Corporate gifts are one of the most popular uses of promotional products. They appear as number one in a list produced by the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) in the US.
The remaining top ten uses are: trade shows, brand awareness, employee relations and events, public relations, dealer/distributor programmes, new customer/account generation, new product or service introduction, employee service awards, and non-profit fundraising programmes.
Other uses include customer referral, corporate communications, market research, public awareness campaigns, internal promotions, incentive schemes and encouraging brand loyalty.
Corporate gifts provide a unique way to promote a company's brand and message, although this must be done in a subtle rather than obvious way. Their main purpose is to show appreciation by rewarding loyal customers for their business and to build positive long-term relationships. This is quite different from inexpensive giveaways handed out at trade shows for example. Any branding on corporate gifts must be discreet or it might make the gift embarassing to use.
When selecting a corporate gift it is important to remember that the gift will reflect the company or brand - a quality brand therefore requires a quality product. Instead of having a positive influence, an unsuitable or unreliable product is likely to demotivate the recipient and devalue the brand.
It is also important to choose a gift that is both appropriate and thoughtful, showing that time has been taken to find out about the recipient's individual hobbies and interests.
Corporate gifts are just one of a range of promotional products available to businesses and organisations to raise awareness and enhance customer perception.