IKEA Effect: We place a disproportionately-high value on self-made products
When instant cake mixes were introduced in the 1950s as part of a broader trend to simplify the life of the American housewife by minimising manual labour, housewives were initially resistant. The mixes made cooking too easy, making their labour and skill seem undervalued.
Learning this, Betty Crocker, one of the leading manufacturers of mixes, changed their recipe to require adding an egg. This simple change caused sales to skyrocket. Infusing the task with labour appeared to be a crucial ingredient in the products success.
When people create products with their own labour, their effort increases their perception of the end products valuation. And while some labour is enjoyable and some labour allows for product customisationboth of which might increase valuationresearch suggests that labour alone can be sufficient to induce greater liking and value associated with the results.
This is an extract from my widely acclaimed book, Product Gems: 117 Science Experiments Demonstrating How To Build Products People Love. Get your copy today and join over 1,000 other readers who have purchased this month.