What Consumers Really Think of Promo: Holiday Gifts Edition

Data collected examines what types of holiday gifts consumers prefer, the importance of personalization, and how these branded gifts can influence brand perception.

80% consider a present from their employer to be meaningful. The 2023 Holiday Gift Survey research is in, and we have some winners when it comes to consumer gifting preferences! PPAI is the Promotional Products Association International and conducted the survey nationally among U.S. consumers ages 18-74. The data collected examines what types of holiday gifts consumers prefer, the importance of personalization, and how these branded gifts can influence brand perception.

Favorite Holiday Gift Categories

Favorite Holiday Gift Categories

We just launched 4 tips for better holiday gifting, and now comes the data to support it. What’s super interesting here is that what consumers rate as their favorite holiday gifts does not match up to what they expect their employer to gift them! Most would choose apparel and fashion accessories, closely followed by food & beverages. What they expect to get? Gift cards.  Don’t get us wrong, we love a good branded gift card…but the expectation doesn’t match up with what consumers really want.  What do you think about these top categories, does it match up with your preferences? We shared data about consumer preferences in a recent look at what women want and what men want from their branded gifts. There are so many variables – our best advice is to really know what your team or your clients want. Communicating that to us, or telling us more about your audience so we can make better suggestions, is key.

  • 53.7% said apparel & fashion accessories are a favorite holiday gift category.
  • 49.9% answered food and beverages are their favorite holiday gift category.
  • Wellness and self care products came in at 44.2% for favorite holiday gifting.
  • Tech gifts were 41.4% favorited for holiday gifts.
  • 40.4% said home decor items were also well liked, including ornaments!

Despite liking these physical gifts, when asked what consumers expect from their employer for a holiday gift, 58.2% expect a gift card.

Does Value of Gift Matter

Which Matters – Cost or Personalization?

Holiday gifting done right will make recipients feel valued, help build relationships and cultivate loyalty to your brand. But, we don’t always have the budget to value teams and customers as much as we would like, do we? Nearly half of consumers (46.7%) say the cost of the gift doesn’t impact their satisfaction. However, 31% say higher value or cost increases satisfaction.  But, 77% said that it’s important that holiday gifts reflect their individual preferences. 39% of consumers prefer a personalized gift over a blank gift (16.3% prefer the blank gift). We suggest knowing your audience, but then knowing what design will resonate with them, consider personalizing individual items (many holiday gifts can be further personalized than just your branding), or even let recipients choose which gift they’re receiving. Including a personalized note makes a difference too – 51% highly appreciate a personalized message with their gift.

The Gift That Keeps Giving, and Giving

We’ve talked about how promo influences behavior, and we’ve shared stats on to what extent promotional products can help with business growth.  The 2023 research says that 85% of consumers say the thoughtfulness of the gift influences their perception of the brand. Check out these stats on the potential ROI of your holiday gift to actual business results.

Consumer Behavior

Above all, it’s important to consider personalization and quality no matter your audience, no matter whether you’re giving holiday gifts to your team or as a client appreciation gesture.  Branded by Williams Advertising creates branded merchandise that allows companies to show appreciation and build brand loyalty. Our capabilities include everything from ideation to production of promotional products. We simplify your life by handling everything from creative through fulfillment for all custom items. If you need help showing appreciation, please reach out & we’ll build personalized promotional products' recommendations for your brand.

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