How Corporate Gifts Influence Behaviour

How Corporate Gifts Influence BehaviourCorporate gift-giving has long been a cherished tradition in the realm of business, a practice that transcends time and cultural boundaries. The exchange of gifts between companies and their stakeholders, including clients, partners, and employees, carries immense value beyond the tangible items presented. It is a strategic gesture that goes far beyond the act of giving, representing appreciation, goodwill, and the foundation of lasting relationships. In this article, we will explore how corporate gifts influence behaviour.

At the heart of corporate gift-giving lies the power to strengthen and nurture business relationships. Through the exchange of thoughtful and personalised gifts, companies aim to express gratitude and recognition, fostering a sense of reciprocity and loyalty among clients and partners. These gifts act as tangible reminders of the business connection, leaving a lasting impression that goes beyond mere transactions. By understanding the significance of gift-giving in the context of business relationships, companies can cultivate an environment of trust and mutual understanding, positioning themselves for long-term success and collaboration.

How Corporate Gifts Influence Behaviour

The Influence of Corporate Gift-Giving

The impact of corporate gift-giving isn’t limited to external stakeholders; it extends deeply within the company itself. Employees play a pivotal role in an organization’s growth and success, and recognizing their contributions through well-chosen gifts can work wonders for boosting morale and motivation. Thoughtful gestures of appreciation can resonate with employees on an emotional level, fostering a sense of value and acknowledgement for their hard work and dedication. Moreover, corporate gift-giving can be an instrumental aspect of shaping the company’s culture, reinforcing the values of gratitude, inclusivity, and camaraderie among its workforce.

As we explore the influence of corporate gift-giving in this article, we aim to shed light on best practices and ethical considerations to ensure its positive impact. While the act of giving gifts is a powerful tool, it must be approached with thoughtfulness and sensitivity. By embracing the value of corporate gift-giving and implementing it with sincerity, businesses can forge stronger relationships, uplift employee morale, and ultimately foster a positive and thriving work environment. Join us as we unravel the profound influence of this age-old tradition and its potential to shape the future of corporate interactions.

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The term ‘gift-giving behaviour’ encompasses the concepts, participants and processes surrounding the acquisition, exchange and usage of phenomena conferred with gift status. Thus, it is concerned not only with the actual giving (as the term immediately conveys), but with donor choice processes, recipient behaviour before, during and after post-exchange, and the virtuous cycle of reciprocity. To date, despite research into many aspects of gift giving, little or no attention has been given to the experience (as opposed to the physical good) as a gift, and the behaviour associated with such intangible presents.

The Neuro-Science of Gift-Giving

When it comes to the act of gift-giving and receiving, our brains play a pivotal role in shaping our experiences. The brain’s pleasure centres, particularly the mesolimbic dopamine system, are key players in this process. This system is responsible for experiencing pleasure, reward, and motivation.Oxytocin, often referred to as the “bonding hormone,” is another key component in the neuroscience of gift-giving. Oxytocin is released in the brain during acts of generosity, including gift-giving, and plays a significant role in promoting social bonding and trust.  
The activation of these pleasure centres during gift exchange contributes to the positive emotions and sense of satisfaction experienced by both the giver and the receiver. This neural reward system reinforces the notion that gift-giving is a pleasurable experience, enhancing the overall positive impact on relationships.By understanding the role of the brain’s pleasure centres and the release of oxytocin in the act of gift-giving, businesses can leverage this neuroscience to create memorable experiences and foster deeper connections. Sustainable corporate gifts that evoke positive emotions and trigger the release of oxytocin have the potential to leave a lasting impact on relationships and contribute to their strengthening.

The Psychology of Corporate Gifting: Strengthening Relationships


In the corporate world, trust forms the foundation of successful relationships. Thoughtful corporate gifts have the power to establish trust and rapport between businesses and their clients or partners. Numerous studies have shown that gift giving is associated with perceived trustworthiness. When a company takes the time to select a personalised and meaningful gift, it communicates care, thoughtfulness, and a genuine interest in the recipient’s well-being. This act of generosity contributes to building a strong foundation of trust, leading to more fruitful professional relationships.

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Employee morale and engagement play a crucial role in the success of any organisation. Corporate gifting can be a powerful tool in boosting these factors. When employees receive recognition and appreciation through thoughtful gifts, it fosters a sense of value and appreciation. Research has shown that employees who feel appreciated and recognised are more likely to exhibit higher job satisfaction, increased loyalty, and heightened productivity. By incorporating corporate gifting practices that recognise and celebrate employees’ contributions, businesses can cultivate a positive work environment and strengthen employee engagement.


First impressions matter, but lasting impressions are what truly solidify relationships. Strategic corporate gifting can leave a lasting impact on the minds of recipients. Personalised and memorable gifts demonstrate that a company has taken the time to understand the recipient’s preferences and values. This attention to detail helps create positive brand associations and fosters a sense of loyalty. Studies have shown that when recipients feel a connection to a gift, they are more likely to remember the company and maintain a long-term relationship. By carefully curating sustainable gifts that align with their values, companies can make a lasting impression and foster ongoing relationships.


One of the fundamental principles that underlie gift giving is reciprocity. Recipients of gifts often feel compelled to reciprocate the gesture, resulting in an ongoing cycle of relationship building. When businesses engage in corporate gifting, it triggers a sense of obligation in recipients to reciprocate in some form, whether through future business collaborations or referrals. This reciprocal behaviour strengthens relationships and creates a mutual sense of trust and commitment. By initiating the gift-giving process, companies can lay the groundwork for long-term partnerships and foster loyalty among their clients and partners.

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Corporate gifting can facilitate emotional connections and empathy among business partners. When a gift resonates with the recipient on an emotional level, it evokes positive emotions and strengthens the bond between the giver and the receiver. Scientific research has shown that gifts with emotional significance elicit a sense of gratitude, joy, and appreciation. This emotional connection fosters empathy, understanding, and a shared sense of purpose, ultimately strengthening relationships. By selecting gifts that convey thoughtfulness and emotional resonance, businesses can deepen connections and foster a sense of camaraderie.


Shared experiences have a powerful influence on building relationships, and corporate gifting can create a sense of shared identity among recipients. When recipients receive a gift that aligns with their values or interests, it reinforces a sense of belonging and shared experiences with the company. This shared identity strengthens the bond between the giver and the receiver, creating a sense of connection beyond the transactional nature of the business relationship. By incorporating sustainable gifts that reflect shared values and experiences, companies can foster a sense of community and build relationships based on mutual understanding.


In conclusion, the influence of corporate gifting reveals fascinating insights into the positive effects it has on relationships. Neuroscience demonstrates that gifting activates the brain’s pleasure centres, leading to feelings of happiness and satisfaction. Scientific studies support increased activation in the mesolimbic dopamine system during gift exchange.

The release of oxytocin, the “bonding hormone,” during acts of generosity and gift giving fosters social bonding, trust, and empathy. Oxytocin enhances relationships by strengthening the bond between the giver and the receiver.

These findings highlight the profound impact of corporate gifting on relationships. By leveraging the psychology of gift giving, businesses can foster stronger connections, enhance trust, and promote empathy. Meaningful corporate gifts have the potential to create lasting impressions, leading to long-term partnerships and positive brand associations.

FAQs on How Corporate Gifts Influence Behaviour
What is the value of corporate gifting?

The purpose of corporate gifting is to strengthen business relationships and enhance brand reputation by showing appreciation and commitment to key people who support your success. Your goal is to ensure the recipient understands how important their relationship with you is to your company.

What are the psychological benefits of receiving gifts?

Evidence from brain imaging also suggests that both giving gifts and receiving gifts activate core areas of our brain associated with reward and pleasure. These brain regions also stimulate the neurotransmitter dopamine.