Re-connecting gifting with giving

Showing care towards others helps us build trust and loyalty by practising empathy, compassion and generosity.

People remember the care that they see and receive in their daily lives. This has perhaps been even more evident at the start of the pandemic.  In those early days, many examples of caring for others came to the fore.  We are living in times when acts of outward care go a long way to show our humanity and kindness.

Gift giving helps to secure relationships

Gift giving as one part of showing care has helped to establish, build, protect and secure relationships while symbolising the strength and value of those connections between individuals.

In the 1800’s, a caring gift was a home-made gift. The publishing industry was one of the first areas to pioneer the concept of giving something made by others. To counter the perception that a mass-produced item was not appropriate to be given as a gift, book publishers printed an inscription page where the person giving the gift could write a personal note to say why they had chosen this book. This infused the gift with care.

A gift is a symbol of a relationship and the value placed on that connection. A 2016 article in Harvard Business Review sums this up this idea nicely. “The most effective way to maximise customer value is to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level”, say the authors, Zorfas and Leemon.

Today’s gifting market is worth nearly $500bn in the US alone and is growing 4.8% per year (Coresight Research, Nov 2020). These figures of course ignore the value of the vast exchanges of time, food, craft, shelter etc. that are regularly shared between individuals.

What this means for companies

People value knowing their gift comes from a brand that notices them and goes to the effort of connecting with them individually. In today’s saturated market, the careless gift holds minimal impact.

At MaCher, we continue to help our clients tell stories of how good gifting reinforces that their brand shows care. A thoughtful gift will help a brand move beyond the shallow and short-term interventions that have come to play a key role in our increasingly digitised lives. Instead, they will help build stronger customer relationships that go beyond transactional gestures.

Caring and creating personalised gifts at scale is of course very difficult.  Instead, it may be possible to shift to show the care creativity, thought and design go into making them. Showing customers the reasons a brand chooses to use good suppliers is an important part of showing that they care.

Giving and buying will always go hand-in-hand but we try and help our clients to do more to create a considered value of the gesture rather than just focus on the transaction.

Please contact MaCher if you would like to know more about the gifts we make.

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