7 Unique Gifts for Executives that Will Generate Return on Relationship

When it comes to marketing, you’ll hear almost all companies talk about ROI, or if you’re in ecommerce or DTC, you’ll hear the term ROAS (return on ad spend).

In other words, when you put your money into your marketing engine how much and how fast will come out.

For every $1 I put into something like Facebook ads, I’d want to see a return of $3 and I’d want to see that return immediately.

At GIFTOLOGY, we think ROI is important.  But for us, we believe Return on Relationship (ROR) is the ultimate goal.

What is a Return on Relationship?

Imagine for a second you and your top competitor are trying to acquire the same fortune 1000 exuctive.

So, what do you do?  You start a traditional marketing campaign. Perhaps you run ads targeted to the company’s employees.  You send him a direct mailer campaign.  You try to cold call him.  There are a number of tactics like that that you can take. 

Your competition on the other hand has a relationship with the prospect.  On the executive’s 25th wedding anniversary, your competitor bought him a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue.

And when the prospect’s son graduated high school, your competitor took the prospect and his son to a ball game.

Who do you think the executive is going to work with when he needs the product or service that your company provides?

All the marketing tactics and campaigns and calls and mailers are going to fall completely flat when you go up against a competitor who has a relationship with the prospect.

A ROR is the systematic strategy of investing in and building relationships with key executives over time who will then in turn be a natural fit to work with you when they need your products and services.

How to Build Relationships with Executives at Scale

At GIFTOLOGY, we believe that gifting without asking for anything in return is the best way to build relationships at scale.

Take this example of a ROR campaign with did with a law firm in Louisianna

We recently received a video testimonial from a legal team that executed their first gifting campaign.  

We created a referral partner list of about 25 people.  

Then we approved the items and sequences, as proposed by their GIFT∙OLOGISTs.

We scheduled the gifts to be received during a non-holiday, unexpected time.

Our expected result: a steady drip of thank you texts and emails, maybe a phone call or two. 

Perhaps a social media shoutout. Planting seeds for future conversations.

Actual result: All of the above. And additionally? Two weeks after receiving the gift, one of the 25 recipients referred him to “the largest case in my inventory to date.”

This turned out to be a 7-figure billable case (could be worth more, pending outcome).

Resulting from a 1K-2K relational investment.

You see, traditional marketing has an expiration date.  You either interrupt the person and get noticed or the campaign fails.

Then you have to hope that an action occurs during the span of interruption.  

Traditional marketing has an expiration date whereas relationship-building snowballs over time.

The 7 Key Ingredients When Buying Gifts for Executives

As you’ve just seen, buying gifts for executives can be lucrative for your business and increase your ROR.  

Over time, we’ve developed 7 key ingredients that make a gifting campaign successful.

1. Practical

Make sure your gift is beneficial to the recipient. A gift that can be used daily (or at least 3-5 times a week) is unquestionably more valuable than a fancy item that practically has no use.

2. Personalized

To stand out from the crowd, create some personalization in your gift.  This can be done with an origin story for the gift, or giving it some sort of personalized branding.

3. Best-in-class

You absolutely can not compromise the quality in any way. Our test is that if it can’t be an heirloom passed down from generation to generation, then it’s not best-in-class.

4. Luxury

A luxury item doesn’t necessarily mean buying a Lambo.  It means getting them something they wouldn’t buy for themselves but would appreciate a lot if given to them.

5. Handwritten Notes

Don’t underestimate the value of personalizing your message by hand-delivering it or penning a handwritten note clarifying your intentions. Notes are always a way to add a special touch to anything.

6. Including Inner Circle

Another point to remember when giving a gift is how you can make it useful for the recipient’s family. 

We can’t tell you how many client’s have come to us and said “my wife is your biggest sales advocate.  She absolutely loves the gift that you sent us!”

7. Create Continuity

Try to create a theme or pattern with your gifts. In this way, you can make sure that the customers are looking forward to getting your gift. Multiple gifts can snowball an emotional impact on the customers.

7 Unique Gift Ideas for Executives


A beautifully designed cutlery set is one of the best gifts to give an executive.  Here’s why:

First of all, they’re practical.  Not only will it be used several times per week, it’ll probably be used several times per day, as members of the executive’s family prepare meals.

This also means that the gift includes the inner circle.  Each member of the family is going to use it.

You can easily engrave a message saying something like “I value our friendship.”  Or something very personalized.  That way they’ll think of you every time they use it.

And it is a luxury item.  EVERYONE uses knives.  But most people just buy their set from Costco.  Utility over luxury.  

But when you send a beautifully designed set, it is a luxury item that they probably wouldn’t have bought themselves.

Refresh Glass

One of the great benefits of a practical and unique gift is that it is a conversation starter.  

When an executive has his or her high-worth network of friends over, they won’t be able to help themselves and ask where the glasses came from.  This will give the executive a chance to brag about you and your business. 

The gift is going to sell your business for you.


Glassybaby is another glassware company that we’ve really grown to love.

Each glass, rocker, and candle is hand-made by a professional glassblower in their Seattle shop.  So when you give a Glassybaby as a gift, you can be sure that you are giving a one-of-a-kind item.

Here’s what John Hall, had this to say about GlassBaby

“I was given a Glassybaby votive from the company’s founder after we met at an event and she said she wanted to work with my company. My wife fell in love with the product and constantly mentions it to me. I’m a believer in the “Happy wife, happy life” principle, and when my wife is happy, I have warm feelings about the person who gave her that gift. I’ve worked with the founder on different projects since, and I can’t see myself ever not advocating for Glassybaby.”


Let’s face it:

Most executives we deal with travel.  A lot.

And they beat the hell out of their luggage.  That’s just one of the reasons why luggage can be a great gift.

Not only is it practical, but it can be part of a continuity theme.  

 You can buy someone a small travel bag on the one year anniversary of them signing on as a client.

Then you can graduate to buying the overhead piece.

And finally, you can complete the set and purchase the client the bigger check-in bag.

A nicely designed luggage set can last forever.  Your client’s grandkids will be fighting over who gets to inherit the beautiful luggage set that you bought them.

Aura Frames

Not only do executives travel a lot, but they work a lot as well.  Giving the gift of their memories with an Aura Frame is a great way to win their hearts and minds.

Every time they look at their Aura frame and see a new picture, they will think warmly of the person who gave it to them. 

An Aura Frame will allow your clients to upload pictures from their phone in real time, curate the pictures into albums, and eliminate any duplicate or blurry pictures.

Virtual Experience

Let your client know that you appreciate their business by offering them and their spouse a virtual experience.

Imagine your client and their spouse doing a joint cooking class in the evening.  Or if they love wine, imagine them learning how to taste and analyze wine like a sommelier.

Experiences are memories that will last a lifetime and people will always think back fondly on the experiences they’ve shared with their family and friends.  

And if you’re the one who contributed to that experience, you will be forever in their heart – and building that relationship with them.

Now, when you talk to them, they can tell you all about the dish they learned how to prepare, or the new wine they tasted.

There are numerous companies that offer virtual experiences that can blow your team’s socks off.  Everything from appreciation dinners to zoom trivia and more.  Contact us 1 on one for recommendations.

LSTN Music Accessories

We’ve included LSTN music accessories here because for us, personalization also includes unique origin stories.  

When you give someone a LSTN Music accessory, you can be assured of two things:

First, it is made with a sustainable material such as Zebrawood.

And second, proceeds of each item you purchase will go to helping someone purchase hearing aids so someone can hear for the first time.

To date, the company has donated over 50,000 hearing aids through the proceeds of their headphones.

Final Words

These are 7 amazing gifts for executives that will help you increase your return on relationship.

Instead of interrupting executives with cheesy marketing tactics that they’ll never see, start building a relationship that will snowball over time.

That way when the time is right for an executive to work with you, you’ll be in prime position to win his company’s business.

To sign up for a free consultation to see if a client gift strategy will help you grow your business, click here, fill out the form, and tell us a little bit about your business.