What is a good gift?

Marketing Research V2

What is a good gift?

Typically we think about gifts around Christmas. However, many companies are now realizing that gifts are a year round opportunity to make an impression.

Over the past 23 years we have been asked dozens of times what is the best gift for us to give to our clients? The answer is that there is no one size fits all gift. The art of great gift giving is to be thoughtful on what gift would be appropriate for the specific person or occasion. As you think about what type of gift to give you should consider some of these questions: Who is the gift for?  What is the occasion? What level are they in the company? Do these people sit at a desk, work from home or are they field based? Where do you want them to use/see the gift? Is this gift for an individual or a team of people? What is the purpose of the gift? Are you expecting to have a ROI from this? How much do I want to spend? These are just some of the qualifying questions we ask our clients before starting to offer gift options.

Having a clear understanding of who the recipient of the gift will be and strategically selecting a gift or gifts is important. We often recommend clients get more than one gift so that the gift can be tailored to the type of recipient. An impressive gift for a mid-level manager might not be very impressive or useful to a top level executive. Likewise, a beautiful desk accessory could be appreciated by some, but if the recipient is more field based, they may have a home office and have little use for your beautiful office accessory.

For customers, we try and get clients to think about (ROI)- Return on investment. By that we mean is there an expected return on the investment in giving the gift? For instance are you hoping the gift will increase loyalty? Frequency of orders? Frequency of referrals? If you are looking for your gift to have a ROI then you should probably be more discerning about the type of gift you select. Out of sight, is out of mind when it comes to referrals and repeat transactions, so if your gift is quickly consumed or is not visible the likelihood of it influencing behaviors like referrals or repeat transactions is lower than a gift that is visible.  That means food gifts, gift cards, wine and other “consumable” gifts would not be optimal, unless of course your plan is to continue to send gifts to that person regularly. If on the other hand you are simply giving a gift for the sake of being nice and you have no expectation of ROI or don’t want or need the gift to be a subtle reminder of your relationship, then pretty much any type of gift would be fine.

For employee gifts, employers assume that cash is king. However, numerous studies show that while desired by employees, it is one of the least effective gifts a company can give. Why? Because once that “cash” goes into an employee’s wallet there is no controlling how it is spent. It could buy a tank of gas, pay the utility bill or be used for a special purchase…but in short the employer has no control. So cash gifts fall into the out of sight is out of mind category of gifts…and if it is out of sight and out of mind it really doesn’t increase loyalty or a sense of employer appreciation.


One of the questions we often get is giving a gift with your company’s logo count as a gift. We would answer that yes it can/does count as a gift, but depending on the specific item and price point, it might be on a lower range of a “10 scale”.  Take a water bottle, if you give someone a $4-$10 water bottle with your logo, that might be a lower on the “10 scale” gift. If you give someone a retail brand bottle (Yeti, RTIC, SWIG, EcoVessel…) bottle that could be in the upper range of the “10 scale”.  Personalizing the item with the recipient’s name (with your brand on the gift) is one way to elevate the “value of your gift”.  Another way to elevate your gift giving is to make an item with just the recipient’s information on it–meaning the gift would have the recipient’s logo and name on the item and your information would not be on the item at all. Some people have a hard time with this concept. The feeling is that if they are giving something to someone they feel they must have their brand on the item so it is remembered that they were the giver of the item. We would argue that having your branding on such an item isn’t essential. Think about how many items you have that have your company logo on them with your name. Our experience is that most people have few or any of such items which means that your item is going to be very special and unique for them. The odds of them forgetting who sent them such a unique gift is unlikely in our experience.

There are actually now hundreds of items that can be affordably made with a minimum order quantity of 1–perfect for your gift giving plans!


We started this blog by talking about holiday gift giving but there are so many more occasions we can and should use gifts for…here are some examples:

-Work anniversary
-Client anniversary (number of years, number of orders, total volume of orders)
-New clients
-Team accomplishments
-Safety goals achieved
-Training goals achieved

We could go on and on about this…so if you are interested in discussing gift giving with us we’d be happy to share our ideas with you. Just give us a call at 303-789-4663.

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6888 S Clinton St #101
Greenwood Village, CO 80112

Office: 303.789.4663

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