Have you ever received a Corporate Promotional gift that made an impression? If so, what was it?


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Pretty much anything that’s high quality and that you’d think twice about throwing out. I would avoid technology items since they become dated rather quickly. (though I admit to hoarding USB keys from trade shows)

I have a pen from the ISACA that goes with me everywhere. People always comment on when they pick it up to sign something or make a note. It’s nothing really flashy or extravagant, but it’s a solid, quality writing instrument that I’d give to someone before tossing it out. I also have a retractable network cable that I use constantly. But the logo has rubbed off it and I forgot who gave it to me (not so effective for advertising 🙂

I have nice quality leather folders, pocket knives, clocks, etc. that I also hang on to or pass on to colleagues.

Puzzles, anything made out of cheap plastic, stuffed toys or squeeze balls, buttons, and items that serve no practical purpose other than advertising go into the garbage or to the kids to destroy. I’ve seen some pretty nice ones that make an impression when you receive them. But they ultimately don’t leave a *lasting* impression.

If it’s a targetted gift, personalization goes a long way. You can buy plaques, desk clocks, crystal globes and other fairly inexpensive awards in bulk and then find a local engraver to personalize them for key customers. I had awards made up for a customer project team that I worked with to celebrate the successful completion of a project. I had my own company logo and the customers’ added and I still have people from them team comment on it years later.

Spend the extra money for quality. Unless it’s a quick hit for a specific campaign, you’re probably better off with something that has some longevity and will stay with your customer for awhile.

If you’re making a large purchase of gifts, it might be worth picking a few candidate items and running a small focus group.