Collection Bias

We have an emotional need to amass sets of related items

1 in 3 Americans collect, doing so to define their identity, keep fantasies alive, develop a sense of mastery or give their lives meaning (O’ Brian, 1981).

Belk, R. (1995). Collecting as luxury consumption: Effects on individuals and households. Journal of Economic Psychology.

The study

Setup

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Results

np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

Key Takeaways

Almost anything can be collected, but to promote collectibility of your products, you should release them in identifiable sets (Carey, 2008). Use names, symbols or colors to connect products. Even subtle additions like a numbering system can turn a mere range of products into a collection.

Self-identity is a primary motive for collecting (Smith et al., 2008), so creating distinction through scarcity (“I have this but you don’t”) is key to increasing consumer status.  Hold back or stop supply of certain items to create a secondary market. 

Create a community to foster social value of your collection. This provides social acceptance - one of the core reasons people collect (McIntosh and Schmeichel, 2004). Social also heightens resell value.

Release collectibles in waves over time (Bianchi, 1998). This will increase the overall enjoyment of the experience and increase the desire to collect. Never saturate the market with too many sets, variations within sets or too many limited editions (Hood, 2006). Overproduction will kill the magic and therefore consumers’ ongoing desire to collect. Don't make the pursuit too easy to achieve (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990), but also not so large a task as to be out of the reach of your audience (McIntosh and Schmeichel, 2004).


Release collectibles in waves over time (Bianchi, 1998). This will increase the overall enjoyment of the experience and increase the desire to collect. Never saturate the market with too many sets, variations within sets or too many limited editions (Hood, 2006). Overproduction will kill the magic and therefore consumers’ ongoing desire to collect. Don't make the pursuit too easy to achieve (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990), but also not so large a task as to be out of the reach of your audience (McIntosh and Schmeichel, 2004).


Collection Bias

We have an emotional need to amass sets of related items

1 in 3 Americans collect, doing so to define their identity, keep fantasies alive, develop a sense of mastery or give their lives meaning (O’ Brian, 1981).

Belk, R. (1995). Collecting as luxury consumption: Effects on individuals and households. Journal of Economic Psychology.

The study

Setup

Results

Key Takeaways

Almost anything can be collected, but to promote collectibility of your products, you should release them in identifiable sets (Carey, 2008). Use names, symbols or colors to connect products. Even subtle additions like a numbering system can turn a mere range of products into a collection.

Self-identity is a primary motive for collecting (Smith et al., 2008), so creating distinction through scarcity (“I have this but you don’t”) is key to increasing consumer status.  Hold back or stop supply of certain items to create a secondary market. 

Create a community to foster social value of your collection. This provides social acceptance - one of the core reasons people collect (McIntosh and Schmeichel, 2004). Social also heightens resell value.

Release collectibles in waves over time (Bianchi, 1998). This will increase the overall enjoyment of the experience and increase the desire to collect. Never saturate the market with too many sets, variations within sets or too many limited editions (Hood, 2006). Overproduction will kill the magic and therefore consumers’ ongoing desire to collect. Don't make the pursuit too easy to achieve (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990), but also not so large a task as to be out of the reach of your audience (McIntosh and Schmeichel, 2004).


Collection Bias

We have an emotional need to amass sets of related items

1 in 3 Americans collect, doing so to define their identity, keep fantasies alive, develop a sense of mastery or give their lives meaning (O’ Brian, 1981).

The study

Setup

Results

np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

Pairings

Allow status to be collected in different ways

One's status is rarely amassed with a single task, instead dictated by many decisions in different areas over time.

How many different ways do you segment and measure status in your customers or employees? Which 2-3 are most important for the business, strategically?

How can you show the progress of status by progressing along a small number of these different task types?

Play with difficulty in task-based collections

Whether you have a set of complimentary products that can be collected, or a series of task-based badges that need to be unlocked to get a reward, consider restricting their supply and therefore adding in a little friction to the collecting process. Ensure not too scarce to disincentivise, but just enough to foster greater feelings of success.

Where can you explore scarce collections for especially-valued products or rewards, or to promote new product exploration?

Connected to

Running workshops?

Collection Bias

is included in Box One of our physical workshop tool.
is included in Box Two of our physical workshop tool.
Box Two