ASI Survey: Companies Spending 20% More On Employee Gifts

Nearly a quarter of respondents also say client gifts ring in more sales

TREVOSE, PA – December 21, 2011 – Results of the 2011 corporate gift-giving survey by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) show office Santas are spending an average $42.52 on their employee elves, up 19.6% from 2010.

The annual ASI corporate gift-giving survey also shows gift cards and cash remain the most popular employee gifts for the second year. But over six out of 10 respondents plan to spend about the same amount this holiday season as last on corporate gifts for both employees and prospects or clients, suggesting increased spending is not universal.  

Nearly a quarter of respondents say giving gifts to clients and prospects results in sales and leads, but that goodwill is the greatest reward.

“At this special time of year, it’s heartening to see that the Grinch is in short supply when it comes to corporate gift-giving,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI. “No matter what the economic forecast, rewarding employees for their hard work and thanking clients for placing orders remains a wonderful way to spread a little cheer.”  

ASI’s survey highlights include:

·         Average spending on clients or prospects is up 13.9% to $29.91.

·         38% of respondents plan to give gift cards to employees. Cash bonuses are second, but fell by 8 percentage points to 24% since 2010.

·         Food/beverages are the most commonly cited gift for clients or prospects, with 32% of respondents planning on giving them.

·         Over one-half (52%) plan on decorating their gifts with their company logos.

·         Holiday gift programs positively impact sales, with over one quarter (27%) obtaining a referral and 24% generating a lead or obtaining a sale from them.

·         The most commonly attributed results are broader, such as a thank you (69%) or generating goodwill (60%).

Corporate gift-giving trends as reported by ASI show well-made, brand-name items and personalization are popular, as are office tools like calculators, memo pads and portfolios. Employers reward bigger achievements with gift boxes, crystal towers, plaques and personalized photo frames.

The hottest corporate gifts of 2011 include coffee table books from the National Geographic Society, iPad keyboards, leather-wrapped thermoses, customized wine and spirits and leather Nook covers. To watch a video demo of these products and more, click here. For more info and photos, click here.

About ASI

The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) is the largest media, marketing and education organization serving the promotional products industry, with a network of over 27,000 distributors and suppliers throughout North America. ASI leads the industry in technology solutions, providing cloud-based e-commerce, enterprise resource planning software (ERP) and customer relationship management software (CRM). ESP Web is the industry’s leading tool for sourcing hundreds of thousands of products. A family-owned business since 1962, ASI also provides online research, marketing, advertising opportunities, trade shows, education, award-winning magazines, newsletters, custom websites and catalogs to help members sell, market and promote their brands. Visit ASI at and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and the CEO’s blog.