Ride the gift horse – tackling the corporate gift Q&A

This article was posted on Thursday, July 31st, 2014


For many companies, it has become customary to hand out year-end gifts to clients. These range from pens to BMWs and are hence often the subject of much debate.

So, before you saddle up the gift horse, consider these questions:


This is a deceptively simple question; the answer to which can be more complex than expected.

  • Are you handing out gifts because your competition does?
  • Are you doing it because your clients expect you to?
  • Is it a gesture of thanks to existing clients?
  • Is it an opportunity to market your company to potential or new clients?


Some clients are valued for their spend, some for their loyalty, some for their long-term support, others for their potential spend, loyalty and support.

  • Who are you handing out gifts to this year?
  • Will the gifts be customised to the personal profile of the recipient?
  • Will certain clients ‘qualify’ for ‘better’ gifts than others?
  • How will you manage the process of multiple recipients in one company?
  • Who will not be getting gifts this year?


  • What budget is available for the gifts?
  • When will the gifts be handed out?
  • How will you distribute the gifts?
  • Who will hand over the gifts?


Often the first question asked and decided upon without the benefit of all the previous answers.

What is the right gift or selection of gifts for your company?

The above are all important questions, and some are rather difficult to answer. However the gift Q&A is seamless when guided by a brand strategy.
The answer:

A good brand strategy encompasses all elements of your brand’s relationships with all your target markets. The giving of gifts is undeniably a decision and exercise to be governed and managed by this strategy.

It starts with your brand positioning and your brand values. These determine your brand behaviours of which gift-giving is part.

If gift-giving is deemed a strategic brand tactic only then the why, who, how and what can be addressed.

For example:

If your brand strategy is to grow your current client base and a significant portion of your marketing budget has been allocated to Customer Relationship Management (CRM), then the giving of gifts to and the hosting of events for your loyal clients takes precedence over new client acquisition initiatives.

However, if you have recently launched a service or product that opens up a new market segment for your brand, then the opposite is true and perhaps the budget is allocated to promotions and direct marketing initiatives designed to attract new clients rather than CRM.

Your brand values dictate the personality of your gifts; professional vs. personal, customised vs. corporate, branded vs. unbranded, local vs. imported etc.

How and when the gifts are handed out also falls within the ambit of the brand strategy; integrating with and complementing existing brand initiatives increases effectiveness and makes budget sense.

And herein lies the value of talking to Power of 9 about your corporate gifting; our answer is not to simply forward some catalogues then a quote and a delivery date. Our answer is to ask the right questions to ensure that your gifting budget does not materialise in the bottom draw of your client’s desk or in their kids’ school bag or worse still, in the bin.

So reign in your gift horse and let’s ride.

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