5 Reasons Why The Montblanc Corporate Gifts Are A Bad Idea

by | Jun 1, 2021

Gifting a potential client $280 Meisterstück cufflinks by Montblanc might seem like a good idea at first.  Solid brand. High price tag. But when you stack them up next to best ‘strategic gifting practice?

You’ll quickly see that a Montblanc corporate gift is a bad look.

You want a smart gifting strategy that will improve ROI, decrease employee turnover  and increase customer retention. But before diving into that, here’s why Montblanc corporate gifts aren’t going to accomplish what you want.

5 Reasons Why The Montblanc Corporate Gifts Are A Bad Idea

1. Are Montblanc Items Best-in-class?

When a product is best-in-class, it’s impeccable in terms of quality. Think of an heirloom that gets passed down generation after generation. A best-in-class item is one that lasts forever and leaves a permanent mark in the recipient’s mind with its sheer build and quality.

It’s also one you can use week-in and week-out.

At first thought, you’d assume a Montblanc product is best-in-class. I mean, a business that’s been operating for over 100 years in a dozen different locations is supposed to be a timeless classic. 

But before you buy a dozen classique rollerballs for your executive team, it’s worth exploring to see if Montblanc has upheld its reputation over the years.

And who better to know it from than existing buyers? Users have left dozens of reviews on Trustpilot, describing their experience with the brand. 

Imagine giving your client a $500 fountain pen, only to find out it butchered their white shirt and caused a permanent stain. When we talked about leaving a mark, that is not what we meant.

Even if we assume that the former is a singular case that occurred due to some fault in one of the Montblanc pens, we can’t neglect the plethora of comments where recipients did not get their product to begin with. 

If your gift doesn’t get to your recipient at the perfect time, the gift loses value. Period. No longer can it be deemed the best in class.


2. Are Montblanc Products Practical?

Gifting something practical means your recipients should be able to use it every single day, or at least 3 to 5 times every week. 

This also means that 3 to 5 times every week, your recipient is thinking of YOU when they use your gift.

For example, let’s say that one of your executives (or your #1 client) is a triathlete. An iron woman. Or just a good ol’ gym rat.  And you know they’re losing their mind because of gym closures and restrictions.

A practical gift would have been a Bowflex home gym, a Peloton bike, or a power rack to ensure he is able to continue his workout routine.

Every single time that client breaks a sweat, he is going to think of you!

Or perhaps you notice the handbag a star employee has been using is peeling off and releasing color onto their skin (ironically, that is also one of the many complaints made by Montblanc customers).

In that case, gifting your recipient a luxurious leather handbag (one that doesn’t peel off or release color) would be a solid move. Your recipient will also appreciate the thoughtfulness you put into observing what they need.

Unfortunately, most Montblanc products lack practicality. 

Aside from the pen, how often are you going to use a money clip or a pen sleeve? Moreover, the poor quality of the wallet aside, how many of us are even using one today, given how fast the world is turning into a cashless economy? 

3. Do Montblanc Gifts Create Continuity?

Continuity refers to having cohesion. If your gifts have the ability to be a part of a gifting sequence where they’re all correlated to one another, they’re said to have continuity.

Why is THAT important?

When you gift in continuity, each product you send is related to its predecessor. And that magnifies the emotional impact of your gift for the recipient. A holistic gifting strategy is not based on one-off gifting where you give one luxurious food basket worth a thousand dollars.

(Side-note: don’t EVER gift food. Or alcohol. Or anything consumable, since they’ll never become heirlooms.)

Rather, a good gifting strategy suggests you gift your clients  in cohesion. 

Note that it doesn’t really matter HOW they’re related. Your gifts can be made of the same material, come from the same brand, or belong to the same theme. As long as there’s a tangible relationship among them, you’re good to go.

For instance, you’ve gifted someone an engraved serving spoon set. Continuity suggests you gift them a similarly customized (or branded) steak knife set, followed by an engraved flatware set.

As a matter of fact, your gifts will produce the best ROI after multiple impressions. So the stronger the cohesion, the higher the sentimental impact – which means increased ROI.

On the flip side, Montblanc products are bad for continuity. Once you give your client a pen, you won’t be able to give them another practical gift they can actually use on a regular basis.

How many rose gold starwalker pens can one human use? How many pen sleeves can one person own? That makes for a dead-end gifting strategy.

(Side-note: did you know Mont blanc recently came out with a starwalker cologne? It sells for $25 on Fragrance Net – which I’ve never heard of.)

Unfortunately for those wanting impact – most products (outside of their luggage collection) don’t fit into cohesion.

Worry less about the brand name. Worry more about the ‘every day’ factor.


4. Do Montblanc Products Include The Inner Circle?

The straight arrow to your prospect’s heart is by involving the people they love the most. This means people in their inner circle, i.e. their kids, spouse, assistant, etc. Once you get your VIP’s spouse or kids to like and use a gift, you’re more likely to have a customer for life. 

Almost every single business leader neglects this crucial aspect of holistic gifting – primarily because they don’t realize the kind of impact it can create. But understand this. If your VIP’s spouse likes a gift, they could essentially become your biggest advocate in creating relational loyalty.

Loved by my loved ones = loved by me.

Imagine your clients hearing their spouse singing YOUR praises (provided you do your gifting right) at the dinner table or in the middle of a random dinner conversation. That’s loyalty salary alone can’t buy.

Imagine receiving an email from a prospect saying “I’m sleeping with your best salesperson – my wife.”

This is a text message that our founder actually received from a prospect in our sales pipeline. And I’m proud to say – he’s still our client.

But it’s not just us.  I can’t tell you how many times a prospect’s significant other has received an amazing gift and has become the catalyst for landing huge deals.

Don’t YOU think out loud in front of your spouse?

On the flip side, most Montblanc products don’t include the person’s inner circle.  If you get a stainless steel pen, it doesn’t necessarily make your spouse’s, kid’s, or assistant’s life better. Moreover, gifting someone a pen or wallet isn’t something that is going to delight your spouse or create the sort of surprise element you’d want to have in a gift.

5. Are Montblanc Items Truly Personalized?

Montblanc gifts aren’t truly personalized.  Yes, you can get it engraved, but the gift is going to also include a not-so-great Montblanc advertisement.

Their logo.

Moreover, gifting something like a Sartorial Key Fob (where the Montblanc logo practically stares at you in the eye) doesn’t necessarily make anyone feel special. When your recipients look at the product later, who do you want them to think about – you? Or Montblanc?

Soon your recipients will forget who gave them the leather key fob in the first place. It doesn’t help you or your gifting strategy. Of course, it might help Montblanc… but only if the material doesn’t peel off.

Freddy Dickerson

is GIFTOLOGY’s Social Media Coordinator and media specialist. He has traveled to 40 states, multiple countries, and prefers romantic comedies over action films. He is a firm believer that people remember how you made them feel, not what you said. Follow his Instagram as he capture’s other entrepreneurs pursuing their big dreams.