Perfecting Your Presents: A Quick Guide to Corporate Gift-Giving

Molly Neises, MAS, Sales

Although gift-giving has benefits all year long, the majority of corporate gifts are sent between November and January.  As a business, sending gifts allows you to stand out and be memorable.  But it’s important to ask yourself, “How would I feel if I received this gift from a business associate?”  It’s important to choose a gift with care.  With this in mind we wanted to share a few reasons why holiday gift-giving at the corporate level can be very beneficial as well as share some key factors to keep in mind when trying to choose the perfect present.

So, who should you, or could you, be sending gifts to this holiday season?  The list is varied and often includes your best customers and preferred vendors.  Many companies also send a token of appreciation to their employees this time of year.  And some send thoughtful gestures to prospective clients.

No matter your intended recipients, the list of reasons for giving is extensive and varied!  Here are a few examples:

  • Gift-giving enhances the personal connections between the giver and the recipient.
  • It reflects a level of generosity and implies you care about individual relationships.
  • It affirms and helps to create long-standing relationship and loyalty.
  • It gives you a reason to reach out without asking anything of the recipient.
  • It’s an easy way to reconnect with people you may not have regular contact with.
  • When sent to customers, it increases the likelihood of repeat business and referrals.
  • When done correctly, it’s a cost-effective way to build a sense of partnership without coming across as sales-targeted or as a marketing ploy.


Before you start sending gifts, simple planning will help keep your project on-track.  Here are few ideas to remember as you get underway:

  • Consider the gift-giving policies of both your company and the recipients.  Some companies have policies regarding what type of gifts they can send or receive, as well as restrictions on value.  Take a moment to check prior to sending a gift.  It’s better to do so in advance than to have gifts refused or returned.  Not sure who to ask?  Check with the HR team!
  • Consider cost.  Inexpensive gifts can look cheap, and gifts that are too lavish could be embarrassing or alienating.  Choose something appropriate to your relationship with the recipients.
  • Avoid anything of a personal nature, such as health, beauty, or fitness-related items.  They can be misconstrued and seen as rude.
  • Think twice about humorous gifts.  What you find funny could easily be off-putting to someone else.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Presentation is important.  The packaging is part of the present!


Choosing the right gift for your project is key.  It’s important to factor in the type of gift, when to send, and possible blunders.  Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Choosing something useful suggests you know your audience.
  • Including something branded offers a soft reminder of where the gift came from, as well as subtle marketing.
  • Food gifts are very popular corporate gifts.  They can be taken home and enjoyed with family or friends, or shared amongst an office.  If intended for sharing in an office, make sure the size is appropriate for the number of people it’s intended to feed.  The holidays are not a good time for a “food fight”!
  • Desktop and household items, such as pencil caddies or cutting boards, offer long-lasting usability and practicality.
  • Cash is often seen as a corporate “no-no”; not only is it uncreative, it raises ethical questions and can be misinterpreted as a bribe.
  • Although liquor and wine were old favorites, they are no longer recommended on a large scale, unless you truly know your recipients’ likes and dislikes.  You don’t want to send alcohol to someone who doesn’t or shouldn’t drink.

Don’t forget that your promotional products distributor is your best resource when planning your corporate gift-giving–at the holidays and year-round.  They can help you choose not only an appropriate gift but the best distribution method, and make sure your business’s identity and values are at the forefront!

For gourmet ideas that are sure to “hit the mark” this season, be sure to check out the wide selection of gifts available at and contact your promo products rep to take advantage of the goodwill tasty treats will invite to your doorstep!


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