The Trend This Holiday Season: Experiential Gifts

We all have a holiday gift that’s still in its packaging. As a purveyor of promotional holiday presents, this is the last thing you want to see—your customer’s promotional items sitting neglected and forgotten. They spent money to promote their brand and that won’t happen if the items they purchased are gathering dust in a drawer.

So how do you offer up holiday gifts people will actually use?

The answer is in experiential gifts. Experiential gifts go beyond one-time use and engage people in a different way, leading to more authentic connections and growth in brand reputation.

What is an experiential gift?

An experiential gift is a gift that offers an experience for the recipient to live through. They can come in all shapes and sizes, but the most important part is that they engage your recipient beyond the material item. 

Think of it like this, would you rather receive the newest album from your favorite band or see them live in concert? The material gift is the album itself, the experiential gift is going to the concert and seeing the band perform live. The truly savvy gift giver would give tickets to the concert with the album. Each time the recipient listens to the album, they’ll remember that wonderful concert experience you gave them. 
Experiential gifts have the ability to evoke deep emotion from the recipient and tie the brand or gift giver to the experience itself. Studies on consumer research even concluded that experiential gifts stir emotion when the gift is consumed, rather than when the gift is received.

What does an experiential gift look like?

Experiential gifts can be a combination of hardgoods and experiential elements—they don’t have to be exclusively focused on the experience. 

One of the most common experiential gifts that we see in the promotional product space is kits. These kits range anywhere from cooking to home-movie nights. What’s great about these kits is that they balance hardgoods with an activity, giving the recipient the immediate gratification of the gift, along with the valuable and engaging experience later. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving, long after you’ve opened it. 

The main focus is that it’s all about the activity the recipient can be a part of. It doesn’t matter what it is—could be sports, entertainment, food & cooking, art—what matters is that it ties them to the brand in a deeper way and the products remind them of that.

Why should I promote experiential gifts?

The answer to this question can be broken down into three simple parts.

Experiential gifts go beyond materialistic and tap into the emotional.

We’ve all felt the excitement of getting a new gift, but that quickly fades as it becomes a normal item to us. Meanwhile, we never forget the places we go, the people we are with, and the things that we do. Experiential gifts tie all of those elements together giving the recipient a memory that lasts far longer than the surface-level emotion elicited from a material gift.

Experiential gifts connect a brand to an experience.

The goal of any promotional product should be to drive a deeper connection to a company’s brand. The holiday season is a great time for companies to double down on this effort, but it must be done with some serious tact.

This means offering up gifts that directly tie a brand to a specific experience.

For example, a business that sells cookware might want to send out an experiential cooking kit with 3 essential recipes for a tasty holiday dinner. This kit could be comprised of artisanal ingredients used to cook the meals along with hardgoods such as spatulas, aprons, and oven mitts that have the brand’s logo printed on them.

This directly connects the company sending the gift to the experience, almost like they were in the room cooking with their customer.

Experiential gifts can leverage collaboration with other businesses.

Everyone loves discovering new things, and an experiential gift is a fantastic way to put like-minded businesses in front of customers craving something fresh. The key is making it a win-win-win for your customers, other businesses, and the end-buyers. Everyone walks away happy that the collaboration happened.

Check out how Batch and Bodega from HPG brings small food brands together into kits that tell a story and an unforgettable experience.

Make this a holiday to remember for your next customer. 

Experiential gifts allow your customers to unlock a deeper relationship with their customers, clients, and employees, especially during the holidays. As more people stay home this season, these gifts will be the perfect opportunity to bring family and friends together to spread joy through collective experiences. Be the irreplaceable partner that makes your customers look good by creating these experiences. 

Wondering where you can find all the best catalogs with these experiential gifts? We’ve got them right here at ZOOMcatalog—jump to this blog to find all of the ZOOMcatalog marketing tools, including catalogs and flyers.