I am asked regularly, “so, what are the top gifts people are buying right now?” And I have to say, it’s always tough to answer. Because it depends on who your audience is and what you want to accomplish. Typically one size does not fit all when it comes to branding.
For the past several years however, technology gifts have been at the top of the list for just about every audience looking for corporate gifts.
2017 Top Technology Gifts
- Virtual Reality Headsets – these come at many price points. Virtual Reality headsets come in cardboard versions you have to hold onto your face for the experience to plastic headsets with comfortable padding and adjustable focus. It’s a way to help your clients have a 3D experience of using your product or service that ultimately will result in better brand retention.
- Bluetooth Speakers – Another popular tech item that continues to be popular. There are
ones that are small, there are water resistant ones, there are ones that pop open, there are ones that light up, there are big ones with big sound and little ones with big sound. Some will play back for 1.5 hours and some will play back for 9 hours. It all depends on the price you are willing to pay. All can be branded.
Power Comes in All Sizes and Shapes
- Powerbanks and Chargers – I don’t leave home without one and always have at least one or two ready to go if need be. I am still surprised to learn some people don’t know what they are or own one as it is a great corporate technology gift. Everyone should have at least one powerbank. Basically it’s a charger for your smart devices that you “charge” and then when needed it can charge your smart device without using a wall outlet. The one I carry is 10,400 mAh (they start as small as 500 mAh to just give you enough juice to make a call or get you home) and can charge my Droid 3-4 times before I recharge it or I can charge my phone and table at the same time. I am out all day typically in meetings and I never want to not be connected!
Big Year for Wireless Technology Gifts
Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds – When IPhone introduced their newest version in 2016 without a headphone jack, Bluetooth wireless earbuds became the newest hot item. How else were you going to talk to people or listen to music? There are many styles that can be logo’d with your brand.
5.Wireless Headphones – The ones that are most popular are those that are the noise reducing style. If you are like me, when flying I try to work and like to have non-intrusive music so I can concentrate and not hear all the conversations or crying babies in the background. Wired headphones are also still popular and also come in the noise reducing style. These, and all the tech gifts are great for those that travel.
Broader Technology Gift Applications
- Homing Pin – A different type of tech item that helps you get your luggage, keys, cell phones, cameras, laptops, sports equipment and more back. It is currently integrated into
2800 airports and it helps match a mishandled bag to the owner. When the item is found, the owner is sent a text or email connecting them to the item. Soon all baggage handlers will be trained to look for the homing pin (I have one client that puts it on all her son’s lacrosse equipment because he leaves something at every game). It’s easy for anyone to report an item found as the email auto translates to and from 65 languages. The primary tag can be branded.
- RFID Technology Gift items – Unfortunately we are in the age of hackers and one way to help stop them is with RFID (Radio-frequency identification) protected devices. RFID tags are intelligent bar codes that can talk to a network system the problem is that there are scanners that can walk past you and “grab” your credit card or passport information. That’s why RFID protected items are now popular corporate gifts. Leather (or vinyl) RFID protected wallets, passport holders and notebooks are available and of course all can be branded!
- Video Brochure – While this may be a little beyond just a branded gift, it is using technology to brand your company, product or service. The technology today is vastly improved from just a couple of years ago with larger screens and better resolution. Today, many options exist where you can stop and start the video, increase or decrease volume, as well as have multiple videos in one brochure. Unheard of previously.
Smart Device Accessories Are Gift Hits
There are gifts that are technology focused but on the non-technology side of the spectrum. Most are accessories to be used with your smart device.
9.Phone wallets – there are a number of inexpensive options that are silicone based that attach to the back of your smart phone to hold ID, business cards, credit cards and such. Some also come with “legs” so it doubles as a phone stand.
- Phone cleaners – there are the microfiber cloths that you can carry to clean all your devices, there are ones that actually adhere to the back of the device that you can peel off as needed (they are small) and clean your phone and then put back on the back, there are sanitizer sprays with a cleaning panel and more.
- Waterproof cases – since we can’t be without our phones or tablets even at the beach or pool (even snow – hey, I’m in Florida so I don’t think about snow very often) there are also great waterproof bags for smartphones and other devices.
Accessories Keep your Brand Top of Mind
- Phone stands – I know, your phone is in your hand most of the time, but when you do put it down, does it have a home? At least on my desk I like to have a nice phone stand so I always now where it is…they come in metal, wood and even plastic depending on your budget. A great spot to be to remind your clients of your brand.
- Popsocket or Ringr – It’s a grip that’s adhered to the back of your phone with a ring or
raised area that helps you hold onto your phone, decreases drops, relaxes the hand and some say improves their selfie quality!
- Stylus Pens – This is truly an item for all budgets. There are plastic or metal pens with stylus and there are varying degrees of the actual stylus. Some are just a rubber tip while others have a metallic mesh capacitive stylus for better connectivity. With concern about germs many people are using a stylus especially at retail establishments.
- Phone Cases – Yes, you can give someone a branded phone case. There are plastic ones, gel ones, hard ones, colorful ones. The only down side is that there are so many different sizes of phones it’s tough to pick just one that will work.
As I’ve mentioned before, no matter what the budget there is a quality item that can be branded to “speak” to your clients and prospects when you can’t. Just make sure that if you have a finite budget that you sacrifice quantity before you sacrifice quality.
Her corporate marketing experience included National Advertising Director for Avis Rent a Car Systems, Inc., and Director of Marketing Services for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Read More