Why luxury gifts are like chocolate cake. Not in a good way.
I’m sitting on a plane, heading home. I can’t wait to see my girl. We’ve been married for years, but she’s still my girl.
It’s been an exhausting but good work week, so I feel like splashing out on a gift for her, as I am leafing through the airline’s in-flight boutique magazine, pondering whether to get her the necklace on page three or the perfume in a sleek golden flask.
I work in an international company that creates beautiful pieces of art — that is what gets me up in the morning.
But spending a lot of time away from friends and family is the price I pay. And sometimes it feels too high. Especially when I have a wife as awesome as my girl.
What’s in a gift?
As I’m going through the airline magazine, I think about the purpose of a gift.
Is it the dedication that went into crafting it that she appreciates so much? Maybe. Is it that she subconsciously likes the associated brand values like “forever young” and “compellingly sexy”? Probably. Or is it the simple fact that receiving any gift shows her that I was thinking of her? Certainly a big yes.
Gifts, no matter their shape or form, all come with one common message: “I didn’t forget your birthday, our anniversary or just your presence. I thought about you!”. For thousands of years, gifts have always fulfilled one overarching purpose: Strengthening the social bonds to the people you really care about.
The problem with classic luxury gifts
A necklace, a perfume, a silk scarf — those are all things that delight my girl. But they are also supremely impersonal. Their perfection in craftsmanship and sophistication in their brand message are their very downfall when it comes to creating an authentic and personal bond between giver and receiver.
Put differently, these objects are the same things a miserable, cold millionaire gives to his estranged wife, believing he has fulfilled his duty. Nothing sadder than someone trying to spend their way out of an emotional wasteland.
A classic luxury gift is the equivalent of chocolate cake — it’s delicious and pleasurable in the moment. But the pleasure is fleeting and comes with a price later on.
This got me thinking
I wanted to inject a personal touch to my gift, but I didn’t want to lose the luxury element. My girl loves shiny objects, and I work in the luxury industry, after all. We’re simply not the couple to give each other braided hemp bracelets.
As I was discussing this with my friend and colleague Daniel a few weeks later, we started to look for ways where we could imbue a luxury object with a personal touch, and use it to connect to our loved one remotely. (After all, I was painfully aware of that feeling from back on the plane when I was missing my girl.)
And then it hit us
There are few things that are as intimate as your heartbeat. Your doctor gets to hear it when you’re half naked. And your partner hears and senses it in the most personal of moments.
This realisation was the final piece in the puzzle and marked the conception of momenzz, the company Daniel and I started with the goal to create emotional connections that really matter.
18 months later, we are proud to unveil our first product — the momenzzGLOBE.
A beautiful design object featuring the world’s first connected Swarovski crystal, it stands at the crossroads of luxury craftsmanship, personalised gifting, and technology.
Holding the momenzz app on your phone, you send your heartbeat to the Globe, in which the embedded Swarovski crystal heart begins pulsing. When your partner touches the Globe, it sends a message back to your phone.
Simple and powerful. An intimate moment you share even when you’re halfway around the world.
Most importantly — The receiver of your gift does not associate the Globe with brand attributes engineered on the drawing boards of marketing agencies and spread through their communication machine.
No, she or he associates the gift with you. You have personalized the gift with your heartbeat, using the momenzz app. There’s no way your loved one can ever look at the momenzzGLOBE without thinking of you.
Daniel and I would like to ask you to support us on Indiegogo.
The prototypes were very successful with our early testers. And we were completely blown away by one thing: Everyone who initially told us that momenzzGLOBE is not for them has changed their mind and loves the idea now. Many have become supporters.
They talked to us, learned about the product and, crucially, imagined having one at home.
We would love you to support us in bringing the prototypes into mass production, which is what we will do with the $100,000 we’re raising.
Please join us in helping more people connect and paint a delighted smile on their face when the heart in the momenzzGLOBE lights up and sends them the message from their partner: “I love you and am thinking about you.”
Because no one deserves to rely on a beaten-up airplane trolley to get that message across.
Patrick Sutterluety and Daniel Boesch.