I received a lovely purse in a shipment from Neiman Marcus this month. Apparently, by ordering enough men’s grooming items (excuse: restocking two homes and a travel kit!) a promotional giveaway – including purse and women’s fragrance samples – was triggered. A few weeks prior, I received a complimentary tie from a menswear boutique of a color and pattern that I would neither purchase nor commonly wear. This from a company where I have an extensive order history of conservative wardrobe items. The simple thought doesn’t count with promotions. Orders over $100 get this random thing. Buy two, get a third you don’t need. Here, you can have this close-out item no one wants for free. To have a real impact, you have to think beyond basic demographics and consider the messaging that occurs.

“People – of all ages and in all markets – are constructing their own identities more freely than ever. As a result, consumption patterns are no longer defined by ‘traditional’ demographic segments such as age, gender, location, income, family status and more.” –

Yes, you’re telling me you care, but you’re also telling me you think I would appreciate a black clutch and an odd knit tie, or worse, that you didn’t think at all. You likely have enough information to know me better. Even gifts need thought, especially this time of year.