"Recent marketing trends suggest that many consumers are attracted to unusual and novel consumption experiences and choose vacations, leisure activities, and celebrations that are predicted to be less pleasurable and enjoyable," write authors Anat Keinan (Harvard Business School) and Ran Kivetz (Columbia Business School).
"A fascinating example is the increasing popularity of Ice Hotels, where visitors sleep on beds made of ice in frigid temperatures of 25° F. A similar trend is observed in consumers' dining preferences: many restaurants are trying to attract consumers by offering unusual entrees and desserts. Such gastronomic innovations include tequila-mustard sorbet, bacon-flavored ice cream, and chocolate truffles with vinegar and anchovies."
Consumers are attracted to these activities and products because they view them as opportunities to collect new experiences and build their "experiential CV," the authors write. And this desire is connected to people's continual striving to use time efficiently and productively.
"This desire to accomplish more in less time is so powerful that it not only affects consumers' performance in vocational (or "production") settings, but can also influence their leisure preferences and consumption choices," the authors write.
In a series of experiments, the researchers found that a "productivity orientation" made participants more inclined to desire collectible experiences. They examined revelers celebrating New Year's Eve in New York City's Times Square, AARP members attending conferences on retirement and aging, park visitors, train and airport travelers, and people who are trying to visit all 50 states.
"Our findings suggest that marketers of unusual consumption experiences and innovative products should target consumers who are concerned with being productive (and collecting experiences)," the authors write.
Editor's Note: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.
Journal Reference:Anat Keinan and Ran Kivetz. Productivity Orientation and the Consumption of Collectable Experiences. Journal of Consumer Research, 2010
Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.