top of page

When Corporate Gifting Falls Flat: Avoiding Common Pitfalls and Improving Effectiveness

Corporate gifting is a common practice used by businesses to establish and maintain relationships with clients, partners, and employees. However, it is important to recognize that corporate gifting doesn't always work. In some cases, it can actually backfire and lead to negative outcomes. In this blog, we will explore some of the reasons why corporate gifting may not work and provide some suggestions for how to avoid these pitfalls.

Reasons Why Corporate Gifting Doesn't Work

  1. The gift is irrelevant or inappropriate: One of the most common reasons why corporate gifting fails is that the gift is either irrelevant or inappropriate for the recipient. For example, sending a gift of alcohol to a Muslim recipient or a gift of meat to a vegetarian recipient could be considered inappropriate and insensitive.

  2. The gift is low quality: A low-quality gift can send the message that the recipient is not valued or appreciated. If a company sends a cheap or poorly made gift, it may do more harm than good.

  3. The gift is too expensive: On the other hand, sending an excessively expensive gift can also be problematic. It may make the recipient feel uncomfortable or create a perception of favoritism or bribery.

  4. The timing is wrong: Sending a gift at the wrong time can also be problematic. For example, sending a gift after a deal has already been completed may seem insincere or like an attempt to influence future business.

  5. The gift is too generic: A generic gift, such as a pen or a calendar with the company logo, can seem impersonal and unthoughtful. It may not be well received by the recipient, who may feel like they are just another name on a list.

How to Avoid These Pitfalls

  1. Know your audience: The first step to successful corporate gifting is to know your audience. Research the recipient and learn about their interests and preferences. Consider their culture, religion, and values to ensure that the gift is appropriate and sensitive.

  2. Focus on quality, not quantity: Rather than sending a large number of low-quality gifts, it is better to send a smaller number of high-quality gifts. This will show the recipient that they are valued and appreciated.

  3. Set a reasonable budget: It is important to set a reasonable budget for corporate gifting to avoid sending a message of bribery or favoritism. Consider the recipient's position and the context of the relationship to determine an appropriate budget.

  4. Timing is everything: Be mindful of the timing of the gift. Sending a gift at the right time, such as after a major deal or project, can show appreciation and strengthen the relationship.

  5. Make it personal: Rather than sending a generic gift, try to make the gift more personal. Consider the recipient's hobbies, interests, or favorite foods to create a gift that is tailored to their individual preferences.


Corporate gifting can be a powerful tool for building and maintaining relationships with clients, partners, and employees. However, it is important to recognize that corporate gifting doesn't always work. By avoiding common pitfalls, such as sending irrelevant or low-quality gifts, setting a reasonable budget, and making the gift more personal, companies can improve the effectiveness of their corporate gifting programs. Ultimately, the key to successful corporate gifting is to show appreciation and build relationships in a way that is thoughtful, meaningful, and respectful of the recipient.

8 views0 comments


bottom of page