IKEA EffectOpen Access

IKEA Effect

We’ll pay disproportionately more for something we’ve helped create

Allowing customers to have some involvement in the creation of your product leads to a powerful emotional connection between the two.

Norton, Mochon & Ariely (2011). The ‘IKEA effect’: When labor leads to love. Harvard Business School Marketing Unit Working Paper, (11-091).

The study

Setup

52 people were split into two groups and given IKEA boxes: either fully-assembled or unassembled that  they were asked to put together.

Results

Those tasked with assembling their box were willing to pay a 63% premium for it during the subsequent bidding process over those given the pre-assembled boxes.

Study graph

Key Takeaways

Provide personalization options early in your order flow to engender a sense of ownership and significantly improve conversion. Apple do this with their customizations for a new computer, as do new car showrooms. How can you add a low-risk, satisfying sense of creation into your existing products or services, especially around your USPs?

Takeaway image

Don’t create choice overload and stress with too many pre-purchase customizations. Similarly, keep any post-purchase building effort simple, fun and low risk.  What core parts of your product manufacture should always remain out of customer hands?

Takeaway image

Frame involvement as a value-add experience and not a labour-cost-saving exercise. How much this is felt may depend on your brand, your product and what you allow to be crafted by customers. 

Takeaway image
Takeaway image
IKEA Effect

IKEA Effect

We’ll pay disproportionately more for something we’ve helped create

Allowing customers to have some involvement in the creation of your product leads to a powerful emotional connection between the two.

The study

Setup

52 people were split into two groups and given IKEA boxes: either fully-assembled or unassembled that  they were asked to put together.

Results

Those tasked with assembling their box were willing to pay a 63% premium for it during the subsequent bidding process over those given the pre-assembled boxes.

study graph
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