Corporate Business Gift Advice

The term “Corporate Gifts” is a term used very loosely in the business world and its interpretation is used differently by many users. It means different things to different people and is an umbrella word for many different reasons, people, and occasions.


  • Thank You Gifts for Colleagues and Clients
  • Motivational Gifts for Employees
  • Gift Baskets
  • Recognition Gifts for Employees
  • Retention of Business Clients
  • New Client Acquisition
  • Brand Awareness
  • Premiums Incentives and Incentive Programs
  • Christmas Holiday Gifts for Clients
  • Promotional Products
  • Trade Show Giveaways
  • Advertising Specialties
  • Award Programs
  • Service and Safety Awards
  • Pillow Gifts Speaker Gifts
  • Executive Gifts
  • Business Gifts
  • Awards

It is important to determine what your strategy is and to have a clear understanding of your goals associated with your gift or program. There are also rough guidelines and a few gifting hints that should be followed. Gift giving should never be construed as a bribe but as a token of appreciation or an incentive reward.


Logo or No Logo - The decision to put your company logo on a product is a personal one. Everyone enjoys seeing their logo on products, but not every recipient appreciates it. Depending on the situation, a logo may not be appropriate. Sometimes it is better to save the logo merchandise for less expensive giveaways such as plastic pens, mugs, key chains and calendars. Of course this is a personal preference and many businesses and corporations like to leave their name in front of their customers. One item that is a discreet venue to advertise your logo is on leather portfolios. Your logo is normally debossed on the cover and in many cases some people will go a step further and personalize with the recipients initials. If you have selected an item that makes a lasting impression, there is no need to put your logo on the gift, they will remember you by the gift itself.

How Much To Spend - First thing to consider is your business relationship. You want to ensure that you give an appropriate gift in the appropriate price range. In many industries gifting can not exceed $25. Shop for Gifts Under $25. You would want to check your specific guidelines. In addition there are tax limits on the dollar amount of gift certificates and gift cards that can be presented to employees.* You never want your gift to appear as a bribe. In many cases a more expensive gift is appropriate, such as a retirement gift. Your personal situation and budget will dictate how much you should spend. Whether it is a promotional item for advertising purposes or a tradeshow giveaway, or a recognition gift or award for achievement, always be sure you know your spending limits.

What To Give - After you have determined your purpose for gift giving and the budget, your next challenge is WHAT? Depending on the occasion and the situation there are many options available. You never want to give anything too personal, but something with thought is always appreciated. Maybe you know a golfer who would love to get a golf gift or the wine lover who needs a new wine aerator or wine accessory?

Board of Directors /Speaker Gifts /Visiting Dignitaries – More traditional gifts are usually appropriate for this situation. Anything that is an executive gift will usually fit the bill. Leather Pad Holders, Desk Clocks, and Fine Writing Instruments are places to start for traditional type gifts. Another consideration for Global industries are items with a Global and World Theme. Items in this category show your commitment and recognition of your global connection.

Gift for Employees – There is a wide selection when purchasing for your employees. Employee Gifts can range from desk items for administrative employees, to passport holders for traveling employees. You might even want to consider fun gifts for your employees that are outdoor fun, games, or picnic baskets. Of course something for the desk is always the conservative and traditional approach.

Gift For the Boss – The number one recommendation here is, don’t do it alone! You are best to buy a gift with your co-workers. A gift from a sole employee might construe a bribe to your boss or make you stick out from the other employees in a negative way to both your boss and co-workers. You might have good intentions, but really assess your relationship with your boss before you give a gift without your co-workers.

Advertising / Branding – There are so many items to choose from in this category that it would literally take a year to see all that is available. In order to narrow down your search form a Promotional Product that will be suit your needs, here are a few helpful tips:

  1. Set Your Budget and Quantity
  2. Define the Purpose of Giveaways
  3. How Many Colors is Your Logo - What type of product will enhance your logo
  4. How will you distribute? - In person, mail, tradeshow
  5. What industry are you in?
  6. Who is Your End User?

Case Study: Advertising and Branding for ABC Healthy and Yummy Dog Food exhibiting at a tradeshow.

  1. Budget and Quantity - Less than $.50 each. Quantity 2500
  2. Purpose - Branding and Advertising
  3. One Color Logo - Black
  4. Distribute - Trade Show to Suppliers
  5. Pet Food Industry
  6. End User - Pet Store Owners

Recommendation – Yellow plastic lid covers to match the can of dog food. The lid to be imprinted in black highlighting logo. Easy to ship or carry to tradeshow (mailers not necessary) Hand distribute to trade show attendees. This is a reusable giveaway that will make a lasting impact on the recipients. Thought was given to industry, promotion, and use.

When To Give - The most obvious time to give is at the holidays. Many companies have figured out that giving gifts other times of the year will have a greater impact. Making a note of important dates to the client or employee will make a more lasting impression. For example remember anniversaries, birthdays, promotions, and milestones that you can recognize with a gift. Maybe it’s even an anniversary of your first deal together.

Christmas Holidays/Generic Thank You Gourmet Food Gifts are probably the most popular item. Most people will send them with just a gift note and no logo personalization to all of their associates. People always associate good wishes with food products. Gift baskets and wine items are included in this category. The key to remember in giving holiday gifts is not to give anything that has religious overtones. Stay generic with cards and gifts respecting all religions that celebrate during the holidays. Seasons Greetings and Happy Holidays are your best terms for the season.

Method of Delivery - The best method of delivery is to personally hand deliver your gift. Of course in this new digital era and world business that is usually not feasible. Your second best choice is to have a company drop ship your gift to your recipient with a gift card. It is always a good idea to purchase your corporate gifts from an established supplier who knows not to include your bill or the cost of the item.

Also timely delivery is of the essence. It is important to specify when you need your gift delivered by and select the appropriate shipping method. Most companies have a processing time before your item is even shipped. Remember, shipping times will vary depending on locations. Nothing is more embarrassing than having an important gift delivered late, with a price included, or never even shipped!

An important fact to remember is, that if you are imprinting, screening, stitching, or debossing a logo or a message on your items, most manufacturers will take 7-10 working days for production. Then there is the shipping time on top of that. Always give yourself enough time to complete your project with time to spare. Things can be done on a rush basis, but why pay extra when you don’t have to?


As you probably have deduced, corporate gift giving is not an exact science. The most important factors are determining your budget, audience, and goals. Try to be creative, but don’t stress over finding the “perfect” gift. Your recipients will be appreciative of anything you give them.

* Always check with your financial /tax advisor for all tax and gift giving limitations. We are not experts in this field, and do not warrantee or guarantee the accuracy of this information.      

If you would like personalized service please either complete our Gift Idea Form, or e-mail us at sales@e-corporategifts.com, or call our customer service department at 1.888.968.4696.