Buying the Experience

by Lee Buford on August 9, 2010

We all make daily decisions on how we spend our money. Naturally, these decisions are more challenging in uncertain economic climates, and are therefore debated more intensely by most individuals and families.

Marketing plays a big role in the choices we ultimately make. Television, print, and electronic media remain extremely influential in this process, and point-of-purchase marketing impacts our impulse buying decisions like never before. So how do we decide where, and on what, to spend our money?

We all have needs that must be met, and purchases such as food and other necessities are no-debates. But how often do you overspend for “necessities”? How often do you pay more for something you could buy for less, and why do you do it?

Answer: We love EXPERIENCE more than necessity, and we place a higher value on it than we are often willing to admit.

For example, I recently went to the movies with my family and some friends of ours. Now I’m not a movie buff by any means, but it is nice when you can take the kids, grab a big bucket of popcorn (with extra butter of course), a few sodas, and take in one of the latest box office hits (Romona and Beezus if you’re curious). The concession tab alone was $35…yes, you read that correctly, $35!

For the CEOs in the crowd that is some serious margin and profit! For the parents in the crowd that is the cost of some serious fun…a worthwhile investment in quality family time. Sure we could’ve watched a movie at home, enjoyed some of Orville Redenbacher’s finest microwave popcorn, and saved ourselves quite a bit of cash. But, for us at least, that’s not the point.

You see, our family doesn’t do this very often…so for us it’s an EXPERIENCE. And I’m willing to pay for the experience.

We do it all the time. We pay for the experience of being in the stadium for a big football game versus watching it on television. We travel to certain places or landmarks to experience the reality of being there in person versus looking at pictures online. We pack up the kids and drive to a tree farm to cut down our own, special Christmas tree versus buying one on the corner lot.

The examples are endless…the justifications are the same…

We are willing to pay for what we value, and what we value is the EXPERIENCE.

 

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