Corporate gifting is a powerful and strategic tool for building the connections needed for sustainable business growth. When done right, it can play a significant role in boosting productivity and employee engagement and retention, along with brand loyalty and reputation.

When you’re trying to grow your business, corporate gifting might not be at the top of your list. After all, corporate gifting costs money. You may not initially see it as a worthwhile use of your revenue. 

But that’s a mistake, because corporate gifting comes with many benefits for your company, perhaps the most important of which is relationship building. Relationships lead to loyalty. They lead to sales and retention. And they lead to a more favorable reputation.

In this article, we’ll explore why corporate gifting is important for employees, shareholders, customers, and other partners — and how to do corporate gifting the right way. 

graphic of a closed gift

What is the purpose of corporate gifting?

The purpose of corporate gifting is to strengthen business relationships and enhance brand reputation by showing appreciation and commitment to key people who support your success. Your goal is to ensure the recipient understands how important their relationship with you is to your company. 

To clarify, corporate gifting is simply the practice of sending gifts from your company to a recipient. The basic strategy for corporate gifting involves selecting a gift that the recipient will find valuable and that would lead them to form a positive association with your company. 

As such, businesses use it to form and strengthen relationships with a host of people, including employees, clients and prospective clients, customers, shareholders, and partners. 

Ultimately, if they’re involved in your company’s success, they deserve a spot on your corporate gift list. 

Why is corporate gifting so important?

Corporate gifting is so important because you can’t have a successful business without successful business relationships. And gifting is a tangible way to strengthen these relationships. 

“It’s essential for organizations to establish strategic business relationships because no company will be able to get all their customer’s needs met alone in this era,” says Harbard’s Pamela Rucker. “As a company, you need partners to help you have elasticity in your capabilities and be able to respond to a fast-moving marketplace.”


Specifically, you can expect any (or all) of the following benefits from a strategic corporate gifting strategy. 

  • Build your reputation: When recipients receive valuable, meaningful gifts, they'll naturally want to share the news with others. This builds your reputation not only with the recipient but also with the public in general. 
  • Improve key relationships: You haven't built your company in a vacuum. Rather, you rely on your relationships with employees, customers, and other partners to stay afloat. Corporate gifting shows your appreciation and acknowledges the recipient's contribution to your company's success. 
  • Bridge distance barriers: Sending corporate gifts to customers or employees who live far away can strengthen your relationship with them despite physical barriers. This makes them especially useful for hybrid and remote employees.
  • Help your company stand out: Corporate gifts help you stand out from the competition. Sending meaningful corporate gifts gives your company a leg up in the minds of employees and customers. They'll be more likely to view your company positively and less likely to switch to a competitor. 
  • Reinforce the value of partnerships: Employees, clients, customers, and other partners all want to feel like they provide value to your company. Sending corporate gifts reinforces their value, which may lead them to want to continue providing that value. 
  • Strengthen relationships: All in all, corporate gifting strengthens relationships with your company. Strong relationships, whether employee or customer, are the foundation of your company's success. 

graphic of an open gift

What about employee gifting?

Employee gifting is a crucial subset of corporate gifting that requires a different strategy than customer or client gifting. 

It’s important because it acknowledges and rewards your team for their contributions, in turn helping to boost morale, culture, job satisfaction, and loyalty. 

Remember, corporate gifting is all about enhancing important relationships. And who plays a more important role in your company’s growth, long-term success, and profitability than your employees?

💡Ready to start rewarding employees? See our Guide To Developing An Employee Rewards Program. 


Specifically, when you give your employees meaningful gifts and a great employee rewards catalog, you can expect to improve the following:

  • Productivity: Employees will form a positive association with management and may be more inclined to boost productivity when necessary to meet steep production goals or carry the business through busy periods. 
  • Retention: Corporate gifting can aid employee satisfaction, encouraging employees to stay with your company for longer. Employee retention in itself improves productivity, company culture, engagement, and performance, among other metrics. 
  • Loyalty: After receiving a thoughtful gift, employees will know that you value them and their commitment to your company. They may then feel a stronger sense of loyalty, which positively influences their colleagues and the corporate culture as a whole. 
  • Reputation: Satisfied employees share their satisfaction with friends and on job postings. You can improve your workplace reputation overall with strategic corporate gifting. 

Give the right corporate gifts 

Good corporate gifting starts with selecting the right corporate gifts. Most important, your gifts need to be:

  1. Something the recipients actually wants
  2. Something that’s easy for you to actually send

Remember that you want your gifts to create an emotional connection, which means they need to excite the recipient.  Choose quality over quantity, and remember that presentation matters.


Your rewards should be personalized, so that your recipients just don’t just feel like a number on your list. 

The latest corporate gifting trend

graphic of phone with a gift card on it

Given that corporate gifts should be both desirable and easy to send, it’s not surprising that more and more companies are opting for digital gifts, especially when they want to send gift cross-borders.  

Specifically, digital gift cards and prepaid cards can be bought and sent instantly via email or through a digital platform or API integration. While technically you can opt to send gift cards in the mail as well, companies tend to choose them specifically because they want to avoid the time, effort, and extra shipping expenses. 

Moreover, digital rewards are eco-friendly, and you can also track them to see when they’re sent, received, and redeemed. This in turn can help make it easier to manage your budget. 

“When you give incentives, obviously you want to give the incentives that get the best results," says Nat Salvione, Giftbit COO.  “Gift cards get results.”


If you use Giftbit, you can hand-select meaningful gift cards for each recipient without needing to spend time driving to each store or delivering the gift in person. 

And equally important, people love getting gift cards because they’re so flexible and immediate. They can get exactly what they want—especially if you give them a range of options and brands to choose from. 

For example, with Giftbit, you (and therefore your recipients) will have access to a growing gift card catalog with hundreds of brands. You can give your recipients complete choice, or you might want to curate your selection for specific recipients. 

Maybe you know that the recipient loves shopping at Nordstrom, so you send them a Nordstrom digital gift card along with a thoughtful message. Or perhaps the recipient enjoys taking their family to the movie theater, so you send them a gift card to AMC Theatres. 

💡Pro-tip: Visa prepaid cards are very popular corporate gifts. 


And don’t worry that a digital gift will seem depersonalized. You can customize your gift cards with your organization name, logo, and a personal message, along with the recipient's name and any other information you choose.


Things to keep in mind when gifting

Keep in mind that corporate gifts are not the same as rewards. Recipients shouldn't have to first meet some criteria before they "earn" a gift. 

Specifically, corporate gifts should be unexpected. You shouldn't have a precedent where employees or customers know they will receive a gift when they achieve X criteria. Corporate gifts that come with an element of surprise could lead to greater happiness levels than those that are "occasion-based." 

They should be unconditional: Gifts should not be directly tied to a person's performance or specific actions. While you can examine certain criteria to determine who will receive a gift, those criteria should not be obvious to the recipient and those around them. 

And they should be untransactional: You should not expect recipients to "repay" you for the gifts you give. While you may give gifts with the intention of strengthening relationships, retention, or loyalty, keep that expectation to yourself. 

Because of the importance of giving gifts in business, you should spend time selecting the right gifts for each recipient. The actual gifts you give significantly impact the value they provide to recipients and, thus, reflect back on your company.

What is the purpose of a corporate giveaway?

A corporate giveaway is a campaign in which you give out promotional items featuring your company's branding and logo. You can give these items to any of the recipients you would give a corporate gift to. 

Corporate giveaways are a slightly different strategy than corporate gifting. They can achieve many of the same goals, but the motivation behind them is different, so you’ll want to structure them differently, too. 

Corporate giveaways aren't quite as meaningful as corporate gifts, but they can still provide benefits like showing appreciation, promoting brand awareness, and fostering brand loyalty. 

Traditionally, companies often used small branded items for corporate giveaways, like coffee mugs, pens, shirts, or portable changers. 

But for all the same reasons listed above, more and more companies use digital gift cards. They’re easier, more affordable, and not likely to end up in the trash! 

For example, what would you rather: a $5 gift card to Starbucks, or a branded notepad to throw in a drawer? 

How much money should you spend on corporate gifts?

graphic of presents

Time for the key question: how much money should you put in your corporate gifting budget?

Of course, the actual monetary value of your corporate gifts is completely up to your company. The average company spends anywhere from $50 to $200 per person on corporate gifts, with the total budget for corporate gifting equaling about 1% to 2% of total annual revenue. 

If you have a lower budget, that might mean sending gifts to fewer people rather than lowering the value of each gift. Focus on quality over quantity. 

Sending a gift that is obviously low in monetary value may have the opposite effect than intended on the recipient. They may feel like you are trying to “buy” their loyalty, yet you are not willing to sacrifice much money to do so. Alternatively, they may deduce they aren’t actually worth much to your company.

If you’re sending a gift card as a corporate gift, stick to around $50 as your minimum value. You can get by with a lower amount if you’re sending other gifts along with the gift card. But if the gift card is the only gift, choosing a higher monetary value can ensure that it still impresses the recipient without extra bells and whistles.  

Note that corporate gifts may be tax deductible, so you may be able to set aside more money for your corporate gifting budget than you initially expected to.

And keep in mind that even if you don’t have immediate plans to start corporate gifting, employee rewards are always a smart idea, it might be easier than you think to budget for employee engagement.  


Simplify corporate gifting with Giftbit

Sending corporate gifts doesn't need to take up too much of your time. The right gift card platform will help streamline and enhance this entire process. 

And if you’re ready to start the process of sending meaningful gifts to employees, clients, shareholders, and partner, Giftbit can simplify the process. Quickly send personalized gift cards as corporate gifts while ensuring their instant delivery. You can also view data and metrics about the gift cards you send to better shape your gifting strategy moving forward.

Click here to watch a quick demo of how Giftbit can help improve your corporate gifting program.