HR & Management
The most expensive corporate gift list you'll ever find
33 min read
01 December 2016
To go with your chocolate advent calendar, we’ve produced our own version of a countdown – unveiling extraordinarily expensive corporate gift ideas for clients.
Corporate gift spending has increased, with the bar raising in terms of prices paid per client – in your face Ebenezer Scrooge. When you combine that lovely fact with figures on UK wealth you get the below article unveiling some of the priciest items you could hope to give away this winter.
Guy Salter of Walpole, cited in one of Barclays’ Wealth Maps, claimed “despite economic uncertainty, the overall tidal mark of wealth will continue to rise in the UK”. And as the wealthy start to recover from the downturn, the millionaire population is spreading like wild fire: today there are 619,000 millionaires living in the UK, compared to 528,000 in 2008.
The wealth of the richest 62 people rose by 45 per cent in five years, with Oxfam detailing how the richest one per cent of Brits received more than a quarter of the £4trn increase in national wealth since 2000.
The Guardian even explained how it had an impact on the Sunday Times Rich List: “Plain old millionaires increasingly struggle to count themselves among the mega-rich, with a fortune of £100m now required to make it into the top 1,000. That is £15m higher than last year’s minimum.
“The wealthiest 1,000 individuals and families now have a combined fortune of just over £547bn – or £547m each on average. The figure has more than doubled since a total of just under £250bn was recorded in 2005, despite the world economy being gripped by a punishing recession over much of the last decade.”
So maybe a corporate gift for such a client should involve more than the regular coffee cup with company logo? We’ve got you covered – it’s the start of December and Real Business is feeling festive.
As we work our way towards Christmas, we’re going to “count down” in an advent-like fashion with an expensive corporate gift idea to please your wealthy clients. Each day will reveal a new item on the list, so stay tuned! Let’s start off by taking a look behind door number one.
If you want to game in style then you’ll definitely love our first gift proposal.
1 December – Gold Nintendo console
Game hardware maker Analogue has made a name for itself selling the Nt, a modern Nintendo Entertainment System created from a block of aluminum, which retails for $499.
Of the pricey product, Analogue owner Christopher Taber said in The Verge: “We went through an incredible amount of effort to produce a product at this quality – we’ve always looked up to the standards of companies like Leica – and our ethos as a company is to be somewhat of a Leica of video game hardware.
“We think the Nt has achieved a remarkable level of quality – something never before seen in video games.”
The company has outdone itself though, with a new offering that would definitely catch the attention of your clients: a 24 carat gold Nintendo console – and it costs far more than the Nt.
Read on for the £14,500 phone that matches a £252,000 car.
2 December – The Signature for Bentley
This is one for the automobile enthusiasts out there. Inspired by the Bentley Mulsanne Speed, with its price-tag of £252,000, the Signature for Bentley has a carbonfibre pillow that shares the same weave as the car itself. It sports a Beluga Black calf leather rear as well.
Made by Vertu, which is in the business of creating luxury phones with a Made in Britain tag, the phone doesn’t disappoint in the customisation front either.
Apparently you get to create a Signature phone that is completely bespoke to your tastes – from choosing different leathers to embedding precious stones.
But if your client is a lover of the smartphone then this isn’t the gift you’re looking for. Its functions cover calls and text messaging – that’s it. It aims to look grand and give you the best experience possible though – setting you back a whopping £14,500.
Next up: Champagne like no other…
3 December – Armand de Brignac Trilogie
Of course, not every client is a car enthusiast. But let’s be frank here, lots of people enjoy a nice bottle of wine – or some other alcohol. It’s a safe bet. But in the case of alcohol you need to either know your client’s tastes or go big.
We’re going to go with the latter by introducing you to the Armand de Brignac Trilogie – a treat created by a brand more commonly known as Ace of Spades, dating back to 1763.
It even has ties with Jay-Z. The rapper helped propel the brand into stardom in 2006 when he started singing about the champagne and promoting it in clubs.
Served in a metallic bottle – gold, rose and blanc – this French-created gift will cost you £1,395.
If you want to know more about flying drones then the next page is for you.
4 December – DJI Inspire 1 PRO
Drones can do so much more than deliver your Amazon orders or pizzas – so we’d love to bring your attention to one particular quadcopter sure to steal any client’s heaart.
The DJI Inspire 1 Pro, featuring a Zenmuse 5X camera, is the perfect drone for anyone that loves to see new heights – quite literally – and have a bit of fun. But what we do know, from the many reviews splashed across the internet, is that it lives up to the high demands of its price tag.
It’s a filmmaking platform at heart, with the footage out of the Zenmuse camera deemed to be absolutely breath-taking. It better be given that you’d have paid $3,399 for the device.
Overall, it’s the perfect corporate gift for a high-flying, tech-loving entrepreneur.
If it’s a musical corporate gift you’re after then the next product is one for you.
5 December – STAX SR-009 Open Back Elocrostatic earphones
In 2013, Mikael Cho, founder at Crew, wrote quite an intriguing piece about our love for music. He said: “From the perspective of evolution, there’s something deeper about why you feel pleasure when you listen to music.
“Neuroscientist and musician, Jamshed Bharucha noted that creative domains, like music allow humans to connect in a synchronised way, helping us develop a group identity and makes us more likely to work together – which was an immensely important advantage for keeping the human species alive.”
Given the topic of the article, I’m sure you know what I’m getting at.
While our tastes vary, we all love music. So why not make your next corporate gift something that will enable clients to listen to their favourite songs. In particularly, why don’t you take an extra look at the STAX SR-009 by clicking the link below?
Next up on the list: the ultimate mountain bike
6 December – Haibike XDURO Nduro Pro
When it comes to eBike’s, don’t think them of them as alternatives to motorbikes. Instead, it’s a bike fitted with a tiny motor that helps you pedal, making for a more comfortable ride. And as you can imagine, such comfort doesn’t come cheap.
One of the best offerings comes from Haibike, which offers different degrees of electrical assistance – “eco”, “standard” and “high”. Let’s be honest here, which mountain bike lover wouldn’t appreciate the option to have a little help?
And it’s latest version is the hailed XDURO Nduro Pro.
With a price of £6,000 over its head, you get value for money, with the bike being fitted with a high performance drive system from Bosch.
If your client is tired of constantly buying coffee from a local vendor then the next corporate gift idea i sure to please them
7 December – Kees Van Der Westen Mirage
March 2015 figures cited by the Financial Times claimed 1.7bn cups of coffee a year were being sold in the UK from over 18,000 coffee shops – a figure it estimated would increase to 21,000 by 2020.
Everyone seems to want to be part of the sector, with Greggs CEO Roger Whiteside claiming “it doesn’t matter where you go, specialist chains, fast-food operators, we’re all looking to offer coffee because customers want it.”
Be that as it may, buying coffee every day from your local vendor will quickly leave you in the financial lurch. That’s why many firms buy coffee machines to please staff. It’s also our recommendation for a corporate gift.
Coffee designer Kees Van Der Westen, established the company in the early 1980’s, is one of the best in terms of creating the perfect coffee experience. Why not buy your client one of those?
You’re sure to grab someone’s attention if your choice of transport is the following…
8 December – Cobalt Valkyrie-X
For the high fliers and thrill seekers out there, the perfect gift would undoubtedly be their own plane. Better yet, a Cobalt Valkyrie-X, which is set to be one of the fastest piston aircrafts in the world.
And if you want a truly unique version, then think about Neiman Marcus’ rose gold edition.
“Inside, the flight controls are rose gold, too, plated to perfection,” Neiman Marcus explained. “The seats? Exclusive cream leather, surrounded by a just-for-us colour scheme for the sumptuous beige-and-taupe headlining and anthracite carpets.
“The Neiman Marcus plane comes loaded with options and 24/7 technical support in the S for two years. It also comes with one other thing: the luster of luxury – not only of indulgence and privacy, but of saving time, too. (The most precious commodity of all, as you well know.)”
If a plane isn’t the right mode of transport for your client, then what about a car?
9 December – A Top Gear experience in Swtizerland
The large majority of Top Gear’s following have watched the antics of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May and wished they could follow suit – particularly when it came to the driving of those amazing supercars.
This dream could be made a reality as Truly are giving away an exclusive Top Gear experience – a trip for two in what is described as one of the most beautiful routes in the world. Could this be the perfect corporate gift?
It involves two very fast cars and two nights in a health spa in Switzerland. Of the itinerary, Truly explained: “You will both be presented with walkie-talkies, so that it is possible to communicate while driving. Your guide will then lead you on the magnificent Alpine route, alerting you when the path is clear to go racing.
“The route first takes in the stunning Flüela Pass, beginning in a small coniferous forest with gentle curves guiding the cars smoothly upwards. Higher up, the road leads through the Flüela valley, with beautiful views that take in the Flüela Weissenhorn mountain and first glimpses of the peak of the pass. From here, guests will cross the border into Italy and come to the Stelvio Pass, one of the world’s most thrilling roads.”
If an island visit is more your client’s style then move onto the next page
10 December – Thanda Island
If it’s a getaway from work that you’re offering as a corporate gift, then you can’t get any better than the Tanzanian Thanda Island.
Writing about the island and its founder in Forbes, one Ann Abel said: “The property, which has five bedrooms and rents in its entirety for $10,000 a night (for up to ten people), is roughly 20 acres ringed by coral reefs in protected waters that teem with sea life, including whale sharks, dolphins and five species of turtles.
“The closest inhabited land is Mafia Island, home to more spectacular marine life, trustworthy dive centers and traditional villages.”
The venture has been designed for complete “adventure, relaxation and total privacy” and guests will stay in a villa on the beach that comes complete with five bedroom suites, all of which provide direct access for visitors to jump out and stroll across the sand.
But what if your client isn’t the adventure kind? Here’s gift that involves more of a shopping experience…
11 December – A year worth of shoes
Loeffler Randall was started by co-founders Jessie Randall and Brian Murphy in 2004 after the former struggled to find shoes that fit her style.
Of the shoes, Randall claimed: “What feels modern? What feels effortless? What feels directional? What makes us excited and creates an emotional response?
“At the end of the day, no design goes into our line unless it is comfortable, chic and feels a little bit bold.”
But its not just the highly-praised craftsmanship of the luxury firm’s products that gives it such a good reputation. It has an offering that is incredibly unique – for a price you can get a new pair of shoes every month, or every season for a smaller sum.
Next up is probably the oddest gift to make our corporate gift list…
12 December – A toilet of all things
That’s right, we’re putting a toilet on the list. And before we allude why, we’re going to mention that it has technology by the bucket load somewhere within it. We’re talking music capability – both wireless and through auxiliary cable – and disco lights galore.
It doesn’t compare in price to the world’s most expensive toilet, but we think $4,995 is sound enough a price to show your client how much you really care.
Let’s be frank here, when you ever do buy someone a toilet it’s a definite sign you care as you would never buy one unless it’s truly necessary.
That’s why we think the K-3901 Numi is of corporate gift value – because if a client has gone out of their way to complain about a broken toilet, that means it’s had an obviously stressful impact on their life. So why not relieve them of the responsibility of finding a replacement?
Maybe the following corporate gift – said to increase productivity – is more up your client’s alley.
13 December – Limbic Intelligent chair
What do you get when you cross a love of fast-paced cars with a passion for evoking emotion (aka working with the brain)? The LimbIC Intelligent chair, of course!
Its inventor, one doctor Patrik Künzler, claims the chair has numerous benefits – namely that its good for your back and balance. This was initially tested on the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team, with Formula one drivers being said to suffer acutely from back pain.
Not only that, the chair stimulates the limbic areas of the brain, allowing for better focus and creativity.
“Our designers and engineers are inspired by this technology,” claimed Andreas Sigl, global director of Infiniti Formula One, at the time. This is because, in the words of Künzler “being in the Limbic chair enhances sensitivity to touch, balance and proprioception – the body’s sense of its parts. The improvement lasts for some time after leaving the chair, thus helping drivers feel their cars better, at least at the beginning of the race.”
The chair is definitely not the preserve of Formula 1 racing though, so you could gift a client with an incredibly stimulating office experience.
Another musical product has hopped onto the list…
14 December – Naim Atom
‘Tis the season to be jolly they say, and what better way to celebrate than playing that special type of music many deem only acceptable this one time of the year (playing Christmas tunes in the summer is considered an oddity).
But despite digital forms of music, and the Spotify account, reigning supreme, some of the population still rely on CDs and casette tapes to give them that comfy Christmas sound. And with there seemingly being a revival of vinyl records, the future may see cassette tapes come back to life as well.
If good quality for the latter is what your client is after, then we have the perfect corporate gift for you. It’s called the Naim Atom and it plays both analog and digital music – from cassette tapes and vinyl records to streamed tracks from your mobile phone.
Made by Naim Audio, which has won the Queen’s Award for Innovation numerous times, it’s been hailed for its ground-breaking audio range.
Next up is a night to remember
15 December – A New Year’s treat
New Year’s eve is almost upon us, and one thing is for sure: we’ll all be trying to get a view of the fireworks, be it at home from the big screen or live in the sky. However, we unveil a corporate gift sure to wow your client.
PrivateFly will allow a certain amount of guests to be part of two New Year’s celebrations, starting in Sydney before flying them over to Los Angeles.
Of course, booking the entire aircraft is a whopping £151,000. But for one person it comes to £8,400.
Of the experience, PrivateFly managing director Carol Cork said: “The unique flight experience is only possible by private jet, as the timings are so with – and there are no airline schedules to fit the itinerary.”
Star Wars fans will be pleased to receive the next unveiled gift…
16 December – The Stormtrooper treatment
When we say Stormtrooper treatment rest assured Darth Vader, the laborious building of the Death Star and being shot at by the rebellion are not part of the package we’re unveiling. No, we had something far more soothing in mind.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story introduces us to planet Scarif, set in the Maldives.
The trailer for the movie unveiled Stormtropers running through ocean waters and onto a beach – nowhere close to the charm of the Baywatch crew. That location is now available as a holiday spot for seven nights.
If you’ve got a few Star Wars fans you want to please, and there seem to be quite a few lovers of the franchise, then a five star resort stay in the Maldives seems a good way to make a lasting impression.
Can you imagine seeing Stormtroopers going for their daily run as you walk to the beach in the morning?
But maybe they prefer the wine and dine experience?
17 December – Wine them and dine them
The recipient of this gift will never forget you – depending on how much wine they consume – with this trip to French wine district.
Bordeaux and Champagne are the regions of choice, both of which come complete with their own brand of luxury, and tasty meals to complement the taste of the vintage beverages that will be on offer.
The tours are in April and May 2017, so it should provide something to look forward to, helping to steer clear of those dreaded winter blues.
Next up: A chance to feel like Bradley Wiggins
18 December – The Ciclotte
Tour De France is still quite far away, so if you want to buy the perfect corporate gift for that one biking fanatic client then maybe the Ciclotte is the way to go?
It’s a £10,000 donut-shaped exercise bike created by Italian designer Luca Schiepppati. The Ciclotte is made from materials such as carbon, steel and glass fibre and was hailed on its site as being “a complete innovation in the fitness field.”
But essentially, as was made clear in an article by Wired, the main feature of the bike is its appearance.
Wired explained: “Most exercise equipment looks like it belongs in a dungeon, not a home gym. The Ciclotte stationary bicycle, on the other hand, wouldn’t appear out of place in a museum. Which is exactly where its aesthetics hail from. Designer Luca Schieppati took his Ciclò – a concept bike that the Milan Design Museum liked enough to include in its permanent collection – and transformed it into an exercise machine.”
Let the sci-fi lover rejoice at the next corporate gift…
19 December – Podtime sleeping capsule
If you’ve ever watched a sci-fi movie with its characters making a long trek through space then you’ll have undoubtedly come across a scene where they either go to sleep or wake up in a sleeping pod of sorts. And if there’s one thing we know based on the Star Trek series is that future movies tend to inspire the creation of products.
Sleeping pods are, after all, a reality – made famous by the likes of Silicon Valley firms Google and Facebook. Both companies have celebrated its advantages.
Who couldn’t imagine feeling rejuvenated after a quick nap or relaxation period in a sleeping pod?
But its not the preserve of larger firms – you can gift one of your smaller clients with a Podtime sleeping capsule, be it for a love of sci-fi movies or the offering of a well-rested workforce.
If Weyland-Yutani isn’t your style then why not go for something a little more Harry Potter?
20 December – Anything made by RockPaperRobot
RockPaperRobot is one of those amazing places that mixes physics with furniture to produce something truly unique. That includes a coffee table made of floating cubes – held together by magnets – shelves made of the same concept that just won’t fall and robotic chandeliers that react whenever you stand underneath it.
Another product is the Ollie table, part of its transformable furniture range – hailed as perfect for small living conditions.
By utilising slatted surfaces, RockPaperRobot has been able to create products that are collapsable when not in use. A bar stool can flatten, for example, and the Ollie table’s surface is able to slide up the wall.
What’s more, a handful of the products fall nicely into our corporate list’s range of £1,000-£10,000. We don’t see many people declining such a futuristic present, so why not make one of its unusual products your next corporate gift?
21 December – Dappad personal shopping
It doesn’t matter on the sector, Dappad’s personal shopping service has something for everyone, from creatives to hedge fund directors.
Built on the basis that men hate shopping, and with Savile Row an inspiration, Dappad delivers an online service that will see a package of menswear delivered to recipients based on their preferences.
22 December – A journey on the Belmond Grand Hibernian
Everybody likes to travel in a big of luxury, so our corporate gift list includes a train journey that really sets a marker. The Belmond Grand Hibernian is Ireland’s only luxury sleeper train and comes with a curated art collection.
Art consultant Katie Kennedy Perez, a Belfast native, is responsible for introducing the artwork to the Belmond Grand Hibernian.
Beyond art, Belmond claims the Belmond Grand Hibernian marks “a new era in luxury rail travel” – with guests able to line their stomachs with Irish-inspired food including seafood chowder, roast Killarney venison, Donegal turf smoked salmon and crab cannon.
23 December – High-end Corsa Miglia luggage
Corsa Miglia creates luggage sets to fit luxury cars – made from naked leather for the likes of Porsche, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Ferrari.
Its tailored sets’ prices depend on the car the luggage is being matched to, with a Porsche package retailing at $3,977. The package includes a golf bag, shoe bag and travel kit though. The $1,967.88 Maserati package will get you two wheeled suitcases and a duffle bag.