The Concept of Consumer Gifting Behavior

Marketers need to understand that not all the purchases made by individuals are done for self-consumption; some are done with the intention of gifting. It is critical for marketers to understand this critical aspect of the purchase in order to design strategies that will allow them to assist consumers in making purchase decisions while also giving the company an advantage over competitors who are missing out on the same.

In this article, we will be diving deep into the various types of gifting that happens with humans, what pointers can help companies in designing their communication strategies when it comes to targeting the gifting sector of consumers, and some examples of prominent companies and their successful advertisement strategies.

Gifting Behavior of Individuals

Human beings exchange gifts with one another to show their love for each other, congratulate each other, or meet certain obligations. The emotion behind each aspect is quite different, and hence the level of involvement in deciding on the gift item also varies. We generally exchange gifts in situations like birthday parties, marriage anniversaries, graduation ceremonies, promotion parties, and others.

Types of Gifting Situations

Before diving deep into how businesses can utilize the gifting opportunity, let us understand the complex daily hustle of the gifting activity.

  • Intergroup Gifting − In this situation, one group exchanges or gifts products or services with another group. The motto here is to provide the entire group with something that they can utilize. For example, in the case of a wedding, the bride and groom’s families can exchange gifts between themselves or when guests arrive to meet your family. Here the focus is not on what individuals would like but on what a family as a whole would enjoy.

  • Inter-category Gifting − This is a situation in which a group of individuals gives an individual a gift. For example, your friends decide to give you a gift on your birthday or at your graduation ceremony. It will also include scenarios when an individual is giving a gift to a group of people, for example, when a guest arrives at your home with a box of sweets or chocolate.

  • Intragroup Gifting − This is a situation in which a group is giving a gift to each other. For example, when both partners are working in a relationship and they cannot spend time together because of the ever-increasing time that their job and home chores demand, they gift themselves a vacation together. It will also include situations when a roommate buys something for their own use as well as the sharing partners.

  • Interpersonal Gifting − This is the most common gifting situation. In this situation, one individual buys a gift for another individual. It is generally a more intimate type of gifting because of the level of proximity. For example, a couple buys each other gifts, a child gives her mother a Mother’s Day gift, and others Here the giver and the receiver have to understand their partner well and provide meaningful gifts according to the situation. For example, a mother buying more study books for their kid on their birthday would destroy the mood of the party.

  • Intrapersonal Gifting − also known as self-gifting, is becoming increasingly popular. Instead of waiting for a group of individuals or your special ones to give you the gifts that you desire, the concept of self-gifting has arrived. Here both the receiver and the giver are the same people. This occurs when the person wants to spoil herself and feel loved.

Certain Pointers that Marketers Can Consider to Target this Segment

  • Gender Differences − In a survey, it was found that generally, the opposite genders are confused and find it difficult to find a gift for each other. Companies can conduct basic research and assist customers by providing them with gift items that the recipient may enjoy. For example, companies come up with accessories for your female counterparts or men's gift hampers for your special ones.

  • Special Occasion − Companies can also create gift cards or personalized gifts for customers on special occasions such as Mother's Day, Father's Day, Anniversaries, Valentine's Day, Birthdays, and others.

  • Revenge Gifting − Some gifts are given out of obligation, so the companies can come up with gifting solutions that will help the consumers take revenge and have fun. The best example that I could think of would be the fart can. giving a fart can to the coworker you despise the most on her birthday.

  • Low-Involvement Gifting − The gift giver might not have the time to think about the gift or would not want to; in that case, companies can come up with the idea of gift coupons or generalized gifts for all occasions. For example, Archies, a gifting company in Kolkata, came up with cards for every mood, including happy divorce.

Companies advertising their products using gifting strategies are −

  • Cadbury Dairy Milk − It is very difficult for the gift giver to think about the gift every time he visits a relative’s or friend’s house, or for different festivals, or for birthdays, or for the little things, and hence they give up Cadbury Dairy Milk packs and boxes. The company came up with an entirely new division, i.e., Cadbury Celebrations, for the gifting purpose. "Is Rakhi kuch acha ho jaye, kuch meetha ho jaye, Cadbury Celebrations?" was one of the brand's advertising taglines.

  • Burger King − The fast food company - Burger King understood that not all the gifts that consumers receive during holidays are worth their use and that the consumer would want to get rid of them at the earliest window. Burger King came up with the campaign "Exchange your unwanted gifts for a whooper" at Burger King. The campaign was a hit, and the brand was able to develop a personal relationship with its consumers.

  • Ferns and Petals (FnP) − for this coming Valentine's Day, the company came up with the campaign "Celebrate Timeless Love." The company designed its entire website to mark the different days before Valentine's Day, like Hug Day, Kiss Day, Teddy Day, and others. The company also came up with gift ideas for their significant other, and all one has to do is select one of them. Personalized coffee mugs, chocolate bouquets, flower bouquets, plants, and others are just some gifting options.

Consumers are celebrating every win and moment of their lives, like getting out of a toxic relationship, getting divorced, one-month anniversaries, self-pampering, and others, and hence it is becoming very crucial for companies to target and satisfy this need of theirs. Gifts are one-time investments as well as regular occurrences. Companies can even position themselves as their go-to brand for every gifting need. The feeling of gratitude is increasing, and companies should run at the same pace.