Anticipation, and why experiences trump possessions

What was your highlight of:

  • last summer?
  • 2014?
  • the last five years?

What are you looking forward to most:

  • next summer?
  • in 2015?
  • in the next five years?

Your answers to these questions are likely to involve doing something rather thanbuying something as popularised more than a decade ago by Psychologists Leaf Van Boven and Thomas Gilovich in their paper “To Do or to Have? That Is the Question.”

A recent paper “Waiting for Merlot” co-authored by Gilovich takes this a step further by researching the differences in anticipation during experiential and material purchases. The key finding was that the anticipation of an experience is more exciting and pleasant than that of a material purchase, regardless of price, and experiential anticipation actually adds to the total value of a purchased experience.

Simply put: People positively anticipate their return trip to Hawaii for example, but don’t feel the same way about buying a new television.

So, someone has committed to an experience from you or your business… what are you doing to capitalise on this positive anticipation?

  • What is your plan from purchase through to consumption?
  • How do your sponsors and partners fit into this plan?

This opportunity begins at the point of purchase, not the point of entry.

What does this mean?

  • Anticipation is a valuable property to achieve additional revenue and increase brand association.
  • It’s a chance for sponsorship activation and for focusing on value adding strategic partnerships to better serve your consumers.

Pre-consumptive timelines are going to vary, so it’s important is to look through data and find common paths, or lines taken, to initially target (this is your low hanging fruit.)

These lines to consumption are created through analysing your sales data to determine some common subsets within segments (follow up post.)

This was originally a LinkedIn post

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