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Experienced marketing professionals know about human behavior and psychology. These professionals play a critical role in helping businesses promote and market their products and services. One psychological strategy some marketers use has been named the “Ikea Effect.” This principle is named after the Swedish company famous for manufacturing and selling furniture that must be assembled at home.
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Essentially, the “Ikea Effect” states that consumers place a higher value on products they have helped build or create. Besides Ikea, another business using the strategy is YouFoodz, an Australian company which offers “ready-to-create” meal kits. These packs contain the raw ingredients that people need for cooking for themselves. The “Ikea Effect” was coined by academic researchers from Harvard Business School, Yale University, and Duke University in 2011. However, their research is actually based on a phenomenon originally noted in the 1950s.
基本上，「宜家效應」是指消費者會比較重視他們有出力打造或創造的商品。除了宜家家居之外，另一家採用這項策略的企業是 YouFoodz，那是一家提供方便煮料理包的澳洲公司。這些包裝裡有人們下廚所需的生鮮食材。「宜家效應」一詞是由哈佛商學院、耶魯大學與杜克大學的學術研究人員於 2011 年所創。然而，他們的研究其實是根據最早在 1950 年代就被注意到的現象。
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Back then, a food brand named Betty Crocker wanted to increase sales of its cake mixes. It hired a psychologist named Ernest Dichter, who advised General Mills (the owner of the Betty Crocker brand) to change its recipe. Based on Dichter’s advice, General Mills stopped using a dried egg powder in its Betty Crocker cake mixes. Instead, housewives would need to add a fresh egg when making the cake.
當時，有個名為 Betty Crocker 的食品品牌想要提升自家蛋糕預拌粉的銷量。他們聘請了一名叫做恩斯特．迪希特的心理學家，他建議通用磨坊（即擁有 Betty Crocker 品牌的企業）改變其食譜。根據迪希特的建議，通用磨坊停止在 Betty Crocker 的蛋糕預拌粉裡使用乾燥蛋粉。相反地，家庭主婦在做他們家的蛋糕時需要加一顆新鮮雞蛋。
After General Mills made the change, sales of its cake mixes improved dramatically. It was determined that if housewives were required to add an egg to the cake mix, then the product was viewed more desirably. Academic researchers wanted to test if the required participation by consumers in the creation of a product was the reason. To do so, the research team asked subjects to assemble Ikea boxes, build shapes with Lego blocks, and fold paper to make origami figures.
They found that people were willing to pay more money for items that they had a hand in making. This confirmed the theory that when people are involved in making something, they perceive it as more valuable.
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