Trying to get your foot in the door with that executive Decision Maker? Working in HR and want to reward your mid-level execs and C-Suite team? Maybe you’re just sending holiday gifts to strengthen relationships with your VIP clients.
Whatever your goals are, finding good corporate gift ideas for executives can easily become a pain in the A$$. There are, however, plenty of fantastic options within all price ranges.
In this article we’ll help you find:
- How to Choose an Executive Gift
- Cool Executive Gifts on a Budget
- Great Mid-Range Executive Gifts
- Awesome High-End Executive Gifts for VIPs
- Executive Gifts Based on Occasion
- How to Manage Executive Gifting
- How to plan Executive Gifting for the Holidays
Let’s get started. Strap in.
How to Choose an Executive Gift?
Choosing executive gifts can be a lot easier than most people realize.
- Start from Your Budget - How much are you willing to spend? The gift options available will depend on whether you’re willing to splurge – in which case the sky is the limit, or if you’re on a budget and need to spread it across multiple recipients.
- Consider the Occasion – The best gifts are aligned with your company’s value proposition or ethos, or your recipient’s style. They are in tune with the gifting occasion – you might gift a bottle of Moet to christen a new relationship compared to gifting a custom branded set of quality steak knives to get a meeting with a VP of Sales in Q4.
- Consider Logistics & Legal – Do you need to send your executive gift to multiple recipients worldwide? Do you need to custom-brand it? These considerations will increase your lead times making some gift ideas less practical.
Alternatively, are you gifting people in highly regulated industries like doctors or bankers? The recipients have caps on what value gifts they can receive. Research this before sending.
- Put Yourself in Your Recipient’s Shoes – The more you know about your recipient, the better. Are they into golf or cooking? Is there a certain cause they’re into (like environmentalism or inclusiveness)? Knowing their preferences can help you find a gift that will make an impact.
- No One Wants your Chachkies - Would you appreciate a cheap-looking power bank with some company’s logo on it or proudly wear a t-shirt with someone else’s promotional message? Probably not. Neither would your recipient.
For executives, it is always preferable to go with something that shows you appreciate the quality or put in thought vs. junk. The quality of your gift impacts their perception of the quality of your relationship.
Executive Gift Ideas to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing
To make things easier for you, below we’ve compiled a list of 20+ top-rated corporate gift ideas that are sure to put a smile on the faces of those who receive them.
We’ve arranged them based on price points and occasions. Although this list is definitely not definitive, it will get you started, or, alternatively, you can just copy one of our gift ideas. Plagiarism is the best form of flattery.
Cool Executive Gifts on a Budget (~$50)
Executive gift ideas don’t have to make you break the bank. Sometimes less is more and the right, well-thought-out gift with a clever angle, can make just as much of an impression as a super expensive one.
Here are some great executive gifts on a budget:
Price: Starting at $16.99
When/Who: Small but great gift for an executive receiving a promotion. Perfect for someone who is both an avid note-taker and environmentally conscious.
The Basics: This reusable notebook comes equipped with a Frixion pen and microfiber cloth. Once you write your notes, you can automatically convert them into digital format and upload them to cloud services like Dropbox or Evernote. When you’re done, just wipe the page clean and reuse it. No fuss no muss.
Price: Starting at $24.8
When / Who: Games are generally a great door-opener gift. There’s just so much you can play with.
A legal services company can send these to prospects with a note about how compliance risks can bring their company down.
We had a client in the investment sector who sent branded card decks to prospects with a note about not gambling with their financial future.
At best you’ll get that meeting. At worst, they’ll display your gift on the office shelf.
The Basics: The kit comes with a laser-engraved quality wood box and both the lid and the blocks themselves can be imprinted with logos or custom messages.
Price: $34 Per Unit
When/Who: Open the door to a conversation with a newly promoted manager. Send them the case with a personalized note.
Then, when they set the meeting with you, send them the personalized pen so they can sign your contract.
The Basics: The case is made with high-quality Rosewood and has the perfect finish, making it an excellent accessory for anyone to have on their desk.
You can choose the box color and personalize the design and branding on the box.
Price: Starting from $25.15
When/Who: Great welcome gift to new executive hires and clients or to hand out to prospects at corporate events, customized with the message “Let’s grow together”.
The Basics: This kit was designed with absentee gardeners in mind.
If your executive recipient travels regularly and forgets to water it, the passive hydroponic will still bring water and nutrients to the plant's roots.
They’ll be seeing your logo as they watch their plant and your relationship grow and thrive.
Price: Starting at $48.25
When/Who: Show your appreciation to managers during the holidays, send as a follow-up to a VIP event or use it as an apology gift to turn an angry client into an advocate.
The Basics: Brownie Points is a women-owned business run by artisan pâtissiers out of Ohio.
They offer a wide variety of decorated, sleek-looking sets, starting at $32 and can be sent as an eGift with a personalized message for the recipient to redeem.
Anyone who loves chocolate will devour these brownies in no time.
Price: Starting at $47
When/Who: High-end branded drinkware is a must-have when you want your recent product launch adopted by executives or when crafting an onboarding kit you want people to appreciate.
The Basics: YETI is synonymous with top-quality performance drinkware.
Its double-wall vacuum insulation is tough has nuts and will keep drinks cold or hot for as long as scientifically possible.
Perfect for the adventurous or for executives on the move.
BTW, this option, from Asubu is, in our opinion, even cooler and starts at just $33.
Great Mid-Range Executive Gifts ($50-150)
Price: Starting at $52.50
When/Who: It’s a simple but classic gift for special occasions and holidays. Few recipients will turn down this sweet gift.
Recipients will also double as your brand ambassadors as they lay this gift down for their office guests to enjoy.
The Basics: This Gift Box comes with your choice of goodies, such as milk and dark chocolate, a fruit medley, and even after-dinner treats.
The box can be branded with your logo and design.
Price: Starting at $79
When/Who: Perfect for a wake-up campaign, when the goal is to shake the dust of a stagnant opportunity.
Alternatively, send it to an outdoorsman executive as a birthday or anniversary gift and deepen your relationship.
The Basics: The three-piece kit includes an espresso, a pressurized coffee maker, a cup, a four-pack of stainless-steel insulated cups and a water bottle.
It is the perfect accessory for campers who like to rough it, but appreciate the finer things.
Price: Starting at $91.4.
When/Who: Perfect for an offsite or retreat. Send them these a week in advance to get your executives excited leading up to the actual event.
Also makes an excellent work anniversary gift, when kitted with a luxury vacation voucher.
The Basics: This Turkish Kimono style robe can be embroidered with your logo or artwork. It comes with a custom-printed Quilted Velour Slipper inside a custom drawstring travel bag.
Price: Starting at $107
When/Who: Let’s face it, most senior executives are usually old enough to be nostalgic about Atari-age tech.
This is a great gift for executive events and door-opener campaigns. Let’s make memories together.
The Basics: Old school in a new design. Just point and click to shoot. Then shake it like a polaroid picture – because it is a polaroid picture.
Price: Starting from $148
When / Who – Taking VIP clients out to steak dinners is a staple of American corporate culture.
This is perfect as a closing gift when signing a contract with a distantly based executive or to generate a compelling event for getting that contract signed.
The Basics – The kit can be delivered to your client within 24 hours.
It contains everything they need for their family’s monthly cholesterol fix - 4 Butcher's Cut Sirloins, 4 split lobster tails, baked potatoes, and caramel apple tartlets. YUM!
Price: Starting at $136.99
When/Who: Perfect as a closing gift or to celebrate any big occasion from New Year’s to birthday gifts!
The Basics: Top-quality champagne, perfectly paired with chocolate truffles. It’s an elegant gift to give with the dry champagne being the star of the show.
Price: Starting at $148.80
When/Who: Great for new hires taking on a management role. Perfect as a VIP gift for a virtual show, webinar, workshop, or round table.
Send these to each participant to make sure they look and sound crisp and remember you long after the event.
The Basics: This set includes a 1080p HD webcam and a lighting kit with an intelligent LCD display.
The kit will brighten up your executive’s next video call and ensure they look their best.
Awesome High-End Executive Gifts for VIPs (>$150)
When/Who: This is a no-brainer holiday or birthday gift for VIPs and executives. Everyone loves Italian food.
The Basics: This set comes packed with handpicked gourmet ingredients from artisan makers in the heart of Italy.
The kit includes pesto, chocolate-dipped oranges, extra-virgin olive oil, truffles, tomato sauce, spaghetti and more.
Price: Starting at $242.99
When/Who: Perfect to celebrate a special occasion, whether they’ve smashed their goals, received a promotion, or are celebrating their work anniversary.
This set is sure to get you a toast.
The Basics: Few tequilas have reached premium luxury status. Don Julio 1942 Anejo is one of those at the top.
This set comes with 4 Himalayan Salt shot glasses. Class should not be a dirty word.
Price: From $325
When/Who: This gift is great for the busy executive who always has somewhere to go!
It’s perfect as a work anniversary gift or to get buy-in for special occasions such as a rebrand or new product launch.
The Basics: This luxury brand bag consists of ballistic nylon, an interior zip pocket, and multiple compartments for storing just about anything.
It can be custom branded with your logo.
Price: Starting at $307
When/Who: Like its more budget-friendly counterpart in the previous section, this makes a great closing gift when you can not meet in person for that traditional steak dinner.
Also makes for a great gift to executive teams who hit quota.
The Basics: The kit contains everything a meat-loving executive could possibly want.
It consists of 4 of each filet mignon, top sirloin, and ribeye including a Private Reserve Meat Rub.
Price: Starting at $698.45
When/Who: This is a high-end gift for someone you know well enough to know they love catching the waves, tailgating or travelling.
It’s a great executive birthday gift that shows you have quality in mind.
The Basics: The durable, high-quality portable cooler can keep things ice cold for up to seven days.
It comes equipped with extra insulation and a convenient molded-in lock.
Executive Gift Ideas by Occasion
Door Opener Campaigns
Door opener campaigns, as the name suggests are sales or marketing projects geared towards driving meetings with decision-makers or potential executive champions in strategic accounts.
The point of these campaigns is to elicit a reaction. Hence, it’s more about a clever idea than about splurging or slapping your logo on an expensive item.
Here are some cool door opener campaigns we’ve seen from our clients:
Price – Starting at $28
Play – This is a clever door opener for getting a meeting with that hard-to-catch executive DM.
Send with a message about helping them clean up their desk from tedious tasks, or helping them clean up their mess (e.g. messy pipeline or data).
Price – Starting at $9
Play – This is a great door opener for any situation. You can also hand these out at your next trade event.
They’re much less likely to end up in the trash vs. your regular brochures.
Send with a message about how sweet it will be to work together.
Price – starting from $46
Play – Send with a message about helping your recipient find their Zen, saving time so they can enjoy a moment for themselves, or about how when you’ll partner with them, you’ll have their back (just like a spa masseuse).
Price – starting from $1.35
Play – Each piece of confetti is made from eco-friendly paper embedded with wildflower seeds.
Send to a prospect celebrating a milestone or achievement with slogans that play on the Grow, Care, Develop, Nurture, Bloom theme.
Add a note that your company will help them avoid waste – you take waste so seriously, that even your confetti is recyclable.
Client Anniversary / Renewal
The anniversary of your merchant-client relationship is not just a date for hunting down your point of contact to find out about your renewal.
It’s an opportunity to show appreciation and build up your relationship.
Sending something small to show your gratitude is a great way to build internal champions – or at least spark some reciprocity so they have one more reason not to talk to your competitors.
Here are some common client anniversary gifts:
Price: Starting from $49
When/Who – Gift baskets are a classic thank-you gift.
The added benefit is that if you send it to your recipients’ office, they’ll likely share the contents with their team and tell them about who it's from and how great a partner you are.
Price – Starting at $144
When/Who – This is relevant for customers who you know well enough to know their interests and that these interests involve golfing.
It serves the dual purpose of both saying thank you to your client and having them promote your brand to their executive friends on the golf course.
Price: Starting at $144
When/Who – People love showing off their achievements.
If you’ve worked on a big implementation together, if your client was certified on your platform, or if you’ve just made up some achievement award, plaques are a great anniversary gift. Executive recipients will display them in the office serving as your brand evangelists.
Closing and Referral Gifts
Closing a deal is not just a happy occasion for you as the vendor.
For your client, it’s the culmination of a process that likely included copious research, securing internal support and budgets, and making a final decision.
It’s also the beginning of your relationship.
Sending a thoughtful gift is your way of showing gratitude for all their work and getting your work together started on a happy note. It’s also a great way to drive referrals.
And, speaking of referrals, showing gratitude for referrals is always a great idea. Organic referrals, done by someone who truly loves your brand, are worth their weight in gold.
Here are some tried and true closing gifts and referral thank-you gifts:
Price: Starting at $140
When/Who: A classic gift to launch a new partnership, celebrate a big win, or show gratitude for a referral.
Whether you’re a realtor gifting it to a couple who just bought their first home, or a SaaS salesperson and your strategic client just finished their onboarding, your recipient is sure to appreciate a bit of bubbly.
Price: Starting from $86
When/Who: This is more for the hotshot salesperson who closed the deal than for the client.
It also makes a great referral gift though when sent along with a note thanking the recipient for helping you hit your quota.
Price: Starting at $20
When/Who: Plants make a great gift for starting a new business relationship. Cue wordplay messages on growing your relationship together, blossoming business outlooks, or nurturing their growth.
Gifts for Executive Retreat / Event
Nothing will kick off an executive offsite, retreat or roundtable event as well as a nice gift. It helps get participants in the mood and drives excitement leading up to the event.
Here are some awesome executive gift ideas for your next event:
Price: Starting at $62
The Basics: Planning a bit of golfing on your executive retreat? Give each participant a set of these custom-branded pro golf balls.
They’re designed to deliver long-distance, spin and control combined with a softer feel.
Price: Wide range depending on product
Starting from $9
The Basics: Whether you’re hosting an executive lunch or a customer advisory board, having all your guests wear your brand is a great way to get people in the mood.
They’ll look more like they’re part of the team, making them more inclined to act like ones.
Price: Starting from $31.5
The Basics: Whether you’re taking your executive team out to the beach or on a hike to build up team spirit, set the stage by branding your venue with your custom-made outdoor gear.
It will be a show of force for your guests. You can also let them take their own chair home as a reminder when you’re done.
Managing Your Corporate Gift Giving for Executives
It’s a given that gifts are a valuable tactic for businesses to strengthen relationships with their clients, prospects, and employees.
But, as a business grows, how do you keep gift-giving in check?
You want to give employees the freedom to show gratitude.
But you also want to be in control of your budget, ensure gifts are on brand and avoid compliance issues.
That’s where gifting platforms come in.
Tools like the one we provide our CG Elite Members on CorporateGift.com allow your business to set budgets for different entities and campaigns, assign roles and restrictions on who can send what and when and even define brand guidelines.
But wait, there’s more – to be an effective tool for engaging employees, and clients at scale, gift-giving needs to have structure.
Gifting management platforms allow you to automate gifting based on pre-defined rules.
Think about automatically sending a gift to your executive sponsor automatically 3 months before your contract is up for renewal or sending each new executive a VIP onboarding kit one week before their official start day – whether you have their mailing address or not.
Gifting platforms can integrate with your CRM, HRIS or other enterprise applications and enable you to set up these types of automation based on data.
Lastly, gift management platforms ensure you never run out of swag inventory and only order what you need.
These tools will give you real-time visibility into which swag items you have in stock and let you set rules that will automatically replenish inventories.
Gifting is a basic part of human behavior. With gift management tools you ensure it stays human, even if it's done in a corporate setting.
Planning Executive Gifts for the Holidays
During the holidays everyone is inundated with gifts. People’s attention spans are already less on their business and more on their upcoming holidays.
On the flip side, logistics become increasingly challenging as the holiday season draws near.
Suppliers run out of stock, production times grow exponentially high, and shipping delays become the norm.
Here are 7 rules to remember for planning holiday gifts for executives:
- Start early – anything branded can take 10-15 days to deliver. If you’re kitting multiple items expect 15-21 days on average.
- Send early – People go out on vacation on their own schedule. It’s better to send it early so they get your gift before they leave than late and have the office security get it.
- Stay compliant – Most companies and industries have rules around gifts to executives. Make sure you know them before deciding on your gift.
- Be original (if you can) – You want your gift to stand out and make an impression. Try to align it with your brand, your values, or your recipient.
If you can’t though, a gift basket is still a nice way to let someone know you care about them.
- Don’t be cheap – Give what you’d like to receive. Cheap gifts reflect on your brand and just create more trash.
- Follow up – Don’t wait for your recipient to call and say thank you.
Make it easy for them by calling or writing right after the holiday, just to make sure they got your gift and that they remember the contract you left with them just before they left on vacation.
- Give now more than ever – Employees and clients have been through a lot in the past couple of years. There was never a better time to show gratitude and build connections.
To learn more about best practices for holiday gifting, check out this article.
Learn more about CorporateGift.com
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Whether you want to drive more pipeline, engage your employees, or nurture partner relationships, CorporateGift.com has got you covered.
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