by Jennifer Nicole Dienst | December 01, 2008

More than 80 percent of businesses give gifts to their customers and employees, according to a study commissioned by the Irving, Texas-based Promotional Products Association International.

The research was conducted by Louisiana State University and Glenrich Bus­iness Studies, a marketing communications and research company based in Corvallis, Ore. More than a third (35 percent) of the 756 sales and marketing professionals surveyed said gifts should fall into a price range of $25-$50; 29 percent said $10-$25, and 20 percent said gifts should cost more than $50.

Among the most commonly cited reasons for giving business gifts: to thank customers, cited by 70 percent of those polled; build goodwill (66 percent); develop business (50 percent); recognize employee performance and longevity (50 percent); generate referrals (31 percent), and influence purchasing decisions (22 percent).

The most popular items to give as gifts, according to 47 percent of those polled, are office/business accessories.