Ryan C. Davison-Reed
2019 Best Luxury Gifts for Executives, Ever!
As much as a CEO might like to be in twelve places at once, science hasn’t yet solved that problem. Until it does, your trusted executives work hard to achieve the company’s vision while bringing their own insights and solutions. The challenges they face are extraordinary, and their achievements deserve extraordinary recognition.
Incentive gifts are a powerful way to recognize achievement, but can also be intimidating in their variety. Luckily, my job has given me an awesome opportunity to think about those possibilities. Here are some of my very favorite gift ideas!
Your top executives pride themselves on presenting themselves immaculately. Clothing, footwear, and grooming? All on point. After ticking all these boxes, even the most self-possessed members of your top team may be tempted to ride the same briefcase until it’s worn enough to send to the Briefcase Farm upstate.
Then when it comes time to replace it, it’s tempting to just slap down a few hundred bucks for a briefcase that looks good but isn’t a beautifully-crafted work of art in its own right. So why not beat them to the punch, and make sure that they can carry themselves and their briefcases with the same pride?
2. Letter opener
Everyone in an office could use a letter opener and, at the same time, almost everyone is resigned to making do with their index fingers. A bit of office paraphernalia that harkens back to the simpler and richer days of rolodexes, mimeographs, and rotary phones, a letter opener adds a touch of class to any desk.
Easily customized to reflect either the recipient or their employer, a letter opener can embody anything from Spartan utility all the way to high luxury—Fabergé could have just as easily gone with letter openers as eggs. A beautiful letter opener reflects one’s status in the company and inspires ownership of one’s position.
3. Espresso machine
It’s no secret that business runs on caffeine. The temptation to send out for a seasonally-themed “coffee-inspired beverage” can be nigh insurmountable at times, however the true gourmand in your C-suite will appreciate the power to create something a little finer in the comfort of their own office.
A modestly-sized, yet professional-quality espresso machine is the perfect gift for the right person; it exudes class and Old World charm, and is a great addition to the office on purely aesthetic grounds. It also says “The Buck Stops Here – I Make My Own Coffee,” a monument to the self-starting spirit in gleaming chrome and aromatic vapors.
4. Exercise equipment
Your executives are beyond their renting days, but I’m willing to bet that more than a few are still shelling out money every month to use the same few machines over and over at the gym. Make it easier and cheaper to work out their bodies alongside their business acumen by giving them a home gym system.
Of course, there’s no reason that one can’t make this gift into an office gym system instead, as a way to keep fit and relieve tension during the workday or at its bookends. Whether in the home or the office, exercise equipment on display announces to any visitor the self-discipline and strength of your top performers.
5. Home entertainment system
A high quality entertainment system says more than “I like to watch movies” or “I like to play video games;” it says, I appreciate movies and video games. As a conspicuous part of any room’s architecture, it suggests the discernment and prosperity to which your best executives aspire.
Naturally, everyone who wants a TV or speakers is likely to already have them; but home entertainment systems are infinitely upgradable, and duplicable as well. By handing down their old system to another room, your top performer can gift the guest bedroom a nicer entertainment system than the cathode-ray museum piece that you saw on last night’s episode of Stranger Things.
6. Robotic vacuum cleaner
There was always an annoying gap between easily taking care of domestic duties oneself and hiring a service, until the 21st century finally made good on its promise of ROBOT SERVANTS! Granted, they can’t get you a cup of tea or even drive you to work yet, but robotic vacuum cleaners are an amazing way to take one of the household’s most annoying tasks off the chore docket permanently.
When you give one of your executives an automated vacuum cleaner, you are effectively giving them more of life’s most precious resource: time. Like other items on this list, it might seem a small extravagance to purchase for oneself, which is precisely why it will be so appreciated as a gift.
7. Spa gift basket
Your best executives are type A, always pushing the envelope for themselves and for the company. Give them permission to indulge themselves, and you can bet that it will be appreciated. Any company that specializes in high-end pampering products will sell curated assortments of their most decadent products, making this a super-cus
tomizable option. Men, women, unisex, mermaids. They’re all represented.
Using products that are worth a million dollars will make you feel like a million dollars. And even if a million per unit isn’t quite in your incentive budget, you can definitely stretch beyond the mass-produced products that even your most well-heeled executives likely rely on for their regular grooming routine.
8. Crystal drinkware
Like exercise equipment, this is another option that works great in both the office and the home. Quality crystal is a resonant status symbol, elevating an informal meeting in the office to something a little more Mad Men—even if water is the only thing getting poured into the crystal. And at home, it will give drinks the opportunity to shine whenever the recipient has the hosting duties.
Acquiring fine household goods is an integral part of establishing a household. That’s why crystal and china dinnerware—hey, that could have been on this list!—are traditional gifts at weddings and graduations. By bestowing crystal, you cast the company in the role of a beneficent and caring family elder.
9. Game table
The rec room harkens back to a time before the distractions of being constantly plugged in and tuned out of real life. A couple couches, a mini fridge, and at its center one or two game tables. Both classic and classy, a high-quality table for playing ping pong, pool, or foosball, is both enormous fun and a symbol of having made it.
Moreover, you can put it in an office just as easily as in the home. In addition to allowing your executive to kick back for a moment between meetings, a game table in the office evokes status by virtue of the spacious office required to accommodate it. At the same time, it bespeaks approachability—this is an executive who made it to the corner office, and is in such command of their schedule that they can take five minutes to bat a ping pong ball back and forth.
10. Company ring
It cannot in fact be Christmas every day—with apologies to 1970s UK glam rock band Wizzard. And quite right, too. The joy of any rare event or gift comes from its uniqueness, and jewelry is the ecumenical Christmas of corporate gifts.
All of gifts on this list are exceptional ways to let your best performers know how important they are to your company. Make your executives feel appreciated with a robust incentive program, and use a beautiful company ring—or a pendant, or cufflinks—to mark the most exceptional achievements and milestones.
Valuable. Beautiful. Symbolic. Jewelry is all of these things distilled, which makes it the perfect crowning glory of any incentive program.
Tempted as I am to leave it there, jewelry is but one art form among many. Not mentioning the others would be like reviewing Le Bernardin and discussing only the wine. With each mode of art—sculpture, paintings, prints—infinite in its variety, the options are limitless.
Jewelry is a gift for the person, while most art is a gift for the room. Just as a beautiful piece of jewelry can set the tone of a person’s self-presentation, the right objet d’art can set the tone of either an office or a room of the house. While it is possible to lean too hard on this one—no one wants to feel like they’re living at the MoMA—fine artwork is a tasteful and compelling enhancement to any incentive program.
Gift giving brings people closer together, which is why making gifts a part of your incentive program is such a powerful way to create goodwill—and to retain talent. Plus, giving gifts is fun! Sit down, use our list as inspiration, and think about the gifts that would speak most to your executive team. You’ll be pleased with the results!