Gifting Industry: Market Analysis

Global corporate gift market is aligned with the economy. Corporate and business gift giving is a part of the business incentive programs now. This trend will be more pronounced in the years to come. Companies generally give gifts as a token of expressing appreciation, developing business relationships, and generating friendliness.

Amount being spent as corporate gifts shows signs of continuous rise this year. The amount being spent as corporate gifts range from $50 to $299, which has increased by nearly half (49.9%) in 2013 from that of one third (34.5%) in 2012. The trend of corporate gift giving is now adopted by most of the businesses. Business gifts are now given on more occasions as compared to earlier, and have nearly doubled in 2013, which is around 10% which earlier was 5.6% in 2012.

Promotional events and recognition programs for employees play a good role in boosting business. Globally, 52.3% of companies gave gifts during promotional events in 2013, compared to 40.7% in the year 2012. Employee recognition programmes and gifts have taken over 51.5%of the gifting market this year, which is an increase from 38.3% in 2012.

A survey conducted in 400 corporate respondents shows that out of them 352 have included corporate gifting as a part of their incentive program.


The statistics shown below tells us how much corporate are spending for gifting.



Most of the businesses prefer purchasing gifts directly from the manufacturers, around 38% buy it from distributers or from online shopping portals. The below figure shows what all gifts are given by the companies. It is found that maximum businesses give out gift cards (66.6%), still less businesses prefer office accessories (42.3%), apparels (41.2%) or electronics (36.5%).


The corporate giving gifts generally spend an average of $44.98 for their employees and around $33.92 for their clients and prospects in the year 2013 as compared to $41.70 and $26.48respectively, given in 2012.

The popularity of food and beverages is continuously increasing. People now prefer perennial food baskets or branded wine bottles as compared to the promotional products are branded stuffs like pens, T-shirts and mugs to advertise the company or brand. Companies generally follow tiered giving where they do not give same gift or equal priced gift to everyone. Top clients are presented with higher value gifts while employees may be given budget-friendly items. This kind of gift giving will be more economic and more effective.

Ongoing Trends in Gifting

Clients always prefer useful gifts. They appreciate gifts like scented pens having company logo, which is made using 100% recycled plastic or newspaper, or office accessories like USB flash drives that can be used as bottle openers, or iPhone speaker that will charge three devices as the same time. Big corporate companies are also giving tequila shot glass carved from good quality rocks.

Employees are of the opinion that rather than attending company holiday parties they would like to have some useful gift instead. Popular corporate gifts include:

Gift Cards or Cash Bonus–These are the most common liked by everyone whether it is a client or employee.

Promotional Gifts–Such gifts come up as a perfect opportunity to expose your brand that will complement your corporate ad campaigns.

Electronic Gadgets–These are great gifts that everyone expects to get some time. Corporate also give out company Smartphones, tablets or other electronic devices. TSA approved backpacks are also common.

Give Women Feminine Gifts–Ladies generally like getting gifts, they will be excited about the same. Giving a girly gift make it more personal. Use this opportunity to give a fashionable gift like a clutch or handbag, or apparels.

Challenges Facing the Gifting Industry

  • At times corporate gifting might be considered as a gesture of bribery, which in an illegal act in several countries. This might in turn affect corporate relationships. Gifting has to be done privately as a token of friendship rather than in the context of business.
  • Companies those operate outside the home market need to be aware of the cross-border cultural differences, and analyze whether gift giving will be appropriate and what gift is to be given.
  • Certain types of gift giving are found to cross the ethical threshold.

The growth trend is sure to continue, and we might find lot more changes (like in any other industry) in the gifting trends in the near future. Times change, people and their preferences change… Change dear friends is the only constant in this world!

I leave you with this gift: an old classic from Bon Dylan ‘Times They Are a Changin’


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