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TCMPiBranded, Customized or Personalized: 3 Ways to Add Emotional Appeal to Corporate Gifts


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Adding a customized message or an individual’s name or even a company logo can add emotional value to a business gift far beyond its purchase price.

Put yourself in this scenario: You’ve worked long and hard all year. You know your company appreciates what you’ve done but now it’s the end of the year and, let’s face it, that time when you’ve come to expect a little extra acknowledgement of your contribution. Your VP calls you in, shakes your hand, tells you what a great contributor you are and hands you a gift wrapped box.

Unwrapping the gift reveals a box emblazoned with the company logo and the message “In deep appreciation for your work in 2012.” Inside is a gorgeous Montblanc pen and pencil set, each implement finely etched with your name.

Now, do you think you will ever forget who gave you that gift? Do you suspect that you will always remember that gift and that giver with fondness? Do you think you’ll even save the box it came in? Of course.

While branding gifts with company logos can seem a bit self-serving, when done discreetly or combined with other customization, as in this case, it can serve as a perfectly reasonable reminder of the giver and even add emotional appeal. Adding a customized symbol or thought, such as a distinct charm on a bracelet from Alex and Ani or Links of London, serves as an additional reminder. You can even go one step further and personalize a gift like a TAG Heuer watch with the person’s name on the back. Now that’s really adding value to a business gift or employee reward.

The point is, you give corporate gifts for a reason: to acknowledge or reward the recipient. The more thought and effort you put into the gift, the more likely it is to have value far beyond its purchase price. Adding a personalized nameplate to a Charles Pabst painting, for example, marks the gift as special and meaningful. Giving a Lladro commemorative piece stamped with a special acknowledgement adds nostalgia to the emotional mix. Even branding Oakley sunglasses with your company logo can act as trigger of fond remembrances.

It is of course important to keep in mind that there are times when using brand name gifts might not appropriate.  If your goal is to recognize hard work, benchmark an achievement or motivate a certain staff behavior then often this is the appropriate time for a name brand gift either blank or tastefully customized.  Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes: are you more likely to wear a generic watch with your company logo on the weekend, or a Tommy Bahama watch tastefully etched with a message or initials on the back?  Which would prompt you to share the story of how or why you received the gift with your colleagues, family and friends?

If your goal is to promote or reinforce your brand, convey a specific message or get someone to a specific event then often a non-brand name promotional product with your logo may be the appropriate choice.  Also keep in mind the economics of the deal – if your budget does not allow for a gift appropriate of the benchmark then it may be better to not give a gift at all and find another more meaningful way to show your appreciation.

So once again, put yourself in the scenario of receiving a gift from your company or one you do business with. Happy as you may be to receive a thoughtful acknowledgement of your relationship, think of how you will return to that happy thought time after time if the gift is enhanced with the company’s brand, a special mention or even your name.

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