With a corporate gift, you can instantly forge a closer connection with your clients, appeal to your prospects, or increase employee morale. With a small investment, you can instantly make yourself more memorable and form a lasting impression.

However, if you want to make the best impression and stand out from your competition, you’ll need to find something unique to provide as a corporate gift. How can you do this? And under what conditions should you be sending a corporate gift?

Coming Up With a Unique Corporate Gift Idea

There are unlimited possibilities for corporate gifts, since there are no rules or restrictions on what you can buy. Because of this, the problem with finding a unique corporate gift idea is usually narrowing down the options. You’ll want to provide a gift that’s original and memorable, but still useful and thoughtful—not to mention within your budget.

Here are some of the best tips for coming up with a great idea:

• Appeal to an emotion. One of the easiest ways to make an impact with someone is to use the gift to tap into an emotion. For example, if you know your recipient has a great sense of humor, you might try to find a gift that makes them laugh, like an object related to an inside joke that you share. If you know the recipient has a fondness for their childhood memories, you could tap into their nostalgia by sending them a gift box of unique old-style candies. When they open these gifts, they’ll instantly feel something powerful—and they’ll think of you when they feel it.

• Cater to a person’s interests. It’s also a good idea to personalize your gift. It’s easy to send a muffin basket or a generic gift card, but if you want to make a better impression, you should send a gift that’s related to this person’s interests, hobbies, or lifestyle. For example, do you know that they’re passionate about golf? Or that they collect postage stamps? Or do you know there’s a certain brand of tequila that they’re crazy about? If you don’t know much about this person, try to learn more about them.

• Prioritize functionality. If you’re not familiar with this person, or if you’re sending to an entire group of people, a better alternative option may be to prioritize functionality. Instead of trying to cater to an interest or an emotion, you can give people something they’re going to use on a regular basis, like a set of luggage, or a coffee kit.

• Get something interactive. It’s also a good idea to get your corporate gift recipients something that allows them to interact with you. For example, you might purchase a block of tickets to a sporting event or a popular stage performance. Just make sure your professional relationship is on good terms before doing this.

• Find a conversation starter. You can also think about gifts in terms of their ability to start a conversation. For example, you can purchase or make a self-contained, self-sustaining ecosystem that fits on someone’s desk, serving both as ornamentation and as something to entertain them while working.

• Get cheeky. If you’re stuck coming up with ideas for a gift, consider getting a standard gift and coming up with a good punchline for it. For example, you might purchase a branded pair of socks, with the tagline, “I think we make a great pair!”

When to Send a Corporate Gift

These brainstorming options can help you find the perfect gift for a given client, partner, or employee, but when should you consider sending a gift in the first place? There are several possible conditions:

• You can instantly make a good impression with a client if you send them a gift when first bringing them onboard. It sets a great tone for your relationship.

• Holidays are another obvious choice. You can send an appreciation gift in the weeks leading up to Christmas, or capitalize on your client’s birthday.

• Major milestones. Gifts are also a great way to celebrate major milestones. For example, did you recently finish a major project? Are you celebrating an anniversary?

• Thank-yous. Many people send gifts as a thank-you for something exceptional. For example, you might celebrate a recent win, or a major increase in spending.

• Just because. Don’t get too wrapped up in thinking that you need a good reason to send a gift. Sometimes, sending a gift “just because” can have an even more powerful impact on your client.

With the right corporate gift, you can cement your positive reputation and make yourself unforgettable. The more time and thought you put into your choice, the more likely you’ll be to make it a hit.