1. Corporate gifts are a great way to build and maintain relationships internally. Employees love being shown appreciation. And a properly chosen executive gift can show that very well. The result? Improved morale, improved motivation. Not to mention that happy, motivated employees perform better.
Choosing the proper gift, though, is a bit tricky. Once, some 15 years ago, I worked in Cash Management for a medium-sized bank. For Christmas, I got a personalized desk clock. So did everyone in my team (administrative assistants). So did everyone else in the department (my manager, and a bunch of vice-presidents and assistant vice-presidents.
I was displeased with the gift. What would I do with such a thing? The higher-ups were displeased too. Were they no better than the admins? Besides, it looked like the Bank had some leftover clocks and unloaded them unto us.
I later found out that yes, indeed, they had some clocks they had not used.
2. Corporate gifts can be used to attract new clients. The trick is to pick something that your recipient will value, find useful. Again, see the above. You have to know your prospects. When in doubt, give something everyone finds useful, like personalized coffee mugs or personalized pens.
3. Corporate gifts can be used to ensure that customers come back, buy more often. The last time I checked, every business could use more repeat customers.
4. Executive gifts build brand or product awareness. It's easy, or at least easier, to market your products or services to people who know your logo, your name, and something (positive) about your company and/or products/services. The 'something positive' can be just the feeling they get when they receive your executive gift.
According to a recent study by the Advertising Specialty Institute, 42% of the people who receive a personalized product have a better opinion of the company that gave them the personalized product after receiving it than they did before receiving the gift. Obviously, if you want the good will of more than 42% of the people you send corporate gifts to you'll give them something extra (a nice letter with the gift, a great message that reminds them of the great customer service they received, etc.)
5. Corporate gifts can be used to strengthen your relationships with other businesses. Whether you buy from they or they from you, if you need the good will of the people in the other business, corporate gifts are one effective way to do it. Effective because people hold on to them for a long time and they use them often.
6. Corporate gifts increase revenues. It's the combined result of the above 5 points. Promotional products have a long shelf life. According to the study mentioned above, 25% of the people who receive personalized coffee mugs keep them for more than 1 year, for instance and 50% of all recipients use them at least once a day.
Some of the business people I spoke to about corporate gifts thought they were expensive. Some cost a pretty penny, as the cliche goes. But the cost should be considered in relation to the results they give and the costs of other means of marketing and the results they give.
Even if you mail corporate gifts to someone, you're pretty much guaranteed that they'll open the envelope or the package. Sales letters and post cards (though each may cost less) are thrown in the trash can without being opened. How does that compare with 25% of the people who receive personalized coffee mugs and keep them for more than 1 year?
The business owners I mentioned had determined that corporate gifts were too expensive without testing, comparing. The six reasons to use them mentioned above suggest that you should, at the very least, test corporate gifts.