Updated March 2023
High end corporate gifting is more art than science. In his seminal article about optimal gift-giving behavior, published in 1996 and titled The Perfect Gift, Russell W. Belk wrote:
“A key element of the message of the perfect gift is conveying that the recipient is unique, extraordinary, and special, and the gift itself helps to convey this by displaying these same characteristics.”
Belk also wrote that, “The perfect gift must also be a luxury rather than a necessity” as well as something uniquely appropriate to the recipient.
These core components of the “perfect gift” are especially applicable to the somewhat tricky practice of high end corporate gifting. When selecting luxury gifts for VIP clients as well as key employees and executives in your business or organization, you naturally want to select gifts that adhere to these two core characteristics of perfect gift-giving. You also want to select a gift that will convey:
- your regard for the recipient,
- your good taste,
- and something that is also appropriate to both the occasion and time of year (a customer appreciation gift sent during the height of summer will likely be different than what you select for an end-of-year holiday present).
With these fundamentals in mind, we have created a brief guide to help you master the delicate art of of high end corporate gifting.
How to Select a Gift your Recipient will Find Uniquely Appropriate
“Our attentiveness to the recipient’s particular needs and wishes is displayed in the uniquely appropriate gift.” – Russell W. Belk, The Perfect Gift
When it comes to selecting a “uniquely appropriate” luxury corporate gift, a customized or personalized gift is a great idea. Personalizing a gift allows you to show your appreciation for the recipient. Whether through custom engraving of a well-thought-out message or selecting a gift that takes into account the giftee’s hobbies, passions, interests – whether mixology, technology or photography – and personal values (e.g. environmental sustainability), aim for a gift that feels like it was chosen specifically for the recipient. “Generic, pro forma, or token gifts eliminate the appropriateness condition” of perfect gift giving, according to Belk.
Of course, you should also avoid sending a gift that is too personal (like perfume or jewelry). In addition, try to select a gift that is appropriate for the occasion (company retreat gifts are often quite different from a thank-you gift) and time of year (golf gifts are great for summer, not as much for December – unless your VIP plays golf year-round).
How to Select a Gift your Recipient will View as “Luxury”
“Gifts, unlike many ordinary consumer goods, are not intended to fulfill lower-order needs, but are instead addressed to higher-order needs for love, self-esteem, or self-actualization.” – Russell W. Belk, The Perfect Gift
What exactly signifies a luxury product to consumers these days? According to The Guardian, “Traditionally, luxury may be defined as an inessential, desirable item that is expensive or difficult to obtain; nowadays, we could fit within that category things such as time, copper, cod… […] There have also been positive efforts within the sustainability movement to redefine luxury as something that embodies the social and environmental credentials of a product or service.”
Luxury products are typically made from high quality materials (for example – a cocktail set made from crystal glass vs less expensive soda lime glass) and have a higher level of craftmanship (custom, handmade, hand sewn, precision cut) than less expensive, mass-produced products. Luxury products are often associated with exclusivity (e.g. limited editions) and, of course, brand names matter when it comes to luxury goods.
When selecting high end luxury corporate gifts, we often suggest choosing high quality, customizable brand name products that are associated with leisure or personal development aka self-actualization rather than utility. Simply put, a luxury item is not a necessity.
The Camelbak Eco-Rogue Hydration Pack features two external pockets for small items like keys, wallet, phone or storage for a shed layer. The 2.5L Crux reservoir can be refilled on the fly via the quick-release flap on the front of the pack. Includes reservoir. The Back Panel/Harness is made from Recycled Poly Airmesh. Interior Pocket is made from Recycled Poly Pocket Mesh. Through a partnership with 1% for the Planet, one percent of sales go to environmental causes. We can embroider your corporate logo onto this eco-friendly bag which also features the brand logo of Camelbak, the originator and world leader in hands-free hydration.
Check out our Luxury Swag guide for 16 high end gift ideas that can be customized with your company’s logo and colors.
How to Select an Appropriate Price Range for High End Corporate Gifting
“…a cheap gift or one that is cheap relative to the giver’s means, removes conditions of sacrifice and luxury.” – Russell W. Belk, The Perfect Gift
Selecting a pricier, customized luxury corporate gift versus a more generic item helps convey your regard for the recipient’s status in your company – whether as a VIP customer, CEO, high-ranking employee, board member or other company stakeholder – which is exactly the point of such a gift. Nonetheless, the luxury corporate gifting needs of a Fortune 500 are going to differ quite a bit from those of a startup. The price of a gift you give a lower ranking employee should certainly also differ from that of a present bestowed to a CEO.
While the price of high end corporate gifting always reflect your company’s overall success and net worth – as well as the importance of the giftee to your organization – you also want to avoid gifting an item that is excessively high in value. In fact, sending an expensive corporate gift to a client who is unable to keep the gift due to their organization’s business ethics policies is something that should be avoided at all costs. Most corporate HR departments map out corporate gifting budgets and policies – including spending limits – for both internal and external gifts. According to Emily Post’s Business Etiquette, “Be sure to follow your own company rules AND check with the HR department at the intended recipient’s company first.”
High End Corporate Gifting Made Easier
For additional luxury corporate gift ideas, check out our article on High End Promotional Products, fill out the form below, or contact us for assistance with selecting the best high end corporate gifts in your price range.