The spot-on gift for Christmas? It’s a matter of neuroscience


The spot-on gift for Christmas? It’s a matter of neuroscience

4 Dec, 2020

Christmas is coming and everyone is struggling to make a gift to their loved ones. Few, however, realize that a spot-on gift is also a matter of neuroscience. In fact, neuromarketing brain studies show that receiving an appreciated gift cause a rising in the levels of oxytocin, the hormone of attachment bonds.

In a world where you can buy anywhere at any time, the difficulties grow. The excess of proposal creates a kind of anxiety. You do not know what to give, you are afraid of making mistakes and regret not choosing the “right” gift. For this reason, seven million Italians find themselves giving last-minute gifts.

Here you will find some tips based on neuroscience, to hit the target under the tree.

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Do not delay

Avoid gift boxes, purchase vouchers or money. In fact, you are telling the person that you do not know what to give them, that you do not care, that you did not struggle to find their gift, that you did not have time to dedicate them.

Do not choose what to buy in your place: it is better to make mistakes than not to risk. Better not to give anything than to move the problem on who receives the gift.

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Attention to the person

Before throwing yourself into the frantic search hoping for inspiration, try to clarify your ideas about who will receive it. What are their passions? What moves them? What do they like? What do they want? What are they afraid of? What’s the moment when you saw them really happy? How would you like them to feel like?

These questions are used to focus on who will receive the gift without being distracted by a thousand online and offline proposals.

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A gift must be perceived by the brain to be appreciated and remembered. Choose a sensory gift: a gift can be touched, smelt, eaten, watched, listened to.

Avoid all that is “intangible”. If you are giving a trip, give concreteness to the gift, for example by printing the photos of the places you will visit.

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Always tie what you give to something you can do. The human brain does not remember objects but the experiences it lives thanks to them.

A concert ticket is printed paper, but lets you listen to your favorite artist live. A dinner in an exclusive place is valid for being shared and told. Together with the gift, let the people show the experience they are going to live.

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Budget (at Christmas) does not count

If you do not have a big budget, no worries! There is no link between the price of a gift and the rate of happiness of those who receive it.

The brain is totally irrational, the gift activates the limbic areas, i.e. the emotional central unit. So you can be remembered and appreciated regardless of the amount you spend. The budget at Christmas does not count.

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More than the gift, it is important what you write in the ticket that comes with it. Always start with “Hello xxx, I decided to give you this gift because...”. The word “because” is a magic term for our brain. It refers to the idea that someone has thought of us, it moves us, it gives meaning to the gift.

Handwrite your card. Create a story for your gift, so it will be unforgettable.

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Delivery ritual

Invent a different way to deliver the gift. Anticipate it. Postpone it.  Hide it in an unusual place. Camouflage it to increase the surprise. Make it look like a treasure hunt sown for clues.

The brain remembers what is atypical and unusual, where the gift is the point of arrival of an action. Always remember, finally, that the secret at Christmas is to have fun.

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Written by

Lorenzo Dornetti
Lorenzo Dornetti

Lorenzo Dornetti graduated in Psychology (with honorary mention) at our University. Author of publications, books, articles in international journals, he is the founder of “Neurovendita©”, the exclusive, innovative and patented know-how that translates the most recent scientific discoveries on brain functioning into services to accelerate sales. “Neurovendita©” collaborates with 23% of the world’s top brands, according to the Forbes 2019 ranking.

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