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The value of gift personalization: current insights from the gift recipient’s perspective and future research directions

Marta Pizzetti (Institute of Marketing and Communication Management, Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland)
Michael Gibbert (Institute of Marketing and Communication Management, Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 6 November 2018

Issue publication date: 22 November 2018

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455

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore gift personalization, i.e. the design of gifts by givers on mass-personalization platforms, from the perspective of the gift recipient.

Design/methodology/approach

Given the exploratory objectives of this study, the qualitative approach was deemed suitable. Two complementary qualitative studies (i.e. semi-structured interviews and critical incidents) have been conducted, and the narratives have been thematically analyzed.

Findings

Gift recipients value gift personalization because of the utility they derive from the product, as well as the ability of the personalized gift to express the giver. Recipients recognize the capacity of the personalized gift to communicate symbolically the giver; they appreciate not only the enhanced attributes of the end product but also the process that led to it, which is imagined as creative and risky. The inherent expressivity of the personalized gift makes it highly valuable in the recipient’s eyes, even when it fails to please him or her.

Originality/value

This research redefines the boundaries of personalization value based on the perceptions of consumers who are not involved in the design process; highlights implications of personalization for firms targeting givers as users of their mass-personalization platforms; and proposes a research agenda to further investigate personalization in marketing.

Keywords

Citation

Pizzetti, M. and Gibbert, M. (2018), "The value of gift personalization: current insights from the gift recipient’s perspective and future research directions", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 35 No. 5, pp. 512-521. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCM-04-2017-2186

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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