The Gift That Keeps on Giving – ROI on Corporate Client Gifts

Getting the best ROI on a corporate gift is more about being impressive than being lavish. Making an impression on your clients doesn’t mean a private jet pool party in the Maldives. On a small business budget, being impressive simply means conveying your branding message in a way that generates a return on the investment. So, how is it done?

Business growth via corporate gifting

Redefine “Impressive” in your mind

When it comes to small business branding, being impressive is about conveying the right message about your brand, in a memorable, valuable way. If you’re in the business of growing other businesses, this may mean a “growth” themed gift. Perhaps a branded calculator for an accountant, or a measuring tape for a baby industry retailer. Whatever is at the core of your brand’s story, must be at the core of your gift – if you want to leave that impression.

Pass Factor – pass it on, pass it by

The ultimate client gift will stay in your client’s pocket from this day until his last day. In reality though, your gift could be passed on to an underling or family member or worst-case-scenario passed straight into the trash. Cut through may mean choosing a gift that will be used in the client’s presence – maybe a new favourite toy for his toddler or a handy piece of office equipment for his assistant. If you’re gifting big clients who will be getting some serious presents from their suppliers, it might be worth focusing on a different space, rather than pocket or desktop.

Creating cut through in a digital world

Cut through has always been the number one challenge of advertisers. In the digital age, your clients are bombarded with messages every time they sit at their desk – TV and billboards have nothing on internet marketing. So how do you cut through it all?

Email stickboy

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The cut through check list:

  • Choose quirky, creative or useful corporate gifts – nothing that goes straight in a draw
  • Choose something that inspires conversation or curiosity
  • Deliver in person or choose something that makes a “wow” impression on arrival
  • Choose something that is easily photographed and shared online
  • Choose something that is personal and reflects an experience shared with the client

Measuring ROI

The Wall Street Journal’s top ten ROI savvy gifts include subscriptions to online entertainment sites (such as iTunes or Netflix), homemade fancy cakes, membership to chain coffee stores, stocks and shares. These all have that built in wow factor, or built in usefulness.

Measuring return on your corporate gift investment isn’t as simple as measuring an email marketing campaign or other quantifiable, traceable marketing activity. The whole concept of the gift is to give without expectation of a return – so how do you measure that ROI anyway?

  • Repeat custom of recipients vs clients who don’t receive a gift
  • Content and social edge generated by clients receiving the gift
  • Claim via a unique QR Code or tagged URL
  • Give to the decision maker but don’t forget the gate keeper. A little gift for the receptionist can go a long, long way.
  • Asking them! Use the gift as an excuse to make that next contact and ask them to tell you what they thought in their own words. Are these comments valuable to your branding position?

You don’t need to spend a fortune on an annual gift for your clients. Getting great ROI on corporate gifts is possible, you simply need to inject a little brand personality and a dash of creativity in order to stand out from the rest.

About The Author: Amanda Delatycki is a Corporate Writer and owner of – a corporate gift store specialising in quirky, creative, affordable corporate gifts for SMEs.


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