Corporate gifts are promotional products. Besides serving the purpose of improving public relations,they serve to increase
brand awareness toward the company. Most recipients of corporate gifts do not mind getting a gift with a brand name or logo on it and accept it as part of the exchange. As such, once they keep the product and use it, they become more and more familiar with the company name and will hence be more likely to purchase or enlist the services of said company again. This increased brand awareness not only applies to the person using the promotional item but also those who are in contact with the recipient or see them using the product.
Investing in promotional merchandise can thus bring about a greater return on investment than other types of advertising. While it is true that other marketing options like television bring about a more visual impact on consumers, advertisements on radio or television may be forgotten over time if the advertisements are not there in the long term. Corporate gifts cost noticeably less and yet may be kept for years and sometimes may be passed on to other potential customers or clients. Use of the product may also be interpreted as endorsement of the brand or company.
Also, because of how advanced the market for corporate gifts has become, there is a very large variety of different products available for selection. Besides the usual pen or mug, companies can choose other gifts which represent the corporation and are relevant to the brand. Different themes or cultures can also be promoted through these gifts. For example, a travel agency may want to give out beach related items in conjunction with a beach resort package. Environmentalists could consider giving out recycled promotional gifts to raise awareness of their cause.
In short, corporate gifts differ from other types of incentives as they are often offered without any prerequisite for performance. They differ from other advertisements as they do not contain blatant advertising slogans or imprints. Corporate gifts are effective in establishing or enhancing critical relationships while also existing as a cost-effective means of brand recognition for the company.