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The rules of giving a good gift

From your friendly industry experts.

&Open 4 min2023-08-25

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The rules of giving a good gift

When we source and design corporate gifts, we think about a lot of things. Who is it going to? What do they value? Will it be useful? Where will the tiny moments of delight happen? One could get lost down the endless road of considerations.

Whether you are employee gifting, creating business marketing gifts, or customer appreciation gifts, &Open's gifting platform has you covered.

After sending out tens of thousands of gifts a week, on behalf of impressive global brands, we have cracked the code to giving a great gift. The secret lies in:

1) Understanding what matters to the gift recipient,

2) Prioritizing form and function over something that’s nice but cheap,

3) Choosing a gift that is both useful and delightfully unexpected.

Let's delve a little deeper into choosing the perfect gift.

A good gift is...

Aligned with the gift recipient’s values

The values of the gift sender are sometimes assumed to be the same as those of the gift recipient. TLDR: That’s not always the case.

The term ‘values’ here indicates what someone cares about in relation to the gift. How it came into the world, who created it, what its material make-up is, how it’s packaged, and what happens after it’s been used, enjoyed, and ready to move onto its next life.

At &Open, sustainable gifting is our priority. We care about sourcing gifts that aren’t harmful to our planet during (and after) production, gifts that give back to causes that matter, gifts that honor culture through traditional artisan crafts, and so on.

As the gift sender, it’s important to determine what gift aligns with the gift recipient's values. Is it made with recycled materials — and is fully recyclable itself? Does it amplify the work of a minority-owned business? Will part of its proceeds support a charitable cause? Post-pandemic, 25% more consumers plan to pay closer attention to the social and environmental impact that results from their shopping behaviors. This new wave of consciousness should result in an intentional effort to give gift manufacturing, makers, and materials the consideration they have always deserved.

Built for memorable longevity

We’re not fans of cheap merch. It just doesn’t cut it when it comes to actually making someone feel special. For the gift recipient, it won’t be something they think about for a while or keep around on display. Worst of all, in a few year’s time, it’ll likely end up in a landfill.

Our tip: find objects that stand the test of time, things thoughtless merch could never stand against.

A good gift either:

1) Creates an unboxing experience that is not soon forgotten.


2) Is so well-made it becomes a household staple for years to come. The cost may be higher, but it will mean more in the hands of its new owner.

As our CEO states, “It is not about volume. We actively suggest our clients send out less gifts, but better gifts.” Quality beats out quantity every single time. So gift for longevity.

Useful yet unexpected (in a good way)

When you objectively think about a gift, what do you picture? For most, it’s a physical thing wrapped up in shiny paper and a big bow. But what about other options?

At the end of 2020, nearly 40% of US consumers purchased gift cards from their favorite retailers and restaurants to support them during the darker days of a global pandemic. Gift cards, having previously been labeled as ‘lazy’ gifts, suddenly become a primary way of bringing communities together and supporting local establishments.

So this year, consider the unapparent. We do, and it works. Make a donation on the gift recipient’s behalf, and let them choose things like an Airbnb experience or MasterClass subscription, — the opportunities are endless. You just have to think about what people will use the most. And sometimes that goes beyond the physical.

There’s of course more to consider than solely the above. But it’s a great place to start when sending a really good gift. Keep values, craft, and choice in mind, and you might just have yourself a heap of happy customers.

Ready to harness the power of gifting? Chat with us today to get started on your gifting journey.

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