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100,000,000+ people asked this question last year!

100,000,000+ people asked this question last year and considerably more did this year.

Although this question comes in different forms and variations, whether it be - “best gifts for mom”, “perfect gift for dad”, “Top 10 gifts for soulmate”, it boils down to the same big problem - “What to Gift?”. This very problem has been overwhelming people since the beginning of human civilization because it brings with it confusion, overthinking, and the whole spiral of Giftophobia which traps most of us, especially today when it’s fueled with the advent of Social Media. As easy it is to Google this question, it’s even easier to find an answer - but are those answers really true? Is there an authority that verifies and provides a trust badge to a website, blog, or an article that publishes “best gifts for mom”, “perfect gift for dad”, or “Top 10 gifts for your soulmate”? The unfortunate answer is NO. Anyone can rank their blog, website, or article on the first page of Google with a few tricks and tips that are widely available in today’s internet ecosystem. This shouldn’t come as a shock as we all know how prevalent fake news is in today’s world. Let alone fake news, just imagine how easy it is for any blog ranking #1 on Google’s search engine to get you to buy their products. Hiring the top marketers in the world, you’re made to believe that what is being offered is truly the “Best gift for you mom/dad/soulmate”, eventually snatching every penny out of your pocket.

On the other side exist researchers and psychologists from top universities and labs of the world, who iron out this question to the full extent, but lack practicality. You can find their work as easily as you can find the products of the cunning marketers, but firstly you may not want to read the research papers, and secondly even after reading you may fail to bridge the gap between theory and practicality. And I failed too, after spending hours reading the scholarly articles and then looking for an actual tangible gift; it was impossible to nail down. Who am I? I am Vinayak Mahajan, Founder & CEO of GiftAFeeling Inc. - the only gifting company in the world that educates people on how to find a gift based on research done on human psychology by the top universities in the world like Harvard, UBC, UBerkeley, top streaming platforms like BBC, as well as clinical psychologists around the world. I’m also a thought leader, who has introduced to the world terms like Giftophobia, which if you didn’t know, essentially is a fear of gift-giving, gifts - the whole process in general. Moreover, I run a team of psychologists and researchers based in University of Toronto, McMaster University, University of Western Ontario, Kwantlen University in Canada, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherland, and some universities in India, Pakistan, and the USA under GiftAFeeling Research & Development. And I’m a #1 Global Best Selling author for the book - Unearthing the “Gift”, a one of a kind book available today, online or offline, that explains how focusing on human psychology can help you answer this very question of “What to gift”, and help you find a proven-to-be-loved gift for mom/dad/soulmate or anyone!

In this article, I’m going to share 5 simple steps that you can follow to find sure-to-be-loved gifts for anyone. These 5 steps condense the research done by clinical psychologists and top universities around the world on gift giving. Here’re the psychologists proven 5 attributes of a sure-to-be-loved gift:

  • Feeling: It has never been easy to elucidate the definition of a “perfect gift” – of any kind, in any context – because a gift is not an absolute entity. The gift never decides whether it can be liked, it’s the receiver. Sometimes the receivers themselves are not confined to being mere humans, as even penguins try to find the perfect pebble to give their partner and crows leave shiny objects for people who feed them. Although animals have limited options, humans on the other hand have an enormously large variety of products to choose from. And this is what creates this whole dilemma of confusion and overthinking regarding gifting - so called Giftophobia. Having said that, one major attribute of gifting that both animals and humans share is “Feeling”. Why are gifts shared? A simple answer to this could be to make the receiver happy, whether it’s an animal or a human; to make them feel ecstatic, jump out of joy, and perhaps just to make them smile. The best thing to notice here is that this happiness is not only limited to the receiver, but it is equally reciprocated by the giver.

    “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

    — Carl W. Buechner

  • Personalization: In a world overwhelmed with abundant gifts and products, all competing for the “best gift” title, it’s not hard to find a quick gift for someone. But, does that mass-produced gift truly symbolize how you feel about the recipient? Is it something that’s going to provide value, joy, and show how much you know and care about them? My guess is no, and here’s why. It’s not personal. The thought and care you put into a personalized gift are what truly matters. It will have a special impact on the recipient, more than any other gift in the world, because it comes straight from your heart, and goes to theirs.
  • Experience: When recipients receive an experience, regardless of whether they share that experience with the gift-giver, they feel more connected to the gift-giver as a result of it, compared to receiving a material gift. In today’s world, everyone is trying to get your attention and hook you by providing you an experience - whether it be a smartphone app or a Japanese restaurant. Do you always review an app on your phone because you like it? Do you always exclusively share your feedback everytime you love a particular service in a restaurant, either in-person to the manager or on Google Maps reviews? No? Sometimes? Well, that’s the kind of world we live in today. The only way the service provider, the giver in terms of gifting, knows that you liked their service or the gift is by reusing it - by going back to the app or returning to the restaurant. We are surrounded by experiences everywhere under a new definition called UX or user experience and the most surprising part is that these experiences are available at a touch, in milliseconds. What’s more intriguing is that people can completely switch from listening to their Spotify recommended playlist that they were enjoying for the last quarter of an hour to joining their favorite band’s Instagram live. All these personalized experiences that are available at the tip of the fingers 24X7 and based on 150+ characteristics make it extremely difficult for you and me to find a gift that can provide a fulfilling experience. You’ll find an answer to this at the bottom of this article - it’s a secret!
  • Practicality & Usefulness: While you can choose a personalized gift that offers THE BEST experience possible as an initial enthusiasm, if it ends up sitting in the shelf or the closet, it’s a failure! Yes, you read it right, the tendency for givers (you, myself, the gift-giver) to choose overly specific gifts may contribute to gift non-use. Studies show that recipients take longer to redeem gift cards that can only be used at a particular retailer or that come with a suggestion for how they should be used than gift cards that can be used anywhere. Givers may fail to anticipate this and favor specific over general gift cards. Same thing applies to gift products - giving a LeBron James signed basketball to an NBA fanatic certainly makes them jump of joy; however, after the initial enthusiasm settles it often starts to get ignored and ends up sitting somewhere on the mantle Whereas, if you give a LeBron James jersey, the receiver can wear it every time they play a game or even hang out with friends. Even after a year, whenever he/she is going out to play, they’d have a soft corner for this t-shirt and would most probably be their pick - especially in big games; making it even more special!
  • Long-term Satisfaction: Pick a gift that brings longer-term satisfaction rather than mere initial enthusiasm - Have you ever given a toy to your child only to see him abandon it on the same day? It could be that you were so focused on anticipating his excitement at opening the present that you neglected the importance of finding a gift that brings more happiness over time. Let’s look at another case - imagine yourself being the best friend of a tennis player who plays tennis quite frequently. You want your best friend, Roger Federer, to jump of surprise on the fleeting moment when you gift it, and also take pride and joy in every single match he plays. What you can gift is a tennis backpack that keeps all his game accessories, a tennis hat, a water bottle, or a tennis Tee., not just ordinary, but personalized - the products have his name on them. This will be personalized, practical, give an experience, and also, be so dear to him that he uses it for a longer period of time - every important game, than just the initial few days. One thing here that you have to make sure is that the products are premium quality ,they don’t wear and tear easily. You see, tennis is a high intensity sport; thus, he needs something of equal durability
These were the 5 psychologists-proven attributes of a guaranteed-to-be-loved gift. If you’d like to read the detailed experiments, demographics, studies, and research conducted on these attributes, you can find my #1 Global Bestselling book here . Now, you must be wondering - how can I possibly put these into action? Well, as promised above, I’m going to share with you a SECRET, a last-minute gifting checklist, because we all are lazy; a checklist that contains easy to follow step-by-step instructions that you can use to find a proven-to-be-loved gift in less than 5 minutes, covering all the major characteristics of a sure-to-be-loved gift. And by the way, these 5 minutes include ordering the gift!

Note: This checklist will provide you with thought provoking ideas to bridge the gap between the theory and the practicality so you can never fall prey to these giant marketers again!



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