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(originally published by Booz & Company)

Marketing with a Crystal Ball

Consumers may be more inclined to try a product if it’s positioned as something they could benefit from in the future.

Title:
Looking Forward, Looking Back: Anticipation Is More Evocative Than Retrospection

Authors:
Leaf Van Boven and Laurence Ashworth

Publisher:
Journal of Experimental Psychology, vol. 136, no. 2

Date Published:
May 2007

Building successful advertising campaigns is more art than science, but the authors of this study believe a better understanding of consumers’ emotional attachments may increase the odds of delivering a successful marketing message. In their survey of a group of college students, the authors found a stronger emotional connection to eagerly anticipated events — an upcoming ski vacation, for example — than to positive events from the past. In other words, anticipation may trump nostalgia.

Bottom Line:
Consumers may be more inclined to try a product if it’s positioned as something they could benefit from in the future, rather than as something they wished they’d used all along.

 

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Marketing with a Crystal Ball