Journal. It tells your existing customers, prospects, business associates, employees and other stakeholders that you care about them. This goes a long way in strengthening the bond you share with them.

What to Gift?

Depending on your budget, your choice could range from a good quality pen with the company’s logo and tagline printed on it to an all expenses paid trip for two to the Caribbean! Your choice would also be determined by the purpose of the gift. For instance, if it is a regular practice to reward employees for their performance, you might want to pick an item that is not too expensive, yet has its utility value. In fact, according to the Incentive Research Foundation, US-based businesses spend about $22.7 billion annual on corporate incentive programs. Some of the most popular corporate gifts are customized pens, apparel, mugs and drinkware, gift certificates, fruit baskets and assorted hampers and calendars. Nowadays, computer accessories are becoming very popular gifts too.

Why Should You Customize?

The entire point of giving away such gifts is to further your brand image, recall and recognition. Therefore, it would be fairly pointless to give away something that does not bear the logo, tagline or even a short message about your company. The good news is that it doesn’t eat into your budget to have items personalized via an experienced printing company. Remember, when you customize corporate gifts, choose colors and images that are in-sync with your overall branding efforts.

When to Gift?

The timing of corporate gifting is crucial because it will influence buying decisions of the recipient. So, keep in mind both the goal you intend to achieve through this initiative as well as the occasion. Some of the most common occasions for such business giveaways include:

  • Christmas
  • Trade shows
  • Seminars & conferences
  • Product launch
  • Christmas
  • Company’s anniversary
  • Employee recognition programs

Finally, remember to choose the item you wish to giveaway keeping in mind whether it would be useful to the recipient and therefore create a more positive impact for your business.


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