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Published: October 9, 2008

 
 

Tapping Into Consumer Regret

When presented with the possibility of future regret, consumers may be willing to break the bank — or their budget — to splurge on big-ticket items.

Title:
Remedying Hyperopia: The Effects of Self-Control Regret on Consumer Behavior

Authors:
Anat Keinan and Ran Kivetz  

Publisher:
Journal of Marketing Research, forthcoming 

Date Published:
December 2008

When consumers choose not to buy a luxury item, they often look back and wish that they had. Understanding this emotion — and how to tap into it — could be an invaluable tool for marketers touting, for example, Hawaiian vacations or expensive cars. Through a series of field experiments, the authors of this paper show that when consumers anticipate long-term regrets, they are willing to deviate from stringent budgets and override their usual self-control. The trick for marketers is to appeal to the sense of loss a consumer may feel months or even decades later for failing to enjoy life to its fullest.

Bottom Line:
When presented with the possibility of future regret, consumers may be willing to break the bank — or their budget — to splurge on big-ticket items.

 

 
 
 
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