What Makes the Perfect Gift? Memorability Vs Satisfaction

There’s no doubt the gifting industry is booming. With globalization fully present in every facet of our lives and other external disruptions such as Covid-19, the need to connect through kind, thoughtful gestures has only amplified.

Looking through our own data gathered from customer surveys and gifting transactions, we predict gifting to be one of the single biggest catalysts in reinforcing business and personal relationships in the near and long term.

With gifting set to be the driving force in relationship building, this begins to raise the question: What makes the perfect gift?

In our opinion, a gift must tick a few boxes in order to obtain that rare label of perfection. We understand classifying anything as “perfect” is viewed as unobtainable, but looking specifically at gifts, we argue this to only be true when viewing the general public as a whole. When you begin to breakdown that massive demographic into the individual level, you quickly see there very well can be the perfect gift - especially if you understand the core values of the recipient.

As gift givers, we want the recipient to feel positive emotions from our gift. But which emotions matter most? Again, looking at our data, there are two that stand out, resulting in a gifting experience that’s truly exceptional from the eyes of the beholder.

Memorability - Creating a lasting, positive impression. Another way of stating this is delight + creativity + thoughtfulness = memorability

Satisfaction - The feeling of having needs fulfilled. Put simply, desire + fulfillment = satisfaction.

Managing to achieve one of the above emotions isn’t too difficult and most gift givers fall into this category. However, If you want to truly strengthen a relationship or reinforce a connection with someone, your sole purpose should be in achieving both.

The Criteria for the Perfect Gift

Now that we understand that achieving both memorability and satisfaction is the end goal, let’s highlight the criteria required in perfect gift giving. The 5 criteria below represent 93% of all favourable gift recipient testimonials we’ve collected at the Colossal Cookie Company.


It’s difficult to truly demonstrate to the recipient the thought that goes into any gift when they receive it. Including personalization is a step in the right direction. In fact, adding your own personal touch to a gift has become table stakes in enhancing memorability. Personalizing an item through a handwritten note, engraving or colour scheme shows the gift giver went the extra mile.

Gift givers understand this as well. In fact, over 84% of our gift giving customers have requested some form of personalization for their orders of COLOSSAL Cookies with personalized messaging and specific flavour arrangements leading the way. We fully agree with this approach. Gift recipients are much more likely to recall a previous gift favourably when there is a message and product selection crafted specifically for them.

Quality over Variety

At first thought, sending a variety of goods as a gift may seem like a great idea. Especially if you’re not familiar with the person on your gifting list and what they like.

Surprisingly, a survey of 1000 of our customers highlighted that 73% would much rather have a gift containing three or less goods versus a package containing greater than three. Diving into this from the recipients point of view, a gift containing a wide assortment of goods versus a select few indicates the gift giver doesn’t understand the recipient and didn’t put in the effort to do so. Definitely not what the gift giver had in mind, we’re sure!

Taking this further, Of those 73% of customers, 91% of them want their goods to be of high quality. This makes sense to gift givers as well. Gift givers tend to spend on the higher end when buying gifts for others versus for themselves. We expect the reasoning for this is to help strengthen ongoing business and personal relationships through their kind gesture. 

To summarize, your gifts should contain a few, high quality goods versus a wide selection of below average goods to boost satisfaction.

The Product - Value Fit

Humans have a core desire to live their life according to their values and to make positive changes in the world. With the addition of diversity, there are endless causes to support.

For a truly perfect gift, the gift giver has to pay special attention to ensure the brand behind the gifting products match up well with the values of the recipient. As an obvious example, you wouldn’t want to give a vegan a gift basket containing a selection of cured meats. Some values are a little more difficult to uncover but work wonders on memorability and satisfaction when done right (i.e. The recipient cares deeply about the protection of the environment and you gift her with bath products containing minimal plastics and sustainable ingredients).

If the brand behind the gift shares a value connection with the recipient, there’s a much greater chance the recipient will act favourably towards the gift.

Sharing Unleashes Value

We often think of a gift being enjoyed by the recipient and the recipient only. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, there's so much additional value to a gift when there’s a sharing component to it.

From sweet indulgences like cookies to a dining-at-home experience, the simple ability of sharing in the joy adds meaning and closeness which just isn’t possible with a gift meant for solo use.

When making your gifting consideration, always opt in to providing something the whole family will enjoy.

Focus on the End-End Experience

The gifting experience shouldn’t be constrained to just the reveal of the product itself. Instead, pay special attention to the overall gift recipient journey.

We like to break the gifting experience down to the following pillars:

Initial Delivery - How was the gift presented to the recipient? A surprise gift can be a real positive boost for memorability and can be hand presented by the gift giver or delivered to their doorstep through a shipping carrier or courier.

The Unboxing - If you’ve ever leveraged social media to look up reviews of a product you’re aiming to buy, you most likely have seen unboxing videos pop up on your feed. We all enjoy to relish in the excitement of receiving a gift, which results in a huge opportunity for the gift giver.

The Product - The most obvious one but still worth repeating. A high quality and thoughtful gift is always better than a mass produced, cheap one. When combined with the 3 other pillars, the product itself magnifies positively or negatively to the recipient.

The Support - Finally, the gifting experience should be as pain free as possible. If for whatever reason there is an issue with the recipient's gift, it’s great to have a brand that stands behind their product with multi-channel support.

With gift giving increasing over the next 5 years, get used to thinking about how you can make the gifting experience exceptional, not just the gift.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, there can be a great deal that goes into the selection, purchase and delivery of a gift to the important people in your life. If you’re willing to put in the work, the possibility of capturing a gift that’s memorable and satisfying is well within your reach.