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Make Your Customers Happy - Offer Them Items Good For Gifting

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It is often said that money can't buy happiness, and this is true for most cases.  However, writing in the September 13 issue of Forbes, Harvard Business School professor Michael I. Norton has found one important exception:  those who spend money on others are happier than those who spend on themselves.

Norton conducted a study in which strangers were given amounts of money ranging from $5 to $20 and told to either spend it on themselves or on others.  At the end of the day, those who spent their money on others reported feeling happier than those instructed to spend on themselves.  This is in spite of consumer predictions that making more money would make them happier.

The study has important implications for the gifting market, says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of The Gifting Report 2010: The Ultimate Guide to the Consumer Gift-Giving Market, Unity Marketing’s most recent study of 1,680 gift buyers.  http://bit.ly/dwT6IW

Make your customers happy -- Offer them items good for gifting

"With the economy still on the skids and the employment picture murky, many Americans are unlikely this year to realize the bump in income they believe will make them happy.  However, Dr. Norton's study shows that spending on others -- even a small amount -- can increase a person’s happiness."

"This is an important message for those who sell gifts -- and that is almost every retailer or marketer.  Gifting is becoming more important to consumers, with nearly all celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or some other end-of-the-year gift-giving holiday.   Combine these with other popular gift-giving holidays and occasions like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and birthdays, and it is clear that many consumers are always on the look-out for the perfect gift."

"Going into this year's holiday gift shopping season, marketers and retailers have their work cut out for them," Danziger says.  "Unity Marketing's ongoing research shows weakness in the affluent consumer segment -- the consumer economy's 'heavy-lifters.'  These high-income customers account for only 20 percent of U.S. households but over 40 percent of total consumer spending.  http://bit.ly/8Y332v

"The marketers that help the gift shopper have more fun this year will win.  To achieve this, retailers should put their best gift selections up front and center and make sure all sales staff are expert in helping the customer find a good gift from among the store's merchandise. They need to happily offer services to gift shoppers, such as quality gift wrapping and rapid checkout. More than ever in this tough economic climate, customers want their expenditures to make them feel good.  Gifting is a sure bet in this department," Danziger concludes.

About Pam Danziger and Unity Marketing: Pamela N. Danziger is an internationally recognized expert specializing in consumer insights for marketers targeting the affluent consumer.  She is president of Unity Marketing, a marketing consulting firm she founded in 1992. Pam received the Global Luxury Award for top luxury industry achievers presented at the Global Luxury Forum in 2007 by Harper's Bazaar.
Pam gives luxury marketers "All Access" to the mind of the luxury consumer.  She uses qualitative and quantitative market research to learn about their brand preferences, shopping habits, and attitudes about their luxury lifestyles, then turns these insights into actionable strategies for marketers to use to reach these high spending consumers.  Unity Marketing is the voice of the luxury consumer for such clients as PPR, Diageo, Tempur-Pedic, Google, Swarovski, Constellation Wines, Luxottica, Orient-Express Hotels, Italian Trade Commission, Marie Claire magazine, The World Gold Council, and The Conference Board.
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She is currently working on a new book, Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury, to be published in late 2010 by Paramount Market Publishing.  Her other books include Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience, published by Kaplan Publishing in October 2006;  Let Them Eat Cake: Marketing Luxury to the Masses—as well as the Classes, (Dearborn Trade Publishing, $27, hardcover) and Why People Buy Things They Don't Need: Understanding and Predicting Consumer Behavior (Chicago: Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2004).

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