A distributor asks: We have a client that hosts numerous C-suite events annually. They have asked for some input on gift ideas for the high-level executives and have given the feedback that they don’t need another speaker, camera or more headphones. Please share suggestions on gift ideas [generic rather than supplier-specific products] for high-level clients that already have it all. The budget is up to several hundred dollars per item.

It depends on the industry and level of client. We have done everything from miniature working models of roller coasters, to high-end telescopes in lasered wooden boxes, to custom chess sets and china. The trick is to think about what you want people to think about when they get the gift. We have even numbered pieces so they know they got 256/400 and there will never be a 401.

For example, the telescopes were given out by the president of a helicopter maintenance company to presidents of helicopter companies, all of whom had corner offices looking over airfields or downtown vistas. The chess sets were given out by a chess fanatic who liked to play the game with his customers when he came to visit.

It is about a gift that creates a connection with the specific clients and acts like a VIP card when you are not there. It is all about presentation and the wow factor. Custom is king. Create something that speaks to the brand and is something that they cannot get anywhere else.

Make people feel special.

Ben Baker 


Your Brand Marketing 


We have found that more and more end users are asking for products that can be used for the home.  If you think about it, this broadens the visibility of the branded product. Not only is the product useful to the recipient, but family members, friends and neighbors who see the product might also express an interest, thus increasing the brand exposure.

A very popular gift for the home is high-end barware, as this might not be a product category that the recipient would normally splurge on for themselves.  Also, retail brands have become very popular and are requested specifically by end users. And last, gifts that have some sort of special feature or function are in demand because end users want something that is unique. How many times have we heard clients ask, “What do you have that’s new and different?”

Karen Proano


International Merchandise Concepts


Customized corporate fitting and gifting events are becoming much more prevalent. Instead of giving one item such as the potentially boring speaker or headphones, let the recipient select what they want. It makes the experience much more pleasurable and memorable. You get way more bang for your gift-giving buck.

Let’s say you had 144 golfers at a golf tournament. A table could be set up to give the gift of sunglasses to each golfer as they check in to the tournament. Gift recipients will have perhaps four or five styles each of men’s and women’s sunglasses to choose from. The gift recipients can choose their favorite on the spot and take it away with them. They are choosing what they want and not taking something they may not be all that interested in.

Fitting events can be done with many different products such as luggage, bicycles, watches, cookware and kitchen countertop appliances. With the bigger items, samples are there and when the recipients choose a gift, the item can be directly drop-shipped right to their homes.

Give your local name-brand incentive representative a call to help you set up the right program for your client.

Peter Adanalian


Dragon Distribution, Inc.

UPIC: dragon

How about an enclosed ecosystem? They’re very unique and over $100. There are different sizes. They provide years of fascination. You’ll be a hero!

Phil Wilkinson


P.W. Enterprises

UPIC: pwent

I would suggest an electronic product; high end executives always love the “latest and greatest,” and there is no shortage of that. For example, they may have received a speaker in the past but newer products offer a smart, interactive option that takes a Bluetooth speaker to a different level.

Branded products give a retail value and status which has an immediate perceived value rather than a generic product, so think of an appropriate brand and product that is universal and fits into your target price point.

Another approach is to go with a themed gift in a handsome gift box that has been thought out carefully with the recipient in mind. Personalization on the product or on the packaging is a great way to make the gift impactful. Gift wrapping and adding a hand written card (preferable) or printed and personally signed will add value and impact to the presentation.

Peter Hirsch, MAS


Hirsch Gift, Inc.



Do You Have An Answer?

A Distributor Asks: What are the telltale signs of a long-lasting employee and short-time employee, and in what areas should I watch out for hiccups when hiring employees?

What’s Your Answer? Email answers along with your name, title and company name by November 18 to Question@ppai.org for possible inclusion in an upcoming issue of PPB magazine.

Julie Richie is associate editor for PPB.