Holiday season calls for celebrations and an important part of that is the act of gifting. What is it that makes gifts so special? Is it the cost, the uniqueness, the function or the intent? People gift sweets, clothes, decorative items etc. but what purpose do they serve?
Gifting to me is a simple act of love. You want to ensure that the gift adds value to the person’s life and also strengthens your relationship. Choosing a gift can truly be a herculean task. You want to ascertain that the gift is something that the person doesn’t already have. You also want it to be something that your loved one will cherish. This Christmas season as I was contemplating to buy gifts for my family and friends I made several lists adhering to the likes and dislikes of all of them individually. This is when I thought of the brands that come to my mind when I think of gifts. I looked up brands that called themselves ‘gifting options’ and out of all of them I loved two brands and their narratives.
The ad features a retired bank employee and his family. It encapsulates the struggle that one has when you break your routine. The former banker is seen getting ready for work. He visits the bank every day and looks for something to do. When my mother retired, the most difficult thing was that she began to feel a lack of purpose and fulfillment. She used to go to her workplace to simply meet people and spend time there. She just couldn’t feel at peace at home. I could instantly relate with the ad. The son watches his father grapple with his new life and decides to help him. In the evening, when his father returns from the bank, he is surprised to see a Lenovo laptop on his desk along with a nameplate that reads R.K Bansal,CEO, Bansal Investment Associates. He tells his father that retirement doesn’t suit him, promotion will. The ad not only talks about the features of the Lenovo laptop but beautifully portrays the relationship between a father and son and the thought of gifting an opportunity to the father by empowering him.
The recent campaign of Coca Cola focuses on celebrating your relationships with your loved ones. The ad that I liked the most was the one where two friends sit down together after what looks like a brawl and share a coke. The bottle has a packaging that reads ‘Bhai’ (Brother). The friend looks at him in wonder and he replies that all the others ran away while he was getting beaten. This friend was the only one that stood by him and got beaten. Both of them burst out with laughter. The ad talks about the simple yet extremely powerful bond of friendship and how coke makes the celebration even sweeter. Coke has released a series of these ads and throws light on various relationships, each focusing on celebrating bonds that we share with our loved ones and the moments that make them special. Coke has always been a product with a personal touch. It may not directly influence someone’s life but surely makes it a lot special and is thus looked at as a gift.
In retrospect, as a branding professional or an entrepreneur, I believe there are some questions that we need to ask ourselves.
Do I as a brand act as a catalyst in strengthening interpersonal relationships? What is my relevance in someone’s life? Am I seen as being valuable? With regard to this I thought of listing 10 things we could consider while developing our brand into a being a gift.
1. Find your purpose 2. Provide a benefit that’s beyond functionality 3. Be a catalyst of transformation 4. Be a bridge between people 5. Become a part of people’s daily routine 6. Be humane 7. Show that you care 8. Make your offering personal 9. Engage and participate 10. Earn respect
This holiday season, I wish that brands are able to find their true purpose and gift, that they add genuine value to the customers’ lives and strengthen their relationships with them.