This week a paper by Emily Rosenzweig and Tom Gilovich in the February 2012 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that experiences and stuff lead to different kinds of regrets.
The thinking goes that if you purchase an item such as guitar the associated regret is one where you compare the guitar with others and feel that perhaps in the end you didnt get the best deal. This is particularly true today when there are so many price-compare search engines. Alternatively, the regret that is associated with experiences (not stuff ie items) is more associated with not doing the experience and because your experience (ie a holiday) is seen as individual it cannot be compared the way stuff (ie items) can.
So what does that mean for marketers? It gets back to ensuring your products are more than just stuff – ie they turn into experiences that are individual for the consumer. So how does this play out with brands? Nike is one of the brands that could simply been seen as just stuff ie a pair of runners – but by tapping into consumers love of running and experiences they have great content such as blogs and interactive content to ensure the runners move from ‘stuff” to ‘experience’.
When we think about the best of social media marketing moving a product from ‘stuff’ to ‘experience’ is at its core because if you open your brand up to consumers to make it their own you are well on your way to really engaging with that consumer – and lessening that buyer-remorse.
Much of this comes back to socialising your brand – it gets back to a few Social Media 101s but it is a timely reminder that if you are simply selling a product and not giving your customers the opportunity to socialise and ideally evangelise your brand – well you may indeed have a few regrets.