I’m sure we’ve all heard “It’s better to give than to receive”; and it’s time to think about doing just that!

The History of Corporate Gift Giving

The tradition of gift-giving can trace its roots back to the festivals of the ancient Romans, well before any Christian connotations became connected to the most wonderful time of the year.

During the festival of Saturnalia, thanks were given to the bounty provided by the agricultural god Saturn. The festivities took place in late December and were typically celebrated with a sacrifice, a public banquet, and private gift-giving.

Gift-Giving in the Animal Kingdom

Humans aren’t the only animals to participate in gift-giving! There are many documented cases of gifting throughout the ages in the animal kingdom. For friendship or for love, gifting among animals is mostly driven to secure a mate or form a bond.

Crows are particularly known for their gifting expertise and are even known to exchange gifts cross-species with humans. “We’ve recorded it, and many people have witnessed it,” says John Marzluff, a professor of wildlife science at the University of Washington and author of Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans.

black crow

Marzluff has heard several stories of crow gifts: One crow returned a woman’s fake teeth. Another, after being freed from a fence, brought prey to its human rescuer. “These are very social animals,” Marzluff says, “and there’s no reason to suspect that they wouldn’t form bonds or associate preferentially with other species that are important to them.”

The Evolution of Holiday Commerce

Society, celebrations, and gifting have come a long way! Holiday commerce exploded in the 20th century in the United States. The boom of the American dream and times of economic prosperity after World War Two fueled a whole industry around the Christmas holiday.

Secular Celebrations: Separation of Church and State

With the country’s separation of Church and State embedded into the Constitution after the Declaration of Independence, Americans were able to celebrate their holidays with or without the religious trappings historically associated with Christmas.

Although the Christian principles behind the festive period were not forgotten, the material aspects, such as decorating the home, buying gifts, and preparing meals were emphasized as the best way to enjoy this secular celebration.

Tradition to Industry: Changing Trends in Gift-Giving

Trends and tastes in gifts are always changing but the act of acquiring, preparing, and bestowing something of value to friends, family, employees, or clients is something that has been honored by people all over the world in celebration of the holiday season.

Gift-giving is such a widely celebrated event in the Western world that huge industries have grown up around it! In fact, billions of dollars are spent every year creating, marketing, and distributing products that people can buy for one another.

Dollar Sign on a three tiered stand

The Business of Corporate Gift-Giving

Gifting is no longer just for the holidays! In the present business climate, it’s become appropriate to recognize anniversary dates, retirements, onboarding new employees, and of course thanking your clients.

Gifting can be an important tool to aid in onboarding and retaining both employees and clients. Both client and employee retention are critical to a successful business! A simple gesture with a thoughtful gift can mean a lot to your best clients or employees.

How to Select A Corporate Gift

The most important factor to consider when selecting a corporate gift for any occasion is the meaning behind the gesture and what you’d like to convey with the gift. To make your gift most impactful, you should consider the following when choosing what to give:

  • Show the recipient that you “get them” and know what matters to them
  • Reflects personal aspects of you or the connection you share with the recipient
  • Capture an important or specific time in someone’s life
  • Pay Attention! What topics animate and enliven your potential recipient
  • Think of gifts that may alleviate aggravations or save time

The Science Behind Corporate Gifting

When you’re able to get it “right” and give the perfect gift, you’ll activate the recipients’ brain reward center which will trigger a release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is associated with pleasure and happiness! This experience will lead to positive emotions that contribute to overall well-being and a sense of fulfillment.

gifts in hand

Corporate Gifting Portals

In the corporate world, you may not know your individual recipients well enough to use the above criteria to choose the perfect gift, but that should not stop you from the act of giving! We can create custom platforms that would allow you to curate items and have your chosen recipients log on and “shop” your corporate gift portal for themselves.

Branded Corporate Gift Ideas

Check out some of our best suggestions and ideas for branded corporate gifting!

Employee Onboarding:

Staff Appreciation or Retirement/Anniversary:

Client Onboarding or Thank You:

The Marketing Benefits of Branded Corporate Gifts

Investing in branded corporate gifts for your partners, employees, and clients does a lot more than create warm fuzzy feelings fueled by dopamine. The truth is, it boosts your brand awareness and gets your name in front of more people. One study showed that 66% of gift receivers can remember a brand’s name up to a year after seeing it on a promotional item.

Branded merchandise has high utility and a wide reach, which are two of the biggest advantages of promotional products as gifts.

We here at Identify Yourself would love to help you identify the best gift for you and your business’s unique needs!

Shop our Holiday Corporate Branded Gift Collection

Jenny Weaver

Jenny entered the promo world in early 2023 after 22 years in the manufacturing space. Her experience in sales as well as customer service has led to a smooth transition to Brand Manager here at ID Yourself.

Jenny prides herself on her quick and thorough responsiveness and attention to detail. Jenny is loving her role at ID Yourself!

Jenny and her husband Jason are transplants to the Outer Banks, originally from PA. She enjoys the beach, fishing, reading, and NFL Football (specifically the Philadelphia Eagles).