October 23, 2009, Newsletter Issue #102: Guidelines to Designing the Right Gift For the Right Person

Tip of the Week

Want to select or design a gift but haven't found the right gift choice yet? Here's a few tips on criteria to use when finding that perfect something:

Level of friendship - Three categories people fall into are close friends/relatives, distant friends/relatives, coworkers (who may fall between these categories), and acquaintances.

Close Friends/Relatives: As these are people you are closest to, think of their likes and dislikes and when first trying to select a gift first think of their age, gender and other demographic information on them, then narrow it down by a person's character. An example would be trying to select a gift for your sister and husband in their early 30's who live in the suburbs. If you are planning a joint gift make sure the gift has a balance of femininity and masculinity. A gift basket would be a good choice as you could personalize items for both of them in the basket. Separate gifts would require a financial balance as you don't want to offend one spouse. You could split-theme the basket into hers/his. If your sister likes cats and her hubbie likes baseball, you could select several cat items useful in the home (potholders, candleholders, picture frames with cats on them, etc.).

Distant Friends/Relatives: As you know less about them, try to run with demographics first and use what you do know about them to conclude whether you are picking correctly. If you don't know much about a nephew for example, but you know he's about age 12, try looking at sites like etoys.com or kaybeetoystores.com and selecting an age at least one to two years higher than his age. Also look at their categories of most purchased or most popular products. Then narrow down by what you know are his interests. If you have no idea at all, a safe bet is an electronic toy maybe mimicking an ipod or a video game if they have the right console.

Acquaintances - These are the easiest people to buy for. You know the least about them and they probably expect even less from you. For this, go by the current trend. If candles are in, purchase a nice sized aromatherapy one if a female. If a male, gourmet food products including herbs are a nice choice. Or maybe even a mini "male" gift basket including nice things that maybe go with his job or hobby.

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Sherril Steele-Carlin