Corporate Gifts – Five Mistakes to Avoid


Businesses have been giving gifts away to peers, contacts and customers alike for much of recorded history. These days, the giving of corporate gift for various occasions and at various times of year is one that’s pretty universal and practiced by the overwhelming majority of businesses. As such, it’s hardly surprising that the market for corporate gifts has over recent years exploded into something quite staggering – the scope in terms of what’s on offer is almost too vast to believe.


However, there’s a big difference between giving just any old gift and coming up with an idea that actual befits your brand and your message. According to the experts at, a poorly chosen gift can be just as damaging as a great gift can work in the brand’s favour, which in turn means that choosing at random is never a good idea.

So with this in mind, here’s a quick overview of five of the biggest mistakes you can make when choosing a corporate gift – avoid all of these and you’ll be on the right path:

Anything Useless

First of all, novelties have had their day and really have very little appeal left to give. These days, any kind of corporate gift that may be fun the first time you look at it but then immediately becomes pretty much useless is destined for only one place…the garbage. By contrast, if you’re able to dream up an idea for a corporate gift that’s actually useful in some way, you’re looking at a whole different story altogether. From corporate calendars to power banks and right through to mugs, if it has a use in the office, chances are it will be kept and used. By contrast, if it’s pretty much devoid of any real usefulness, why would they bother hanging onto it?

Anything Cliché

There are so many examples of cliché corporate gifts that it’s difficult to know where to begin. From fuzzy bugs to tie clips, totally merit-free keychains, there’s nothing more uninspiring that being presented with a gift that’s not only devoid of any imagination or thought, but that you’ve also received and tossed out dozens of times before, It’s a pretty easy mistake to avoid too – the long and short of it being that whatever are the first things that come to mind when dreaming up corporate gifts, these are probably what you should be avoiding. Think about the way you’d respond to it yourself – would you honestly be pleased, or would it be a big snooze-fest?

Poor Quality

Something else to bear in mind is the way in which no matter what you give, the quality of it will be seen as a direct reflection of the quality of your brand and what it is you do as a business. This is where things get slightly more tricky as rather than just heading out and picking up the first interesting good you see, you need to make sure you’re buying them from a reputable provider. Take the example of a corporate calendar – a pretty simple and universally welcome gift on the whole, but not if it looks like it’s been put together by amateurs for pennies and falls to bits as soon as it’s put to use.

Disposable in Nature

The key to nailing it – as in really nailing it – when it comes to corporate gifts lies in giving them something that they cannot or at least will not throw away. This harks back to the point on giving something that has a use as it’s generally not within the nature of any of us to throw away things that could be put to good use – especially where businesses are concerned. It’s therefore a case of taking a look at what’s on offer and asking yourself – is there a chance they’ll just chuck it in the bin having determined it to be disposable? And if this is the case, what could you choose instead that’s more long-term?

Strictly Seasonal

Last but not least, is it a bad idea to give gifts around the times of special events and annual holidays? Not at all, but what could stunt your chances of hitting home is the mistake of offering only seasonal gifts. For example, give a bunch of cups with a Christmas theme and while they’ll be used for a while, they’ll no doubt wend up in storage come January. Likewise, any items themed around Easter, Valentine’s Day or even one of the four seasons will have limited appeal for much of the year. If possible, think of something that’s of value and use for the whole year – calendars once again representing prime examples.