New gadget thrills blind purchasers

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New gadget thrills blind purchasers

People who don’t consider how the initial thrill of purchasing a new gadget will wear off over time are more likely to buy expensive models with extra features, researchers say.

In a series of experiments, researchers from the Yale Center for Customer Insights at the Yale School of Management asked participants to predict their enjoyment from products including plasma TVs, stereos, and digital cameras at different points in time.

When the researchers prompted participants to pay attention to time and the duration of using a product, they thought about how their enjoyment from a product would diminish in the future.

Those who were not prompted overestimated their long-term enjoyment.

This finding may help explain why people overspend on expensive extra product features whose enjoyment will be short-lived, the researchers say.

In fact, once people think about how they will enjoy a product less in the future, it shifts their product preferences away from higher priced choices with extra features whose enjoyment will quickly dissipate to cheaper, simpler options, according to Nathan Novemsky, co-author and associate professor of marketing at the Yale school of management.

“People don’t automatically think about how their enjoyment from an item they are purchasing might change over an extended period of time,” said Novemsky.

“They may judge the enjoyment of having a product by considering what it’s like to acquire that product.

“Ironically, our results suggest that marketers who highlight the duration of owning or using a product by emphasising a positive attribute, such as durability or a five-year warranty, might actually dampen consumer interest because consumers may think about how they will adapt to it over time,” said Novemsky.
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