When it comes to corporate gifting, it usually goes one of two ways: a nondescript food item or a tchotchke with your company’s logo slapped on it. We all want to make an impression by sending clients thoughtful gifts, but the truth is most of us are doing it painfully wrong.

Fruit arrangements. Fancy cookies. Gourmet popcorn. A logo-laden mug. You just send something that’s quick and easy to show you’ve made a gesture, but it’s nothing meaningful or memorable. Five years from now — heck, even two weeks from now — it’ll never cross your client’s mind.

Who hasn’t been on the receiving end of an insurance company’s branded golf shirt or phone charger? The shirt might be nice and you could always use an extra charger, but does this generic gift show that the company is thinking about you specifically? Anyone who’s spent 10 minutes with me knows I don’t golf, but I am a huge Orioles baseball fan. It doesn’t take a lot of time and research to start customizing your gifting to make a profound impact on each recipient. In a few minutes, you can understand where your client’s interests truly lie.

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