Having trouble picking out the perfect gift? Here is your fool-proof guide to giving them something they’ll love! Ever wonder whether that new gadget is really what your special someone wants for Christmas? Will they really love that bread maker? If you’re not sure, Zenzi has some fail-safe tips!
Researchers from the company’s Social Values Project have worked to collect unique insights relating to people’s individual social values and how it relates to their preferences in buying and receiving gifts. Values provide a deeper basis for understanding why people feel and behave a certain way, how they make decisions and communicate. They serve as guiding principles for what people find important in their everyday lives.
While the most obvious paths in gift giving could be buying gifts based on specific interests, like buying a Metallica shirt for a Metallica fan, or buying gifts based on specific needs, like getting a new laptop for someone whose laptop just broke. When you focus on someone’s values, you can find something that they’ll love, but that they may not have even thought of themselves!
Zenzi has found that there are 6 value types:
• Prestige Seekers are looking for recognition and respect in life and like to have luxurious things that communicate their status.
• Pleasure seekers are looking for stimulation of the senses.
• Freedom Seekers are more independent and want to be in control of their lives.
• Purpose Seekers are concerned for social welfare and take action to improve global conditions.
• Tradition Seekers feel grounded in well-established systems of behavior and thought.
• Security Seekers feel responsible for the security of themselves and those close to them.
Unsure what value type your gift receiver is? You can tell a lot about them through some pretty simple observations. Pleasure Seekers are easy to spot. They are thrill seekers through and through, They are the bungee jumpers and skydivers, and they get excited about the latest and greatest thing out there. It’s easy to see why they would love adventure gifts like a white water rafting trip, or give this techie the latest iPad or other gadget that is catching everyone’s attention.
If he/she loves family traditions and is the one making sure that everyone gets together every Sunday for dinner – they’re likely a Tradition Seeker. They are likely to love a gift that either supports a family tradition, like a new serving platter or gravy boat for the Sunday dinners they host, or something that contributes to a collection that is close to their heart. For example, if they are owl lovers, maybe start a tradition where you give them owl figurines each year.
If you notice that your loved one’s top priority seems to be the safety of their family and the financial security of their future, they are likely a Security Seeker. They prefer well-known brands that they can trust and they tend not to care about the newest trends and technology. They prefer low-key activities so find out where their favorite nail salon is and gift them a manicure, or give them a round of golf at their favorite spot.
Freedom Seekers can be considered fundamentally opposite of Security Seekers. They are those people you know (or that you might be yourself) that “dance to the beat of their own drum.” They value arts and culture, independence, and want to pave their own path in life. An artistic or intellectual gift would be perfect for the Freedom Seeker. For example, is there a new book on an obscure art scene? Or give them tickets to a concert or comedy club. They’ll love the intellectual and creative stimulation of either.
Can you find this person volunteering at the soup kitchen or have they been in the Peace Corps.? A Purpose Seeker is generally focused on the social welfare and well-being of others. They don’t tend to value material possessions in life. These charitable-minded people are often strong proponents of fair trade and sustainable practices. Is there a “farm-to-table” operation in your area where you can have local organic produce sent to them? Is there a neighborhood co-op market where you can buy them a membership? Or they are guaranteed to appreciate a donation to the charity closest to their heart.
Prestige Seekers may be the easiest to buy a gift for. They are achievement-oriented people who like to enjoy the fruits of their hard work in the form of luxurious possessions. They would like their hard work and subsequent status in life to be conveyed through their belongings. Enter here the designer hand bags and wallets, the fancy watches and most expensive tech gadgets. Not necessarily materialistic (as that word carries pretty negative public connotation), these friends and loved ones simply want their outward appearance to match how they feel on the inside – so you can easily help them with that.
So if you are having trouble figuring out what to get that special someone, take note of their routine behaviors and you’ll likely be able to figure out which values rule their psyche. Once you’re armed with that information, the choices become clearer and you may even surprise them by giving them a gift they’ll appreciate on a much deeper level.