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Corporate Gift Ideas for 2021 


minute read

Corporate gifting is rapidly changing. The need to become more approachable, relatable, and reachable is causing brands to look for ways to become more human. Start by finding the best corporate gift ideas. 

Slapping a logo on a cheap promotional item is no longer enough. It’s all about being intentional, strategic, and personal. When done right, corporate gifts leave an impression with employees, clients, or prospects that can drive a response. Whether that’s company loyalty, increased engagement, making a purchase, or a referral, the best corporate gift ideas will help lead to business growth and company success.

But how do you come up with meaningful gift ideas? In this guide, we’ll walk you through tips on how to choose the right corporate gift for your target audience, plus some of our favorite corporate gift ideas that impress.  

What Makes a Good Corporate Gift?

corporate gift examplesThe right corporate gift sparks a response. That’s why we give them. No matter who your recipient is, a gift can propel them forward to take that next step in a business relationship. 

Sending meaningful gifts comes down to being personal and intentional. By choosing a highly customized, functional, and valuable item, you humanize your brand in a way that makes it more relatable to prospects, clients, and employees. People do business with people. Corporate gifts remind your recipients that there’s a person behind that logo. And that person cares.

Tips to Find the Perfect Business Gift

Corporate gifts should evoke emotion, bring joy and inspire loyalty. By being intentional about the products, messaging, and packaging you choose, you’ll accomplish the goal of corporate gift giving. The following tips will help you choose the best corporate gifts. 

1. Choose high-quality gifts that recipients want to use.

Think of items that have unique functions beyond a traditional pen or notebook. And be subtle with your branding. Choose stylish and professional-looking gifts that tastefully incorporate branding.

2. Get personal with messaging.

When sending business gifts, you should always send a personalized message in some capacity. Whether that’s on the box, inside the box, on a card, or on the product itself, don’t be afraid to use your recipient’s name and write a heartfelt message. When you get personal, your corporate gifts feel more genuine.

3. Consider the presentation of your corporate gift.

A gift should look like a gift. Does the product you’re investing in come in a gift box? If not, have you thought about designing a custom gift box to go with it?

4. Be proactive and plan ahead.

While we always stress the importance of planning ahead to our clients, it will be more critical this year than ever. Global supply chain issues are causing price increases, inventory shortfalls, and shipping delays that are expected to continue, and possibly escalate. By planning ahead, budgeting now, and placing orders well in advance, you’ll have better access to the best gifts for your personas.

5. Think beyond the holidays.

Q4 is a popular time to send appreciation gifts to clients or employees. But some of the most meaningful gifts are given when they’re least expected. By keeping track of important milestones for both employees and clients, you can send more intentional gifts all year long.

Corporate Gifts for Employees

Employee engagement goes so much deeper than a yearly pay raise. It’s about making employees feel valued in a unique and genuine way. Think about celebrating important milestones for both the company and individual team members. Work anniversary gifts can help celebrate progress and loyalty, while back to the office gifts are a way to help team members readjust to a new routine. Hybrid or remote workforce? No problem. Consider sending corporate care packages to employees who work from home. And don’t forget about the employee onboarding process. Start your employee engagement strategy from the very beginning with a welcome to the team gift

There are so many different ways you can use corporate gifts to show employees their value. And it’s important that you don’t just focus on employee appreciation during the expected times of the year, like the holiday season. Employee engagement is a year-round effort. Celebrating important milestones, both professionally and personally, can help team members feel truly appreciated. 

Here are some of our favorite gift ideas for employees:

Branded Employee Jackets

branded employee jackets

Company jackets are a fun way to bring team members together while activating your brand. With unique customization options, branded jackets can help form a connection with your employees that builds deeper appreciation. Consider customizing jackets with an employee’s favorite quote, their name, or nickname for a personalized gift.

Customized Tech Items

custom branded headphones

Branded tech items make a thoughtful corporate gift for both remote and in-person employees. With virtual meetings becoming a popular way to collaborate in the workplace, employees will appreciate holiday gifts that make their day-to-day work schedules easier. Think about useful items like logoed earbuds or headphones, or branded power banks. These items keep employees connected, and powered on.

Logoed Backpacks

Logoed Backpacks

Branded bags or backpacks are not only a useful and versatile holiday gift idea for employees, but they can easily be paired with some of the other gift ideas listed above to create a premium holiday gift package. Think of versatile bags that are durable enough for remote activities like camping and hiking, but with space to pack a laptop or other work/travel necessities.

Customer Appreciation Gifts

Client gifts aren’t just a gesture; they’re also a smart business move. Sending customer appreciation gifts to your clients help keep your company top of mind while showing valuable customers that you care enough about their business to spend money on them. When selecting gifts for clients, it’s important they don’t feel mass-produced. Always include personal touches, whether that be a handwritten note or a personalized logo on the gift itself. Take things a step further and give gifts that speak to their interests and tastes.

Here are some of our favorite gift categories for clients that can easily be customized based on your personas:

Food Gifts

Corporate food gifts

Unique food gifts are an incredibly effective way to leave a lasting impression on your clients. Taste, smell, and texture have been proven to trigger deeper emotions and memories that can lead to a powerful impression on your customer. Consider combining the staying power of branded items with the tasty benefits offered by food. Gifts like the Taco Night Gift Set or Igloo Weekend Escape Gourmet cooler will have high staying power and delight the senses. 

Custom Blankets

custom branded blankets

Custom blankets are a versatile and thoughtful gift that clients can enjoy at home and on the go. They also can be easily branded with your company’s logo or chosen design. Consider blankets with bold designs, and made from premium materials such as the Slowtide Fleece Blanket or this Field & Co. Sherpa Blanket which comes with a handwritten card.

Gifts for the Hybrid Office

Gifts for remote workers

As people jump back and forth between the home and work office, hybrid office gifts are versatile options that clients will find useful. Consider items that make the transition between the corporate office and home office easier. High-quality options like this wireless charging mouse pad or writing pad are ideas for clients that are both unique and functional.

Corporate Gift Boxes

Corporate gift boxes combine high-quality products, personal messaging, and premium packaging to deliver an exceptional gift experience to recipients during an important season of appreciation. Gift boxes can also be sent straight to the home, providing an alternative way to reach remote team members or clients that are distant. 

When planning corporate gift boxes, it's important to plan ahead, especially if you are planning to send your gift during the holiday season. From mapping out the design of the gift box to the printing process, the whole project takes about seven weeks. If you’re considering sending a custom box, you’ll also want to keep in mind shipping and size restraints

Here are some of the best corporate gift ideas to consider for your gift boxes this holiday:

Branded Drinkware

branded drinkware

Branded drinkware is an item that will please everyone. Given it’s size, it’s easy to fit into a premium gift box. Plus, with so many customization options and different features for hot and cold beverages, it’s easy to come up with the perfect gift for your persona. Items trending right now are insulated tumblers that keep drinks hot and cold, and eco-friendly options, such as the H2go Rincon. Also, consider retail-inspired drinkware such as the Corkcicle Canteen.  

Insulated Coolers or Food Containers

Custom Logoed Coolers

High-quality food containers such as insulated coolers or branded bento boxes are a popular trend we’ve seen in the workplace. While people focus more on eating healthy, food containers make it easy for workers to prioritize nutrition. Plus, these items will easily fit inside a gift box and are easy to pair with other gift ideas.

Branded Gift Bundles

corporate gift box

An easy way to fill a corporate gift box is to invest in a gift bundle. There are quite a few premium products that are already uniquely paired with other items, so you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself. Consider pairing items with a high staying power, with more festive gifts like savory snack packs or gourmet chocolates. You can even get more creative and pair unique cocktail mixes with premium drinkware. Bundling gifts is an excellent way to increase the perceived value of your office gift.

Luxury Corporate Gifts

luxury corporate gift ideas

Not every client is created equal. High-level accounts who do the most business with you throughout the year deserve top-level items. Luxury corporate gifts will typically be purchased in low quantities and reserved for VIP clients. The following categories might make good premium gifts. 

  • Retail Inspired Items - These are brands that are popular and have a high perceived value. Some of our favorites include Corkcicle, CamelBak, Thermos, and Bose.
  • Gift Sets - Bundling items into high-quality gift sets is another way to send a premium gift. Packages might include food bundles inside a branded cooler or a cocktail gift set that includes a piece of branded drinkware and high-quality cocktail mixes. You can choose from already created gift bundles or make your own by pairing high-quality gifts together. 

Continued Reading: Learn how to choose high-end executive gifts for VIP clients.

Inexpensive Gifts

Inexpensive Gift ideas

Corporate gifting doesn’t always mean you have to break the bank. A little bit can go a long way when it comes to appreciation. Even with a strict budget, you can find intentional gifts that make employees or clients feel valued. When giving inexpensive gifts, think about giving items that prioritize experiences, while still including meaningful personalization.

Some ideas include: 

  • Hot Chocolate Bomb - This is a unique way to level up a more traditional gift. Place the “bomb” of hot cocoa into a mug of hot milk, and the magic happens. Recipients will love enjoying this with their families, especially if they have young kids.
  • Bamboo Cutting Board - This sustainable gift can be used and enjoyed in the home. Simple and inexpensive, yet classy, recipients will get a lot of use out of this functional gift for the kitchen.
  • Ambient Light Wireless Charger - Everyone can find a use for a wireless charger.  This specific one contains a one-of-a-kind light function that flashes blue or green. Recipients will love its functionality and unique look. You’ll love the free full-color imprint that activates your brand in a premium way.

Continued Reading: Browse more inexpensive gift ideas in our collection of products for $5 or less.

Gifts That Give Back

cause marketing gift ideas

In today’s market, people expect more from brands. They want the companies they do business with to support their values and be socially conscious. By investing in and handing out gifts that support a social cause or gift back to charity, you’ll show recipients the human side of your business and prove that your brand remains focused on a larger purpose. There’s a wide variety of products that come from brands making an impact. Here are some of our favorites: 

  • MiiR Insulated Tumblers - MiiR donates a portion of all product proceeds to projects focused on clean water, a healthy environment, and strong communities. 
  • Ecosmart Products - This product line is made entirely from sustainable materials like bamboo, wheat straw, and recycled cotton. A portion of proceeds also goes to support nonprofits focused on environmental efforts around the world. 
  • Basecamp Bags, Coolers & Drinkware - This brand offers high-quality and durable gift options that go to support wounded veterans. Basecamp supports the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization whose goal is to empower and support veteran soldiers wounded in the line of duty and help them transition to civilian life. 
  • Welly Bottles and Tumblers - This company offers functional yet fashionable drinkware that supports clean water efforts around the world. One percent of all sales of Welly products go towards water projects that bring wells and other long-lasting clean water solutions to communities worldwide.

Continued Reading: Learn how to use gifts to support a cause-related marketing campaign.

Sales Prospecting Gifts

gifts for prosepcts

Personalized gifts can be used strategically to nurture prospects through the sales funnel. Sales prospecting gifts should be intentional and personally selected based on the targeted persona. The right gift has the power to create a genuine connection with prospects before the sales process even begins. This connection leads to a level of trust that potential buyers will remember and value as you nurture them through the funnel. 

When selecting sales prospecting gifts, think hard about what your target customer wants, needs, or would appreciate. The following items are just some ideas to help get you started. Consider adding personal touches like a prospect’s name or brand name. 

  • NAYAD Stainless Steel Tumbler - Prospects will love the functionality of this piece of drinkware. Its high-quality design will keep drinks cold all day long and features a unique built-in straw. It can easily be personalized with a brand name, logo, or imprint of your choice. 
  • Satsuma Bento Lunch Box - Prospects will love using this lunch container at the office or on the road. Made with a natural bamboo lid that doubles as a chopping board, it’s a sustainable and functional option. 
  • Crumbee - A small but powerful gift, the Crumbee is a miniature vacuum designed to keep desk spaces clean. Prospects will love its unique features, and you can pretty much guarantee that it’s an item they’ve never seen or heard of before. 
  • Miir Bottle - This is both a cause-worthy option and a high-quality piece of drinkware. It features a minimalist single wall design and leak-proof lid, designed for those on the go. Personalize it with a prospect’s name, and they’ll be genuinely touched by the gesture.
  • Branded Power Bank and Wireless Charger - You can’t go wrong with a branded power bank. Generally, they’re cost-effective and respect most budgets, yet functional enough to still deliver a powerful statement to prospective customers.

Continued Reading: Learn how to choose the best sales prospecting gifts for your own target customers.

Corporate Gift FAQs

Why give corporate gifts?

Corporate gifting sparks a response. That’s just how human behavior works. It all comes down to the theory of reciprocity, which speaks to the psychological need to give something back when something is received. No matter who your recipient is, a gift can propel them forward to take that next step in your business relationship. 

How do you choose a good corporate gift? 

There’s a lot that goes into giving a good corporate gift. And the answer really depends on your audience, your goals, and how well you know your recipient. But there are some common characteristics a good corporate gift will have in common: 

  • Useful - The gift you select should be useful and practical. 
  • Thoughtful - Keep in mind who you’re giving your gift to. Be sure the item you choose is appropriate and considerate. 
  • Personal - No, we’re not just talking about branding your gifts with a company logo. The best corporate gifts will be customized to your recipient, whether that means imprinting their name, choosing their favorite colors, personalizing the packaging or just including a handwritten note. 

How much should I spend on corporate gifts? 

There’s no easy answer for how much you should budget. But it’s important to keep in mind how much your client is spending or what a prospect might spend. For employees, factor in how long they’ve been with your company and their loyalty. As a general rule of thumb, you can find a high-quality gift somewhere in the $50-$200 range. 

When budgeting for client gifts, we suggest identifying those that are most important to your company. Focus on sending high-quality gifts to these customers rather than stretching your budget and sending several lower-quality gifts.

Are corporate gifts tax-deductible?

Yes, corporate gifts are tax-deductible. According to the IRS, your business can deduct up to $25 per person per year for corporate gifts. This limit only applies to gifts to individuals. Company-wide gifts are deductible in any amount, though there are exceptions. Entertainment-based gifts, such as event tickets are only tax-deductible if you don’t attend the event with the recipient. Items that cost less than $4, have your company or logo printed on them, and are regularly handed out are classified as marketing items and are not tax-deductible. 

What are good corporate gifts for employees? 

The gifts you choose for employee gifts will depend on your team, goals, and budget. Luckily there are a variety of different options to choose from. We always recommend selecting gifts that can be personalized with your own company’s branding, logo, and, when appropriate, the employee’s name. Apparel is a favorite employee gift item for many, as it can be worn at conferences, events, and meetings. Plus, it gives team members a sense of pride and belonging. 

What are good gifts to give to clients?

The best client gifts are high quality, useful and unique. We love recommending retail-inspired products, because these have a high perceived value and typically are items that clients wouldn’t buy on their own but love as gifts. Think about outdoor gear from Osprey or Carhartt, high-quality drinkware from Corkcicle or CamelBak, or branded apparel items from NorthFace.  

How do I present a corporate gift? 

Branded or custom packaging adds a lot of value to corporate gifts. The right type of packaging has the power to turn what would otherwise be just an item, into a memorable unboxing experience. Plus, strategically designed packaging is often reused and repurposed, increasing the brand impact of your corporate gift. 

So what types of packaging can you choose from? Here are some popular options: 

Tie the packaging experience together with a handwritten, personalized note. This will make your corporate gift feel genuine while emphasizing the human behind your brand. 

What’s the best way to deliver a corporate gift? 

Decide whether you’re personally delivering your corporate gifts or shipping the items straight to the recipient. Consider the benefits of having your package dropshipped to a prospect, client, or employee’s home. Although this might cost a bit more than delivering to a business, it’s an excellent way to make your corporate gift stand out while adding personalization to the unboxing experience. Don’t let shipping and fulfillment logistics scare you away from delivering an exceptional corporate gift to your recipients. Our team can help you take care of the small details and make sure your gifts arrive in one piece on time.

Download the Lookbook

We’ve talked a lot about finding the right gift. The power of corporate gifting decreases significantly when the gift that’s given doesn’t match the wants, needs, or personality of the recipient. By being strategic about what you choose, you'll give more meaningful gifts that impress. Want more inspiration? Grab a copy of our Holiday Lookbook to find 70+ unique corporate gift ideas that will drive recipients to take action

Our team can help translate these corporate gift ideas to fit your target audience and their persona. With expertise rooted in ideation and product selection, we’ll use our knowledge to help you find the right corporate gifts that deliver a thank you that’s loved.

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