Tis the Season: 3 Ideas for Creative, Unexpected Corporate Gifts


The holiday season will be here before we know it. And with the festive decorations and celebrations comes an onslaught of corporate gifts. Of course, that poses the big question: what should you give your clients, vendors and partners?

Choosing thoughtful, memorable gifts isn’t easy. Let’s be honest—sometimes it feels like just another item on your to-do list, right? Yet putting some time and attention into your corporate gift selection is certainly worthwhile. After all, gifts aren’t just a way to say thanks. They’re also a way for you to make a lasting impression, a physical representation of the relationship and brand you’ve built. Just as you want to captivate imaginations and engage attendees at an annual corporate event, meeting or brand summit, you also want to produce similar reactions with a corporate gift—on a smaller scale, of course.

To help you get started, we’ve compiled three ideas for creative, unexpected corporate gifts. Read on for inspiration. And as an idea strikes you, do a bit of planning like you would for an event. Ask yourself what sort of reaction you want to spark, what you want the recipient to think about your brand when they open the gift, and how a gift might tie into your next year’s business strategy and your relationship with that particular recipient. That sort of purposeful gift-giving not only helps your brand stand out in a pile of popcorn tins and fruit baskets—it also helps deepen the connections that are so important to your business and its bottom line.

3 Ideas for Corporate Gifts that Make an Impact

Think Inside the Box

We love to encourage creative thinking, including stepping out of the box. But this holiday season, what if you think inside the box instead? Curated gift box subscriptions continue to be wildly popular, and you can apply that similar thinking to your own gift. Compile a branded gift box that speaks to your brand and its story. You could combine some logo-adorned swag like a notebook, pens or pencils and even a high-quality T-shirt or long-sleeved shirt with a few favorite locally made items from your company’s home city, for example. Gift boxes will be most impactful with a theme, so it’s helpful to start there. One idea could be a “prep for the new year” box. Pick a few productivity-focused tools and gifts and combine them with a bag of local coffee or tea, a mug and a personal note about getting ready to do big things in 2018. A relaxation/pampering gift box could be equally welcome and a signal to slow down and enjoy the time of year before gearing up for the new year. After all, rest and relaxation is always a welcome gift, right?

Showcase Your Skills

What products, services or skills does your business provide? And how can you incorporate those elements into a memorable holiday gift? Showcase a featured product, for example, or a product or service that was particularly instrumental to your company’s success this year. If you have an in-house creative team, collaborate with them to create some eye-catching, decorative packaging, or even additional gift elements like a framed print, a display-worthy desk calendar or a branded notebook. If your company offers a service, can you tie that in to a holiday gift? Offer free or discounted service, perhaps, paired with another item that reflects your brand and adds a personal touch to the gift. Or, you could offer gift certificates or credits to other services that connect to your brand and your recipient audience. Remember: useful doesn’t have to equal boring!

Get Your Employees Involved

Why not let your employees in on the gift-giving fun? If you feel stumped, consider crowdsourcing gift suggestions. We love this idea from Cole & Weber United, as highlighted by Entrepreneur. In 2012, the firm asked the staff to help design the holiday gift and turned the project into a contest. The winning idea: a log that was custom carved into a gift box to cradle a bottle of wine. You’ll want to factor in an appropriate timeline to get feedback and then create the gift, but if your schedule allows, this is a great way to get fresh, new ideas while also making your employees feel more invested in the process, especially if you opt to make the project a contest. A little friendly competition never hurts!

We hope these ideas helped spark your corporate gift inspiration! If you’re interested in more ideas or need help bringing your gift idea to life, we’re happy to help. Reach out to us and we’ll show you some neat corporate gifts we’ve created and curated, then discuss what we can do for you. And from our family to yours: happy holidays!

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