Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Do These Crystal Goblets Make My Kitchen Cabinets Look Cheap?

So you decide to splurge and buy the new recliner you've had your eye on. You bring it home and suddenly your sofa looks like something that you picked up at the side of the curb. (Maybe because you picked it up at the side of the curb.)

Rather than improving the "look" of your room, the new piece creates disharmony. Everything looks wrong.

You could take the recliner back to the store and start scanning Goodwill shops for something that is more in line with your previous decor. You could do that. But you probably will not.

Instead, one purchase leads to another. Eurekalert reports:

...consumers who were surveyed said they would make more purchases in an effort to try to surround their designer purchase with other luxury items and restore aesthetic harmony, according to marketing professors Vanessa Patrick of the University of Houston and Henrik Hagtvedt of Boston College, whose study is forthcoming in the Journal of Marketing Research. In fact, this additional string of purchases may represent a far larger expenditure than the initial purchase...

"When we buy something with unique design elements and it doesn't fit, it frustrates us," says Hagtvedt. "This is because design has intrinsic value. So rather than returning the item, we actively seek ways to make the item fit, often by making complementary purchases. This has financial implications that may have been entirely unforeseen when the consumer made the initial purchase."