Jacqui Vear

Posted on 1st February 2023
by Jacqui Vear

Corporate gifting in 2023

The context is certainly ‘gifting greener’. Two words, one mission for connecting to the values of your audience, whether its branded promotional items to engage your team, customers or potential customers.

This is our headline report from our early 2023 focus on catching up with manufacturers of promotional products, to swap notes on the latest product innovations and trends. We reflect these developments in our recommendations to you and the curated range of sustainable corporate gifts on our website.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

It’s hard to believe that the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ phrase was first popularised in the 1970s, as Systematic began trading! It feels more relevant to us today than ever before, reflecting the journey that we want to take you and your brand marketing campaigns on.

Reduce reflects a ‘buy less buy better’ approach. That’s about minimising waste, whilst also symptomatic of these trading times, on the other side of a global pandemic. A scattergun approach to marketing is largely a thing of the past. We know which individuals make the biggest difference to our organisations, because we had to work hard to nurture these relationships when the pause button was pressed on the economy.

By investing in lower quantities of high-quality items, your message has longevity in the hands of your target audience. Your giveaways are durable, they’re valued, often with a retail quality. Take for example, the Circular Cup, a reusable cup that’s made from recycled coffee cups. You’ll find it in high-end shops on the high street, and it is now available to reflect your brand.  It’s even possible to achieve a lower price point for personalised items, through the economies of scale that come with buying in bulk.


Another dynamic here is home working. When you have your desk in your home, you’re more likely to care about the quality of materials that you have around you in the form of promotional desk accessories, items become part of your décor! Overcoming this factor does not necessarily require a big budget, for example, a big brand impact can come from a quality, sustainable coaster, perhaps made from FSC wood that is engraved with your design.

Reuse, seek repeated use of your gifts. Blend product quality with practicality and your marketing investments will generate lots of valuable brand impressions. Avoid novelty products and niches! Corporate gift ranges in 2023 feature lots of drinkware and tech accessories, such as multi-charging cables and powerbanks. These items integrate well into our lives. Think about the daily routines of your target audience as you develop your corporate gifting strategies. This may for example include ensuring that thermal drinkware fits into the majority of vehicle cup holders. Find innovative and eye-catching ways to enhance the looks of these practical items and you’ll have created a point of difference.


One of the latest products with the reuse sentiment at its heart is the Rocketbook®, a forever notebook that you write, scan and wipe. We’ve recently road-tested this product, here’s a link to our report!

Refillable products can clearly be reused. On that theme, we love products like the BIC Super Clic, a pen with a quality that punches above its cost, particularly with the optional metal nose cone. This pen comes with the offer of free refills, forever!


Recycle, as part of a circular economy. The regeneration of materials and products means production can happen in a more sustainable way.

Even plastic can have purpose. We work with one UK production team that uses recycled and recyclable materials across their product range. We’re advocates of their reusable travel cutlery sets and sporks, ice-scrapers and trolley keyrings.

Marketeers advocate storytelling, engaging contacts in facts and narrative that take them on a journey. Recycled products are great at supporting this approach. For example, you can add your brand and message to water bottles that are made from plastic that is collected within 50km of an ocean coastline and major waterways that feed into the ocean. This plastic is sorted and transformed into high quality food-safe recycled plastic. The bottles even come in various colours and configurations. One example is featured below.


Further innovative recycled products include bound notebooks where the cover material is made from recycled office waste and post-industrial coffee cup waste. The white, lined paper is 100% recycled from post-consumer waste. Discarded bottles can also become umbrellas and bags, to name just two products. rPET is an adaptable material, made from recycled and repurposed plastic bottles.


Other sustainable corporate gifting tips…

Personalisation options have reached new levels. There are more products that can be Pantone® matched or that offer full-colour printing. Take these ceramic mugs as an example, your artwork can even be printed to the base or inside of the mugs, for an unexpected level of personalisation. Many pens now have three print positions, on the barrel, the clip and near the clip. You’ll have included a web address in your artwork before, you could consider a QR code for more direct and trackable online engagement.


It should be recyclable, yet you can often add value to it, through its design and form, so that recipients will repurpose it. See this example, which adds value to a gift card.


Yes, you would be surprised by the number of UK and European manufacturers ready to reflect your brand in the wearable form of sustainable socks, with choices of styles, sizes and sustainable packaging.

We’re here for you…

Got an enquiry? Sock it over to us! we’re bursting with ideas that we’d love to apply to your brand marketing campaigns.

Let's talk sustainable corporate gifts

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