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Experiences as gifts: from process to model

Experiences as gifts: from process to model Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the giving and receiving of gifts that are experiences rather than physical goods, and to illuminate how the behavioural processes in the selection, exchange and consumption of such intangible gifts might differ from the generic understanding of gift giving. Design/methodology/approach – A trio of qualitative research methods – depth interviews, self‐completion written instrument, and semi‐structured telephone interviews – captured donor, recipient and industry expert perspectives, yielding a total of 189 real life incidents of experience gift exchange. Findings – The model of experience gift‐giving behaviour encapsulates the behaviour of donors and recipients with sufficient flexibility to incorporate purchased, modified and donor‐created experiences, differing donor decision‐making styles, and immediate or delayed consumption. It is structured around the process stages of decision making, exchange, and post‐exchange/consumption/post‐consumption. Research limitations/implications – The empirical evidence is drawn from the UK, and is biased towards close personal relationships and experience gifts of higher monetary value. Practical implications – Consumers in Western societies are actively giving gifts that are experiences. Greater understanding of their behaviour in this marketplace – as evidenced in the paper – will enhance marketing practice for those service organisations recognising the gift potential of their products. Originality/value – This research is believed to be the first to examine the phenomenon of experiences as gifts – a theoretical contribution that starts to close the gap between real world consumer behaviour and corresponding academic knowledge. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Journal of Marketing Emerald Publishing

Experiences as gifts: from process to model

European Journal of Marketing , Volume 42 (3/4): 25 – Apr 4, 2008

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0309-0566
DOI
10.1108/03090560810852986
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the giving and receiving of gifts that are experiences rather than physical goods, and to illuminate how the behavioural processes in the selection, exchange and consumption of such intangible gifts might differ from the generic understanding of gift giving. Design/methodology/approach – A trio of qualitative research methods – depth interviews, self‐completion written instrument, and semi‐structured telephone interviews – captured donor, recipient and industry expert perspectives, yielding a total of 189 real life incidents of experience gift exchange. Findings – The model of experience gift‐giving behaviour encapsulates the behaviour of donors and recipients with sufficient flexibility to incorporate purchased, modified and donor‐created experiences, differing donor decision‐making styles, and immediate or delayed consumption. It is structured around the process stages of decision making, exchange, and post‐exchange/consumption/post‐consumption. Research limitations/implications – The empirical evidence is drawn from the UK, and is biased towards close personal relationships and experience gifts of higher monetary value. Practical implications – Consumers in Western societies are actively giving gifts that are experiences. Greater understanding of their behaviour in this marketplace – as evidenced in the paper – will enhance marketing practice for those service organisations recognising the gift potential of their products. Originality/value – This research is believed to be the first to examine the phenomenon of experiences as gifts – a theoretical contribution that starts to close the gap between real world consumer behaviour and corresponding academic knowledge.

Journal

European Journal of MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 4, 2008

Keywords: Consumer behaviour; Experience; United Kingdom

References