The Ikea Effect
Studies show that labour enhances affection. So when people actually construct products themselves, they value their creations more. This is known as The Ikea Effect.
In an experiment1, people were asked to fold origami and to bid on their own creations, along with other people’s. Creators were consistently willing to pay more for their own origami. They were so proud that they valued them as highly as other creations made by origami experts.
So if you want your customers to love your product, make them build it. The approach has to be designed in such a way that it’s fail proof, otherwise the opposite is achieved. Cooking seems a good example of the Ikea Effect, because children (or adults) that spend time making something from scratch, invariably have greater affection for the final dish than a preprepared meal: If you want children to eat something, you let them prepare it. It’s the way we learn about new things.
It’s worth noting the success of the Ikea brand: Not only is it one of the most successful furniture companies in history (worth €11.9billion in May 20162) —making it’s founder Ingvar Kamprad worth an estimated €39billion3 — it’s managed to get a psychological phenomenon named after it. Not bad for flat-packs and meatballs.
In digital strategy, remembering understanding of the Ikea Effect is important: Allow your client to be more involved in the process, and they are likely to value the product or service more.