The Art of Gift Giving – Part 2 of 5 – The Gift Model

To apply the suggested gift framework [Message, Delivery, Timing] effectively, you should identify the relationship type and status between you and the gifted. Below is a spectrum of relationship types that you could use to “title” your relationship with the gifted:

We’ve also developed a simple scale at which the relationship’s progress maybe identified:

Now, by using the Gift Criteria Matrix below, you’ll be able to determine the gift’s budget in terms of dollar value. It will also help shape the way you allocate the budget based on the gift’s purpose relative to the relationship and it’s priorities. This will become much simpler  once you go through the Matrix and the Steps below:

 Fig.1a Gift Criteria Matrix for Social Relationships

 Fig.1b Gift Criteria Matrix for Professional Relationships

In order to use the matrix above, you should take the following steps:

  1. Step One: Draw a line between the Relationship Type & the Relationship Status
  2. Step Two: Project the Line across the Gift Criteria Scales & Mark the Intercepts
  3. Step Three: Calculate the sum of the Criteria’s Percentage Weights (Intercepts)

The First outcome of the three steps above is a total weight percentage. If you multiply this percentage by your monthly disposable income, you’ll have the gift’s budget.

The Second outcome of the steps above is a sloped line that indicates the gift’s priorities. If it’s upward sloping then you should prioritize the gift’s timing & delivery over it’s message. If it’s downward sloping, then you should prioritize the gift’s message over it’s delivery & timing.

The Third outcome of the steps above is the budget allocation for each of the gift’s criteria.

The following example illustrates how this madness works. But, before we get to the example, note that you should be able to identify the following key characteristics of the gifted prior to your pursuit of designing the gift:

1. Age         2. Gender        3. Profession       4. Hobby         5.Aspiration

Now to the example:

Assume that you have been seeing a special someone for the past three months,  her/his birthday is coming up in October, and you’re Monthly Disposable Income is 5,000 AED (1,360 USD). The relationship type is intimate at the lower side of the scale due to it’s recency. The relationship status is in it’s buildup phase at the lower side of the scale, again, due to it’s recency.

Now applying steps 1, 2, 3 using the matrix above to design your gift:

The followings are the intercepts:

  • The Message intercept is 12%
  • The Delivery intercept is 8%
  • The Timing intercept is 5%

Therefore, the three outcomes are as follows

The gift budget is [12%+8%+5%] X 5,000  = 1,250 AED [340 USD]

The gift’s message is more important than it’s delivery & timing

And half the gift’s budget should be allocated for the gift’s message; a third of the budget should be allocated for it’s delivery, and only a fifth should be allocated for the gift’s timing.

Just a quick reminder, by “message” we’re reffering to the concept of the gift. The “message” maybe thought of as the physical item that remains at the disposal of the gifted. The “delivery” is typically the packaging of that physical item and how it’s “delivered” to the gifted. The “timing” maybe thought of as the surrounding enviroment during the gift’s delivery. The first part of this article could help explain these criteria better.

Now we all know that you’re an awesome giftor who knows the key characteristics of the lucky person in the example above, and you’ve managed to scope up the poor person like cops do with their suspects, as follows:

  • Age: 27 Years Old
  • Gender: Female
  • Profession: Interior Designer
  • Hobby: Pilates
  • Aspiration: Reputed for creativity

Here’s one gift that aligns the gift’s framework & model with the gifted’s key characteristics:

An engraved Pilates Springboard wrapped in pain white paper and an earthy organic fabric. The engraving is of an inside joke between the gifted and the giftor, without any undersigning. The gift should be delivered to gifted at her residence during a quiet afternoon before her birthday evening.The Giftor’s identity should not be confirmed to the gifted just yet. This allows anticipation. Ideally you should disclose yourself as the giftor within a couple of hours, once you’re sure that the gift has been collected and opened. The disclosure should typically be in person by means of a playful comment about her …pilates lol

Although we came up with this gift on the go while we’re typing out this part of this article, we still evaluate such a gift as 20 out of 24 points according to the following scores of the gift’s criteria:

  1. The Message [Score 10/12]
  2. The Delivery  [Score 6/8]
  • Packaging – Simple, Organic, contextual  [Score 3/3]
  • Ceremony – Personal, Non-Celebratory [Score 3/3]
  • Commissioning – Will be exposed instantly to the convenience test [Score 1/2]

3. The Timing [ Score 4/5]

  • Memorability – Anticipated, usable [Score 2/2]
  • Synchronicity – During an appropriate time & setting [Score 2/3]

But remember, in the example above, we’re assuming that neither you nor the gifted is using the “gift” as a medium of barter for services. But if that was the case, then you’d need to use the title “gift” strictly as a social mask to such a transaction. Part 3 of this article discusses different ways that allow you to “magnify” your end of the bargain in order to maximize your benefit; ensuring that you’re the “Impressive Gold Digger” rather than the bird lol.

Stay Tuned For Part 3…

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The Art of Gift Giving – Part 1 of 5 – The Gift’s Framework

For an item to qualify as a gift, it has to be transferred from the “Giftor” to the “Gifted” without compensation.  Regardless of the eventual reciprocation between them, the intention(s) of giving a gift is either the initiation or the reinforcement of an emotional, non-materialistic, bond. In other words, the relationship between the gifted & giftor is the medium at which gifts are justified, and a gift should decorate the gradual progress of the relationship’s virtue.

But if the purpose of a certain “giving” is improving one’s own public image OR staging a short lived materialistic transaction, then one should consider exaggerating the physical aspects of that “gift” rather than its sentiment. Part III of this series titled “The Impressive Gold Digger” will elaborate further on such types of givings.

Part I: Set The Gift’s Framework

The best approach towards gift giving is to structure the gift according to the gifted’s “emotional triggers”. Once the triggers are identified, you may set the following three criteria as the Gift’s principal framework:

1. The Message – [The Concept; Weighs 40%]

Every gift should carry a message about the gifted’s values and aspirations. Exclusive? expensive? personal? professional? funny?. You should choose a gift that contributes to the gifted’s aspirations [example: If “professional” is a characteristic that she would like to be recognized for, then the gift should project that: a fancy pen maybe?]. Avoid gifts that could carry a message about the person’s insecurities [example: if it’s a short person, horse back-riding classes as a first “gift” could be misunderstood. lol].

2. The Delivery [Weighs 35%]

The gift delivery magnifies the impact of message. It’s the stage at which your gift demands attention in order to convey it’s message.

The three sub-criteria of a gift’s delivery are:

  • Packaging: This refers to the physical appearance of the gift
  • Ceremony: This refers to the process of transferring the gift
  • Commissioning:This refers to the interaction of the gifted’s first encounter with the gift

3. The Timing [Weighs 25%]

The timing of the gift should mark a year, a month, an hour, a season, a solar/lunar moment, or a particular setting. Ideally, the gift’s message & delivery should match the gift’s timing.

The two sub-criteria of timing are:

  • The Memorability: This refers to the elements that become chronologic “triggers” to  the gifted’s memory, such as unique surroundings or sounds during the ceremony. For Example, a well narrated toast  may increase the memorability of the gift.
  • The Synchronicity: This refers to the gift’s compatibility with the occasion. People are generally influenced by trends, media, and occasion’s identity. In other words, a valentine’s gift in 1924 is very different from a valentine’s gift in 2012.

In Part II of this series, we’ll expose each of the criteria’s targets according to the relationship type.

Stay Tuned…