Who knew walking down the aisle at Home Depot to buy a fridge could give you better footing on your trip down another aisle…
I came across a key marketing concept during some “light” summer reading: A Preface to Marketing Management, by J. Paul Peter & James H. Donnelly Jr. Selling is top priority in marketing, but how do you make sure the product isn’t returned after sale? The investigation of Postpurchase Dissonance is a hot topic in the field.
Doubts and second thoughts occur when there is a cognitive discord within the buyer’s attitudes and beliefs. Dissonance is most likely when the purchase decision is of psychological or financial importance, and/or the buyer has forgone a number of alternatives with comparable features. Hmmm, that doesn’t set marriage up with favorable odds, does it? I happen to have lucked out with a husband whose “features” are beyond “compare”, but the next section just might be helpful for those of you without a G.W. of your own (which had better be everyone reading this!).
The textbook gives four helpful ways to prevent and/or reduce Postpurchase Dissonance:
1. By seeking information that supports the wisdom of the decision. (ooo you two have compatible astrological signs, that must clinch it!)
2. By perceiving information in a way to support the decision. (Your husband just went to Vegas without you because he said he didn’t want you getting a nasty burn in the desert sun…and you believe him)
3. By changing attitudes to a less favorable view of the forgone alternatives. (Just remember ravishing Antonio’s foot odour and Joey’s sinister collection of toy clowns)
4. By avoiding the importance of the negative aspects of the decision by enhancing the positive elements. (“He’s not poor; he’s a brilliant musician” – Note: don’t use that argument with your parents, who probably haven’t finished paying off that wedding of yours ; )
The book also suggests Postpurchase Dissonance can be reduced by admitting a mistake has been made. But really, would you want to wake up to a mistake every morning? Didn’t thing so. So if you didn’t hit the G.W. jackpot, just keep this little list in mind. And let’s just hope you have better luck picking your next major appliance *wink*