18 August 2013

Experience economy

From a fellow online dater:
"Online dating frequently fails to meet user expectations because people, unlike many commodities available for purchase online, are experience goods: Daters wish to screen potential romantic partners by experiential attributes (such as sense of humor or rapport), but online dating Web sites force them to screen by searchable attributes (such as income or religion). ... Search goods—detergent, dog food, and vitamins—are goods that vary along objective, tangible attributes, and choice among options can be construed as an attempt to maximize expected performance along these measurable dimensions. Experience goods, in contrast, are judged by the feelings they evoke, rather than the functions they perform. Examples include movies, perfume, puppies, and restaurant meals—goods defined by attributes that are subjective, aesthetic, holistic, emotive, and tied to the production of sensation. Most importantly, people must be present to evaluate them; they cannot be judged secondhand because indirect experience can be misleading, causing people to mispredict their satisfaction when they encounter that choice." ---- Frost, Chance, Norton and Ariely, "People Are Experience Goods," Journal of Interactive Marketing, 22(1): 51-61.

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