Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Little Glitch in Christmas Shopping Psychology

It's coming to the Christmas gift wire and you're looking for that one more little do-dad to give a special someone, something to go with the Big Gift that will knock her shoes into the nearest creek. Don't Do It!

That's the finding--in a nutshell--of Virginia Tech assistant marketing professor Kimberlee Weaver, who works out of the Pamplin College of Business. Her study (here), co-written with a couple of guys from the University of Michigan, sees a real paradox in gift-giving, one where the value of a group of gifts finds an average in the mind of the person receiving them.

In her example, the the value of a combination of a nice cashmere sweater and a $10 gift certificate falls dramatically because of the gift certificate. Leave it out and let the sweater make the statement, Weaver advises.

Shopping, it seems, just got tougher.


1 comment:

  1. In the case of teenage nieces, I suggest leaving out the sweater and increasing the amount of the gift card.