Experiences Key For Today’s Registry

NEW YORK— Today’s gift registry, whether for a wedding, housewarming, baby shower or any other host of events, is a reflection of a consumer’s lifestyle. It often holds insights into the recipient’s personal tastes, aspirations and of course, the experiences they hope to achieve as they celebrate a particular life moment.

The products that make up a successful modern registry need to tap into a consumer’s desires— the experience that a particular product can help them achieve, said Tom Mirabile, consumer trend expert and principal and founder of Springboard Futures.

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“Sell experiences, not objects. We’ve entered a new era where minimal consumption is aspirational, and ‘less is more’ has become the modern mantra. Nothing is a more visible and social expression of acquisition than the gift registry, and registrants know this. That’s why we’re seeing a leaning towards registry items like travel, events, gift cards and cash. Therefore, it’s essential that our industry claws back registry share by giving consumers products and services that address relevant lifestyle aspirations,” he said.

For example, he suggested vendors focus on messaging how products deliver on desirable experiences such as healthful lifestyles, wellness, new learning and creative skills like cooking and baking, DIY and GIY (Grow It Yourself). In short, he said, the industry needs to give consumers objects that deliver their next selves— products which they can register for with pride, not embarrassment.

Therefore, products, he said, that are able to deliver on a consumer’s aspirations need to be represented properly in order to get the message across. This is where enhanced product packaging becomes a key factor when it comes to the registry business.

For example, packaging with lifestyle-focused visuals that can translate how a particular knife, cocktail shaker or blender can help a consumer successfully pull off a certain experience while entertaining at home, will appeal to modern consumers more than packaging that is simply listing features and benefits.

“Our first experience of a brand’s identity and ethos often rests on simple visual messages. This is especially true when they’re ‘registry surfing,’ whether at stores or online. The best packaging and marketing say more about the experience the brand or product delivers than it does about the brand itself,” Mirabile said.

Another layer to this new approach is highlighting the appeal of a product’s general giftability, Mirabile said. This shift enables consumers to choose products that better speak to a gift recipient’s personality, style as well as the purchaser’s budget.

“That means making sure that your assortments have offerings within reach of the ‘sweet spot’ of gifting pricepoints. According to a recent study from the American Express Spending and Saving Tracker, the average amount that a guest was projected to spend on a wedding gift was $99 for a friend of the couple, and at least $127 for a family member,” Mirabile said.