“Is more always better?”: Are your promotional gifts what the customers truly desire?


We have established the impact of a successful gifting campaign towards customer loyalty and engagement; and ultimately, the sales performance, for a brand. Nonetheless, with thousands of products on the store shelves — coupled with a myriad of ongoing gift with purchase promotions (GWP) or PWP campaigns, contests, and so on — it does require a lot of eye-catching elements to grab your customers’ attention.

Gift-giving is a smart business strategy because the ‘right’ gift will help you direct focus exactly where you want to be. And, we are discussing gifting, in general. (Think special gifts for VIP customers, colleagues, collaborators, and gifts for the general audience, e.g. promotional gift with purchase, event swags, etc.) Simultaneously, a gift reminds customers of your brand and business — keeping you top of mind. The good news? If they are impressed, you’ll climb in their list of preferences. However, when it comes to picking the right promotional gifts for your marketing campaigns, does it mean “giving more” is better, equally impactful?

Or, as the saying goes, “less is more” would actually help businesses achieve more impactful and significant results? How does the “paradox of gifting” come in place — all in all, providing some food for thought for you to stir up positive emotions in your receiver?

Are you giving your customers what they truly desire?

More isn't always better: The “Presenter’s Paradox” explains that by adding on a little gift will make the entire gift package seem less big, less in value. Image credit: ObserveDeCoder / Wordpress

More isn't always better: What you give and what customers perceive

Your customers are your best sales people. To keep your customers loyal to you means keeping them happy. Good customer relationship management can turn happy customers into ‘evangelists’ for your product or service — spreading the word and bringing in new business.

Image credit: Smile.io

This goes beyond them being satisfied with their experience, they want more. Everyone has high expectations, and we are always seeking added value in our purchases, with each dollar spent. However, does that mean more in terms of the physical unit of gifts which customers receive at the end of the day? After all, ‘the more the better’, especially in a materialistic world we live in. Apparently not.

Starting to find the gift ideas you currently have getting boring? Repetitive? Not trendy enough? Why not delight your customers and clients with creative and unique gifts. Visit us and learn how to pick your ideal gift for your campaigns — because gifting can be fun, impactful and practical!

In a study conducted by Kimberlee Weaver, assistant professor of marketing in the Pamplin College of Business, the phenomenon called “presenter’s paradox” happens when a gift recipient actually feels turned off by the pairing of a big and a small present. According to Weaver’s white paper “The Journal of Consumer Research”, while the gift-giver may feel like he or she is doing more by spending more — the recipient sees the big gift as somehow being "diminished" by the smaller gift's value. Or as Science Daily put it, "adding on a little gift makes the entire package seems less big." Relatively speaking, let’s replay this paradox in a business scenario, where a colleague "bundles" or presents a slew of positive information with some negative tidbits thrown in. The bad information "dilutes the impact of the highly favourable information," explained Stephen Garcia, Weaver's co-author and an assistant professor of psychology and organisational studies at the University of Michigan. (Now, we know why the bosses or management often break the good news first, before the 'not-so-pleasant' ones. *Wink.)

A survey by Customer Management IQ discovered 76% of CX executives and leaders rated customer experience as ‘high priority’. Source: Superoffice.com

Putting your best foot forward

Having said that, all these wonderful things only happen if you understand how to offer the right type of gift with the right message. So, what does the Presenter's Paradox tell us? Businesses and brands should put their best foot forward, as half-hearted efforts to strengthen an impression will only dilute it more. Strategically, when we apply the paradox in our gifting campaigns and efforts — perhaps it's time to consider focusing your budget on the big (significant) gifts that are sure to please. When you offer fantastic promotions, attractive marketing incentives and ‘to-die-for’ offers with valuable rewards for your customers — you drive sales, loyalty and brand engagement, ultimately. You will continuously expand your base of loyal customers. A pleasant shopping experience with your brand means another happy customer for you.

Image credit: Superoffice.com

Ultimately, there is no certainty in almost everything in life. There are several factors to consider when you run a marketing campaign, picking the right gift with purchase (GWP) or PWP to attract your customers. We hope this article could provide some useful insights for you as a rule of thumb, or a reference, so to speak. When used in conjunction with compelling POS displays and in-store advertising, impactful GWP promotions would hit a home run: it tells your consumers that they are buying something worthwhile, and they are receiving something more.

Our team has compiled the following gift with purchase (GWP) promotion ideas that offer interesting gift items, attractive incentives and rewards, which we think are engaging and brilliantly executed. Check them out!

Also read: Elevate your marketing campaigns with impactful and attention-grabbing POSM displays. Find more inspirations in "Creative and Cool POSM Ideas That Turn Heads and Drive Sales".
Image 1: Offering gifts that are practical aside from being nice-to-look-at is always a "sure-win". Image credit: Teeka Place SG / Shopee

Image 2: Echo the go-green message through eco-friendly and sustainable gift items. Image credit: Kellogg's, Facebook


Image 3: Attractive design and packaging is also key in grabbing customers' attention. Image credit: Coca Cola, FamilyMart / Facebook

Image 4: Put some thoughts into creating a uniquely designed exclusive gift that makes your customers go "wow". Image credit: Vinda / Shopee

Image 5: Promotional campaigns featuring limited edition gift with purchase merchandise create exclusivity. Image credit: KitKat / Shopee

Image 6: Keep the idea unique, yet practical and convenient at the same time. Image credit: McDonald's MY / Twitter

"Does it mean I can't bundle?"
Of course you can. However, there's always a way . . . to do it right.

If you are thinking about bundling multiple products for your promotional campaigns, or giveaways, do it the right way:-

Bundling do's and don'ts:

  • Avoid mixing a cheap item and an expensive item and simply promoting the package.

  • If you are mixing products with different values, establish the value of the individual items first, particularly the most expensive one.

  • Increase convenience by bundling complementary products.

  • Focus on non-price attributes of the product. (e.g. durability, comfort, practicality) (This will reduce the devaluation effect from mixed-value items.)

  • Identify how the bundle can benefit your audience demographic.

Image 7: Practical item which carries a substantial value in comparison with the dollar spent on the products purchased gives a "worthwhile" impression among consumers. Image credit: KitKat SG

Image 8: Branded promotional gifts would also increase the likelihood of consumers to take action faster. Image credit: Budweiser SG

Image 9: Make the gifts fun! Image credit: Huggies / Shopee

Image 10: Character merchandising, including featuring popular global celebrities in your gift with purchase merchandise. Image credit: Milo / Shopee


Image 11 (TL-DR): Sustainable marketing presents great opportunities for businesses. Stand out from the crowd (while having a positive impact on the planet) by selecting practical eco-friendly gift items for your campaigns to convey your brand's 'go green' message. Image credit: Vitagen, Great Eastern, Maggi / Shopee

Image 12: Keeping gifts on track with what's trending is one of the ways to stay relevant and appeal to the audience. Image credit: Monster, PUBG, Vietnam

Image 13: Stand out from the crowd (while having a positive impact on the planet) by selecting practical eco-friendly gift items for your campaigns to convey your brand's 'go green' message. Image credit: Unilever, Dove, Vietnam

Closing Thoughts

At some point, you may even notice it really doesn’t matter what a brand sells. Because, regardless of what the product is, offering a gift with purchase promotion is always a good idea. But, offering the right gift, is still key. With so many competitors in every industry, how do you stand out from the crowd? How do you engage with your customers? How do you stay top of mind with your customers — when they go shopping at the supermarket or browsing through the online shopping portals?

We place significant importance on the 'end-to-end' approach, which we strive to achieve at DTC World — from the materials we source to the manufacturing of the products. (You can always read more here, about our company's fair bit towards the worthy cause of a greener planet. Alternatively, just give us a buzz to find out more about how you can go greener with your marketing campaigns.)

If that rings a bell, or it might be something you wish to explore, get in touch with us for more insights into promotional gift ideas for your company.

More ideas and inspirations to kickstart your next sure win GWP marketing campaigns:

Turn Shoppers Into Buyers With Eco-friendly Promotional GWP Ideas

How To Run a Successful Gift With Purchase Campaign That’s Sure Win

Supermarkets Gift-with-Purchase Promotions

Relationship Marketing: Gift With Purchase Ideas to Connect With Your Customers