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by Alison Smith Jenks | December 17, 2015
Ah, the holidays. The time of year when our business and personal lives seem to accelerate to mach speed between the end-of-year reporting, new-year planning, and a (hopefully) revved-up social life. Adding to the stress is finding the perfect gift for that special someone -- even clients, employees, or channel sales partners. What's a busy marketer to do?

No need to get stuck. For a lasting B2B gift idea, get out your "Nice List" and think experiential.

Here's why:

1. Experiences make people happier than possessions. Research shows that people who wrote about an experience as opposed to a material purchase, in general, showed higher satisfaction levels. Why? While experiencing new things, people may feel a heightened sense of vitality.

2. Experiences also make other people happier. Not only do experiences make the recipient joyful, experiences also lead to more happiness in others. Experiences are meant to share and be shared. Spending time with our loved ones is rejuvenating, and shared experiences bond families and friends. (Plus, passing along great times on social media with a little humble-brag can really be a feel-good.)

3. Experiences stay with us for the long run. Experiences lead to memories, which become stories, which lead to an enriched life. Recalling that feeling of "being alive" or reminiscing about those meaningful connections extends the pleasure of the actual experience well into the future.

4. Younger generations value experiences more than possessions. Not only are experiences a great gift for that person who has everything, they are perfect for the younger generations as well. Experiencing life in these ways helps to shape Millennial's identities. According to research by the Center for Generational Kinetics, Millennials value three things most in gifts: experience, uniqueness, and meaning. Another study showed 78 percent of Millennials would rather spend money on an experience than on a tangible good.

So whether it is an exotic trip, a local night out, tickets to a concert, a sports event, or a cooking lesson -- get creative and share this incredible world. And if you've already bought that perfect material gift, make it a memory. Turn the moment the gift is given into an experience itself.

Alison Smith Jenks is senior vice president of marketing for FreemanXP, the brand experience agency within Freeman. In an increasingly digital work universe, her mandate is to help demonstrate how social engagement -- the integration of virtual and live events -- offers growth opportunities for brands. For more information, visit FreemanXP.

A version of this piece first appeared on FreemanXP's blog.