Powered by Jasper Roberts - Blog

Monday, December 19, 2011

Why You Buy What You Buy. Or, "Think, Boys. Think!"

It's not easy to pick a gift that will make the right impression.

Oven Mitt

Baboushka oven mitt: practical but what does it say about you?
"The great challenge lies in making the leap into someone's else's mind," writes Dan Ariely in the Wall St. Journal.

The Duke University professor of behavioral economics says that when consumers choose gifts, they don't act rationally. And rightly so, he adds!

He divides gifts into four groups.

He calls the first "straightforward economic exchanges." You need underwear, so someone gives it to you. Not too exciting, but from an economic standpoint you get full value from it.

Another type of gift is "one that tries to create or strengthen a social connection." Ariely cites the example of bringing a bottle of wine when you go to someone's house for dinner, as a way to say thank you. This is the opposite of economic efficiency, but likely to be much more appreciated than the underwear.

A third category is the "paternalistic" gift. You select something you think the recipient should have, like a membership to Weight Watchers. This "ignores the preferences of the person getting the gift." No kidding!

His final type of gift is "one that somebody really wants but would feel guilty buying for themselves." Unless you're Warren Buffet, you should have no problem coming up with your own examples.

Ariely's best advice: "If your goal is to maximize a social connection, don't give a perishable gift like flowers or chocolate." Once the recipient finishes these gifts, there's no reason to think of you anymore.

He suggests giving something permanent that is used intermittently. That way, they'll think of you every time they use your gift. Or at least, you hope they will.

Choose carefully. You want the connection between you and the gift to be a positive one. It's not smart to give socks, a shower curtain or an oven mitt – no matter how useful these items may be – to someone you want to impress. But you knew this already.

Better yet, when you must wow VIPs and valued customers, call JASPER & JAMES at (310) 581-6710.

No comments :

Post a Comment