3 Reasons Why Bose Corporate Gifts are a Bad Idea

by | Jun 2, 2021

My Bose headphones are one of my favorite possessions. 

But just because I love them doesn’t mean they are going to make a good corporate gift that will bring you the return on investment you’re seeking.  

Unfortunately, Bose misses several key ingredients of a gifting strategy that will build relationships over time.

This article is going to walk you through several key factors that, from twenty years in the corporate gifting space, make up a successful business gifting strategy.

I will explain the holes of purchasing Bose products as a corporate gift. And share our agency’s secrets on ‘the right way’ (ie, the high ROI way) of doing things.


What are the 3 Reasons that Make Bose Corporate Gifts a Bad Idea?


Is Bose a Best-In-Class Product?

For a company to be best-in-class, they need to have a product that can stand the test of time.  In other words, your goal is to gift an heirloom that your recipient will pass from generation to generation.

And while there is no doubt about the quality of the produc that is built, Bose, and technology products simply can’t live up to such a high standard.

Remember those headphones that I loved?  They worked great for my iPhone 5.  But unfortunately, they were no longer compatible with my iPhone X.

My first pair of Bose speakers can’t connect to any of my devices. It came out before blue tooth was invented.

If you buy a Bose product in the next year, it’ll never achieve ‘heirloom status.’

Moore’s law states that the speed of our technology will double every 18 months – and we will pay less for it as time goes on.

In 20 years, do you think the headphones you gave your clients in 2021 will still be used?  

The second part of a best-in-class product is to have a great experience with their service department. Things break.  Unfortunately, Bose customer service doesn’t get the same high ratings as its new products.

Now, I’ve personally never had to call their customer support hotline, but some other folks have. 

Your corporate gift should be a beacon of light in your recipient’s eyes.  It shouldn’t cause misery when the product breaks.

Which is the other reason not to gift technology. Because technology breaks.

Do Bose Gifts Promote Continuity?

In marketing, it’s said that 7 touch points are required before a person buys from your company.  In other words, simply getting yourself in front of a prospect one time isn’t going to make much of a difference.

A good gifting strategy should yield multiple, continuous impressions.

Professional relationships are all about loyalty. About top-of-mindedness.  The more times you give a gift to someone, the stronger the connection will become. The stronger the connection, the more likely you are to build a relationship with the VIP.

That’s why it is important to have a gifting strategy that contains continuity, or a cohesive sequence.  For instance, you give someone a leather belt, then a leather wallet, then leather shoes, etc.

For example, one GIFT۰OLOGIST embarked on a luggage gifting campaign.  This was a multi-month series of gifts that all had the same luggage theme.

  • The small personal bag that goes under the seat
  • The carry-on bag that goes in the overhead
  • And finally, the big piece of luggage that you check.

Who was the lucky recipient of this gifting strategy? One of our long term contracted partners.

Or, more specifically, his wife.

And every time they go on vacation or take a road trip, she (according to him) sends a happy shout-out to John Ruhlin (our founder).

Imagine her disappointment if her husband ever dropped them as a client.

Unfortunately, Bose doesn’t allow for a strong continuity program.

You can start by giving someone headphones, then a home speaker.  But how many wireless headphones or portable speaker systems does a person need in their home?

You can only own so many TVs. Which means you only need so many Bose soundbars.

Creating a strong continuity program that returns a positive ROI is #1 reason people hire a company like us.

This type of coordination and planning in gift giving doesn’t come naturally to most business owners. And certainly not to your overworked executive assistant, whom (we find) is often the person responsible for making gifting happen.

Are Bose Gifts Personalized?

Another hallmark of a successful gift giving program is to personalize your gift.  

Have you ever gone to a conference and received “swag” from a vendor with their company logo on it?

If you’re like me, you have a whole bin full of shirts, towels, stickers, and mugs that feature some random company logos on it.

And they don’t get worn. Or used for anything other than a dust rag.  Because why would I ever wear a shirt with some software company’s logo on it?  You’ll never hear someone say:  “Hey!  That WP ENGINE shirt looks so good on you! Cool MANYCHAT shirt, bro!” Maybe if I worked for them and was attending the company picnic.

A great gift that elicits emotion is one that is personalized. Heirlooms are personalized with the family name. Not a company name. It elevates the product meaning – either because you’ve engraved/monogrammed/etched/burned/etc something special into it. Or it has a unique origin story.  

With Bose corporate gifts, you can hire a 3rd party to engrave the speaker system, but it voids any service warranty from the manufacturer.  You can’t guarantee the quality (if they mess up, you’re on the hook for it).  And you can’t guarantee that it will be delivered on time.

Not to mention, right next to your amazing message, is going to be a not so amazing advertisement for Bose since their logo is tattooed all over.

Admit it, gift givers. The reason you’re thinking about Bose? Status. “Because I don’t want to look cheap.”

You can do so much better. We can teach you how.


3 Key Traits of a Successful Gift Marketing Strategy

Every successful gift marketing strategy has multiple traits to it.  But we’re going to talk about what I think are the three most important aspects.

Build an Emotional Connection

There’s a popular refrain: people may forget what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made me feel.

If you want to earn someone’s loyalty, then you need to make them feel something.  Studies show that emotion is one of the strongest influences on a person’s memory.

You want your gift to create an emotional connection with your recipient.  Unfortunately, Bose gift bodes aren’t gonna elicit the emotional value you need to have for high ROI.

The person will connect the speakers to their entertainment system.  At first, they may notice the improved sound quality.  But over time, the improved sound quality will just fade into the background – and be forgotten about.

You want your gift to be worth more in ten years than in the first ten minutes.

THAT is emotional connection.

“Handwritten Notes are Magic”

Wufoo is a software company that creates online forms.  When they first started out, they would send a handwritten note to every single one of their new users.

Even as the number of users grew, they kept the tradition of sending handwritten notes to users.  And even though they couldn’t send them to EVERY customer, every person in the company would spend a couple of hours per week writing notes.

The people who received these notes felt so special, that they’d  post images of their personalized note.

Unsurprisingly, these notes went viral.

In a world of autonomous thank you emails, the handwritten note creates a lasting impact on it’s recipient.  When was the last time you posted an image of an automated thank you email?

Gifting beyond the ABC’s

When you give gifts on the ABC’s (anniversaries, birthdays, and Christmas), you risk having your gift “get lost on the conference table.”  There’s so much hustle and bustle around this time of year, that your gift isn’t going to have the emotional impact that you’re going to hope for.

It’s going to be drowned out. Diluted.

It’s going to be forgotten about during a week of ugly sweater parties.

They say timing is everything. And they’re not wrong.

Instead of being typical, you need to give gifts throughout the year.  Gifting something at unexpected times elicits a much stronger emotional response than when you only gift during the ABC’s. At GIFT۰OLOGY, we call this “planned randomness.” Gifting year-round adds an emotional supercharge to the recipients with whom you want to strengthen your relationship.

Get a Gift Marketing Strategy that Delivers Results

When it comes to marketing, gifting can be seen as an overlooked strategy.  Most companies who try gifting as a marketing strategy fail because they aren’t able to execute on one (or more) of the seven core principles we’ve developed here at GIFT۰OLOGY.

  • Best-in-class: The gift is everlasting and is made of the highest quality material.
  • Practicality: Gifts that aren’t meant to be just ‘cute.’ We make sure recipients can use them at least 3-5 times a week.
  • Luxury: Something your recipients would love but wouldn’t purchase for themselves.
  • Personalization: Gifts that consist of a personalized touch with an engraving, monogram, or origin story.
  • Includes the recipient’s inner circle: Something that would matter to the people who matter to your VIPs
  • Continuity: A gift that can be part of a sequence
  • Comes with a handwritten note: Having a handwritten note ensures a meaningful touch to your gift.

Final words on Bose Corporate Gifting

A Bose Corporate Gift strategy might seem like a great idea at the time, but when you look beyond the nice headphones and speaker set, there are several reasons why your gifting dollars should be spent elsewhere.

But if you want a fulfillment service that WILL improve your ROI, increase customer lifetime value, and help you retain star employees, get in touch with us and we’ll ensure you have a gifting service that has a proven track record of success.


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.