While products are regularly presented as gifts to apologize, little is known about the effect of an apology context on product evaluations and relationships. Past research suggests that recipients positively evaluate gifts. Instead, our five studies reveal that, when recipients receive an apology gift, they evaluate the gift and the giver-recipient relationship more negatively compared to regular products, to receiving regular gifts, or towards verbal apologies. This occurs because apology gifts remind the recipient of transgressions, and signal misunderstandings of recipients’ emotions. These findings highlight the importance of the gift-giving context when promoting products as gifts.
- Gift giving
- Product evaluation