Join 3,556 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Irritated and Indifferent
January 23, 2008 11:27 AM   Subscribe

Irritated and indifferent -- consumers in the Expectation Economy.

[warning -- article is way too enthusiastic and engages in capslock abuse]

The proliferation of online product review sites is making Consumer Reports look positively antiquated. This is particularly true for high-end products, where discovering "best of class" items is now just a few mouse-clicks (or one AskMe) away.

How do you stay ahead of the curve when consumers regularly know more about your market than you do?
posted by tkolar (20 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, and thanks to Miko for pointing this out.
posted by tkolar at 11:28 AM on January 23, 2008


Consumer Reports isn't about discovering the Best of Class. It's about discovering the Best Price/Performance Ratio, where the reader gets to define (more or less) how "performance" is measured. If I value qualities A, B and C, I can look at only how well each product performed in those categories.

I've never found an online product review site, AskMe included, that boiled down to more than "A++++ WOULD BUY AGAIN".

(Not that I want to defend CR that much. They are pretty superficial and their system only works for items I don't know anything about. Their computer reviews in particular are worthless. I don't buy a computer based on how fast I can download the internets or type multimedias to my grandkids.)
posted by DU at 11:42 AM on January 23, 2008


While I found the article annoying, the links section made it worthwhile. Maybe I'm just irritated and indifferent.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:53 AM on January 23, 2008


The thing I find interesting about is that if you accept this as an economy, then what we're trading and accruing is pure information.
posted by Miko at 11:55 AM on January 23, 2008


"How do you stay ahead of the curve"

You change function ?
posted by elpapacito at 12:05 PM on January 23, 2008



They had me until an asian chick flipped me off.

Needless to say I am downloading pr0n in another window.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 12:07 PM on January 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


*sigh* I miss etown.com.
posted by schoolgirl report at 12:15 PM on January 23, 2008


the women's line of construction clothes will in no way backfire.
posted by kigpig at 12:16 PM on January 23, 2008


Fuck off, and who cares!
posted by sfts2 at 12:22 PM on January 23, 2008


the women's line of construction clothes will in no way backfire.

I know, I already explored the ordering of the pink work boots.

But how durable are they?
posted by Miko at 12:27 PM on January 23, 2008


I thought some of the examples provided at the end of the article were interesting. Free photocopying for college students, with advertising on the back of the sheet, is something I would have killed for in college. Same thing with free printing.

Remind me why I have to pay to own a tshirt that advertises Nike again?
posted by tkolar at 12:28 PM on January 23, 2008


They had me until an asian chick flipped me off.

Needless to say I am downloading pr0n in another window.


Presumably not the kind that features Asian chicks flipping you off?
posted by tkolar at 12:30 PM on January 23, 2008


Lots of hand-waving mixed in with the concrete. Stuff about people looking across brands for an Excitement Experience, and as such "Increasingly, you'll be competing with anyone and everyone, which means you need to keep an eye on anyone and everyone." Specifically, how would you (lets say you're an airline) keep your eye on anyone (let's say an athletic shoe maker), and what would you do in response to whatever said shoe maker does?
posted by Bugbread at 12:34 PM on January 23, 2008


tkolar writes "Presumably not the kind that features Asian chicks flipping you off?"

No, I think Bathtub Bobsled is saying that that pic got him hot and bothered, causing him to stop reading and start downloading Asian birdie pron.
posted by Bugbread at 12:36 PM on January 23, 2008


The thing I find interesting about is that if you accept this as an economy, then what we're trading and accruing is pure information.

I didn't take this to mean "an economy based on trading information" as much as a "an economy of real goods, where the value of the goods is almost entirely controlled by expectations."

This has virtually always been the case in the high end luxury markets, but it's becoming true for more and more banal items all the time.
posted by tkolar at 12:38 PM on January 23, 2008


Specifically, how would you (lets say you're an airline) keep your eye on anyone (let's say an athletic shoe maker), and what would you do in response to whatever said shoe maker does?

Well, the obvious case is where your services overlap with theirs. That has always been and always will be in the realm of customer service: how hard is it to get a refund? Does a human answer the phone when I call? Do they focus on my issue or try to upsell me related items?

How about purchasing? On-line the airline ticket store is right next door to the sneaker store, and if I go from a well-built, conveniently layed out sneaker purchase to a nightmare ticketing process I'm going to notice.

But yeah, overall the article was light on the details. I thought the examples at the end along with how they were setting expectations were the most useful part.
posted by tkolar at 12:46 PM on January 23, 2008


Remind me why I have to pay to own a tshirt that advertises Nike again?

Idunno, to damage their brand image, perhaps?
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:22 PM on January 23, 2008


The effect of the EXPECTATION ECONOMY on consumers' moods? Once high(er) expectations have been set, they are bound to go largely unmet, since the majority of brands still choose not to keep up with the best of the best (more on that later). In 2008, well-informed consumers will thus find themselves in a perpetual state of indifference and/or irritation.

I had that problem for a while.

Then I lost my job and found myself unable to consume goods and services.

Sure, it sucks not to be able to buy stuff. But hey! I'm not longer perpetually indifferent and/or irritated.

Life is good.
posted by jason's_planet at 4:01 PM on January 23, 2008


tkolar:

Ok, that makes sense (especially if you reduce my example from "airlines and shoes" to something where both choices are luxury/entertainment items, and similarly priced. Designer shoes versus designer bags or something.) Thanks.
posted by Bugbread at 4:17 PM on January 23, 2008


oh, damn. i was just reading trendwatching & thinking that Female Fever could make for part of a good FPP, only to find i was too late.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:52 PM on February 6, 2008


« Older Rick...  |  The product of an entire semes... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments