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The History of Corporate Gifts

Corporate gifts have been a common practice in the business world for centuries. From simple gestures of gratitude to elaborate personalised presents, these gifts have evolved significantly over time.

But, have you ever wondered how it all began? What is the history of corporate gifts?

Furthermore, you’ve probably wondered more than once whether corporate gifts are the right gesture to surprise your clients.

Will they be sophisticated enough? Will they suit their tastes and needs? Will they help improve their perception of your brand? These are some of the usual questions that arise when choosing a corporate gift.

The truth is that this type of branded merchandise has been used for many more years than you might imagine and, if chosen wisely, can make the difference between a satisfied client and a loyal one.

That’s why today we are going to tell you everything you need to know about corporate gifts, a bit about the history of corporate gifts, and how to identify which gift will leave the most lasting impression on your counterpart.

The history of Corporate Gifts

What is the starting point of the history of corporate gifts?

Since ancient times, civilizations have exchanged gifts as a symbol of friendship, alliance, or gratitude in the business world. In ancient Rome, for example, traders used to give valuable items to their clients as a gesture of goodwill and to strengthen business relationships.

These gifts were not only a way to express appreciation, but also to maintain a competitive advantage in the market.

As the global economy has evolved, so have corporate gifts.

With the rise of the industrial revolution, companies began mass-producing promotional items such as calendars, personalised pens, and T-shirts with their logos. These gifts became an effective marketing strategy to increase brand recognition and foster customer loyalty.

Today, corporate gifts encompass a wide range of products, from cutting-edge technological items to personalised gifts that reflect the brand’s identity. The history of corporate gifts is a testament to the constant evolution of business practices and the importance of maintaining strong customer relationships in the business world.

In the 19th century, personalised corporate gifts with the logo or name of the giving company started to be used.

It was during this time that Jasper Meeks, a printer from Ohio, decided to design school bags with the name of a local shoe store, which he then distributed to schools. Seeing the success of the initiative, Henry Beach, another printer in the city, wanted to compete with Meeks.

It wouldn’t be long before the two men found themselves marketing everything from whips to printed calendars.

The success of this practice increased, and in 1904, the International Association of Promotional Products was born. Since then, corporate gifts have been a common, widely used, and effective practice for any business.

Here are some important aspects you should know about the history of corporate gifts:

Corporate Gifts in the Modern Era

Throughout the history of corporate gifts, the 20th century saw an increase in globalisation, which led to greater interaction between companies from different parts of the world. Promotional items began to reflect this cultural diversity, adapting to the local customs and preferences of the recipients.

The Impact of Technology on Corporate Gifts

Technology has played a significant role in the history of corporate gifts. It has transformed the way corporate gifts are designed and distributed. Today, it is possible to personalise gifts with unprecedented precision thanks to digital tools. From laser engraving to 3D printing, the possibilities are endless.

The Psychology Behind Corporate Gifts

The history of corporate gifts shows us that, beyond their function as presents, these gifts have a profound psychological impact.

Understanding the psychology behind corporate gifts can be key for business owners and marketing managers looking to promote their brands effectively. From strengthening relationships to influencing brand perception, well-chosen corporate gifts can transform a simple gesture into a powerful tool for loyalty and promotion.

How to Impress with Your Corporate Gifts

The first thing you should know is that corporate gifts are not the same as promotional gifts.

While the former are intended for employees, clients, or suppliers, the latter have a more general nature and are distributed arbitrarily at fairs, events, conferences, etc.

Once this clarification is made, you should decide how much you want to spend on your corporate gifts. There are of interesting products in all price categories which are usually presented in catalogues and which will certainly meet your expectations.

You can look for something related to your business line, or surprise them with something innovative. If you have doubts, you can always seek advice from our team.

Finally, try to incorporate the element of surprise. Why not give your client a gift when they least expect it, instead of during the typical holiday seasons? An anniversary, a birthday, or the achievement of a milestone can be good times to give your corporate gifts.

This way, you will leave a greater impact, and your brand will be remembered with affection. So, now you know. At MyM Regalos Promocionales, we can help you gain visibility, create stronger bonds, and reinforce your relationships.

If you are looking for corporate gifts that will not leave anyone indifferent… just ask us!

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Contenido creado por:
Fanny Zambrano
Asistente de Marketing

Ingeniera en negocios internacionales, con máster en Dirección de marketing digital y social, Fanny redacta contenido y gestiona las diferentes campañas de marketing online de la agencia.