Have you ever met someone who bought themselves something they didn’t love? If you have, that percentage of people is likely very small. Even then, that small number of people probably returned that item to select something else they love. Outside of the realm of most likely and probably, we have a common denominator: choice! When people put intentional thought into selecting something, they like it the best.
In this blog feature, our Gifting Experts dive into the concept of choice—how it relates to human psychology and why providing someone with the option to select a gift of their choice can impact meaningful connection.
The concept of choice
What is a choice? As humans, we actively make choices multiple times a day for 365 days of the year. From that perspective, it sounds like we are experts at choosing, and as we all know, when you’re considered an expert, you have an in-depth understanding of that subject. However, most of the time, we make choices subconsciously and don’t always fully understand how the concept of choice affects us. Let’s change that.
According to Britannica’s philosophical definition, choice is the ability to decide freely between alternatives. Meaning choice and free will are synonymous in a way. Humans have the power and capacity to make decisions or perform actions independently. But what does all that mean? Susan Winschenk, Ph.D. Behavioral Psychologist concludes that people value choice because it makes us feel like we are in control. Subconsciously, humans want to feel powerful and have the final say on the choices we make. If you want a person to enjoy a gift, allow them to survey their options and let them select the item they like the most.
Memorable, useful, personal
The subconscious self-validation that we instinctually feel when we select a gift of our choice is just one example of why presenting multiple options is the only viable path to delivering the perfect gift. The concept of choice is the stepping stone to a more memorable, useful, and personal gifting program.
Whether you’re inviting someone to select a gift of their choice online or on-site, the region of the human brain that is associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust is activated. These brain responses trigger a desire to share that experience with others. Ultimately creating a lasting memory that lives on each time the story is reiterated or the gift is used. According to a study published in Psychology and Psychotherapy, participants were asked to recall a recent positive memory. The research found that sharing that memory created a ‘re-experiencing’ of the event. Hence, the senses became re-engaged, reactivating that same spot in the brain, leaving that person with elevated serotonin levels.
As mentioned above, when a person selects a gift of their choice, that item is bound to be used again and again. Not only because of the flood of positive energy they experience when they remember who gave it to them but also because that gift is so tailored to their needs that it becomes useful. Whether that gift becomes a person’s go-to handbag or new cookware, you can rest assured their gift is being used with joy and purpose. When there’s less choice, and things like branded merchandise and one-gift-fits-all are the only options; those gifts become things that are just received. Not enjoyed, and sometimes never used.
Lastly, when you present a person with a Curated Collection of quality products, recognizing that person as an individual becomes apparent. As we just mentioned, one-gift-fits-all options are just that. People cannot be lumped into a single category, with one defining factor about this group being that they “work here.” Even delivered with the “right” intentions, the one-gift-fits-all approach comes across as impersonal, underwhelming, and leaves the person with negative feelings like they’re a chore waiting to be crossed off a to-do list.
You can’t give someone a bad gift if they pick it themselves. Offering them a choice is a no-brainer solution that takes the guesswork out of gifting and makes people feel appreciated. Through the concept of choice, you are not only gifting someone autonomy, but you’re also creating meaningful connections while providing useful quality products they want and the ability to express individuality.
Connect with Gifting Expert to learn more about Cultivate’s gifting solutions and see how much of a positive impact choice has on people. The freedom of choice has never felt so good!