Imported Trinkets – No one wants cheap stuff from China cluttering up their home or office. If you want to be “green” don’t give things that will end up in the landfill in a few weeks.
Branded Merchandise – The gift should be all about the recipient, not about the brand and giver. If you put your logo on it, it is a promotional item and marketing tool, not a gift. Don’t deface and devalue a great gift with your brand.
Easily Accessible – If you can go to your local Walmart and Amazon to purchase a product, it is not likely to make someone feel VIP and special. Choose items that are best in class and are a bit rare.
Gift Cards – Nothing says, “I didn’t care about you enough to put thought and effort into getting you an actual gift” quite like a gift card.
Apple – Tech is always hot and Apple is a common choice but that is part of the problem. It is overdone. Everyone does it which makes it lack uniqueness. Plus it has a limited shelf life in many cases as the new version comes out every 4-6 months.
Food – When you factor in taste preferences, special dietary concerns, and food allergies, consumables are not the most effective gift selections. Plus food has a high Cost Per Impression (CPI). You get one impression as it is gone in hours or at the most days.
Alcohol – Much like food, alcohol is also a risky gift. People have a wide variety of preferences in alcohol, and some people don’t drink at all or are recovering alcoholics.
Plants – Similar to food in that you get a few days or weeks of impressions out of them at best and you don’t know someone’s style and decorating preference in many cases so the investment is often wasted.
Apparel – There are rare times when apparel works well but is typically over gifted. It is often done with average quality with the same polo, jacket, or hat being given over and over again. And it is usually branded with a logo which means it is likely to get donated to Goodwill and is a wasted investment.
Money – Yes it is important and needed by all of us but at a certain level it becomes a horrible motivator and an even worse way to appreciate people over the long term. All the research on the planet has pointed to the fact that people want to feel acknowledged and genuinely appreciated by their company and in general by those around them. Money does not solve that need or problem.