Business Gifting: The 10 Most Common Mistakes

Corporate gourmet gift basket customized with corporate logo gift card.

Every day at, we help businesses design, launch and run business gifting programs that delight their customers, employees and partners. We often get called in to fix gifting programs that haven’t been successful.

Over the past 17 years, we’ve helped thousands of companies build stronger bonds with their customers and employees. When it comes to business gifting, we’ve seen it all. The good, the bad and the ugly.

10 of The Most Common Business Gifting Mistakes

The Gift is Too Personal or Not Personal Enough

Stalking a prospect you don’t know well on social media and finding out they have a cat named Whiskers does not mean you should send that person a cat dish with Whiskers on it. Alternatively, the only people that will wear a hat with your company logo on it, are the people who work for your company. Give something people want without being creepy. A simple test is to ask yourself how you would feel if someone sent you a gift you’re considering giving.

Bad Timing

We see this one a lot. It’s important to ensure that your gift arrives to your recipient on the day of an event, particularly for anniversaries or birthdays. While “it’s the thought that counts” is true, it just doesn’t count as much if it arrives a week late

Wrong Address

Again, super common. With the number of remote employees increasing, trying to find the right address to ship a business gift can be a problem. Often times you can call the company to find out where your client sits or work with gifting providers that can help track down your recipient’s location.

No Personal Message

You’d be surprised at how many business gifts get sent without a personalized message. A message that reads “Your business is important to us! From your friends at ABC Company” basically tells your client that your business is just as important as everyone else. People like to feel special so make them feel special.

Missing on Branding

Your company brand should be integrated with every business gift you send but it has to be balanced. Don’t make the mistake of slapping your brand on everything. Find ways to add your brand to gifts in creatively.

Same Old, Same Old

We find that companies who initiate corporate gifting programs for employees and clients tend to keep the program going year after year. Why? Because it works. However, sending the same gift annually can get stale. Try to change it up over time.

Not Following The Rules

Many companies have corporate gifting policies which outline what employees can give and receive as business gifts. Cash or cash equivalents like are typically not allowable under most gifting policies. Gifts containing food or branded keepsakes are normally allowed. Government and financial institutions tend to have the strictest gifting policies.

Waiting Until Last Minute

You should provide yourself ample time to compile your list of gift recipients, ensure you have proper address information and make sure you haven’t forgotten anyone. Waiting until December 15th to send out 300 Holiday gifts is a recipe for disaster. For a sizable gifting campaign, you’ll want to start at least 45 days from the expected delivery date.

Not Setting a Budget

Like any purchase, you should outline a budget. Aside from the actual gift, you’ll need to consider costs for personalization, customization and shipping.

Not Working With a Reputable Provider

A business gift should demonstrate your gratitude and thankfulness. It should also represent your Company. Presentation, timeliness, value and quality are all super important. Work with providers who have experience in business gifting. It will save you time, money and most importantly ensure you’re gifting program is successful.


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