Slave to the Upgrade: Why we MUST have The Latest Thing

slave to the upgrade

Image by Flickr user : Mike Dong

Technology in the consumer electronics sector moves fast. With the culture of having a phone with a time specific contract has emerged a manufactured economy, in which we are always looking to upgrade to the latest and best handsets.

How can consumer electronics offer life changing functionality if only to be replaced with supposedly better technology months later? And why do we queue around the block in order to buy it? Tell us in the comments.

The proportion of our expendable income being spent on these products is growing, with contractual pricing plans helping to create a volatile and competitive marketplace.

Already being exploited by communications companies, this is the phenomena of the upgrade. This is the reaction of wanting to have the latest product even though you already have a fully functional device. This is widely believed to be caused by the need to safeguard against the feeling of loss, ‘loss aversion’.

Old for New

An example of this philosophy is evident in the way that people sell their old phone when a new model appears so that they may partially be able to fund the purchase of the new model, even at significant financial loss.

The phone that is being sold may almost be identical to the new one in terms of specification, but to the owner – to buy the new handset and take a financial loss is a more preferential outcome rather than having to stick with the old phone for fear that it may become defunct in any way in the future when compared to the new handset.

Trial Period?

Apps and the app market have also used this in marketing in the form of ‘trial’ periods. We are enticed by a ‘limited time only’ offer that we perceive we will be losing out if we do not take up the offer.

Then when the trial period is up, we are reminded that if we did not continue, we would lose the time and effort that we had invested in using the app. This is presented to show that by taking the financial hit in continuing with the product, we are losing only a monetary value in comparison.

In fact we are led to believe that we are losing our ability to use the app, rather than having got its use for free during the trial period.

We are not only persuaded to buy these products but the advances in their features over the models we have.

Why keep buying The Latest Thing?

The motive behind buying a new product can be the desire to be part of a community or affirm ideological views associated with a product or brand.

The typical example of this was played out by Apple’s 2006 ad campaign in which a Mac and a PC are played by actors that discuss the various pros and… Well, pros of owning a Mac compared to a Windows PC. The attributes of the owners of each are embodied by the clothes that each actor is wearing and their attitudes towards the primary functions that a computer should serve.

The draw to be among this elitist group along with celebrities is also a contributing factor in the need to upgrade, as technology becomes as much as a fashion statement and status symbol as it is a functional device.

[Read also: Technology – Are We Too Plugged in to it?]

There may be underlying influences contributing towards your decision to purchase a new device. With the electronics industry slowly filtering technology from inception at a scientific level to the consumer as a constant conveyor belt of content and devices, there are no signs that the future will be any less competitive.

[Read more: Technology – The Waiting Game vs The Impulse Buy]

New products will be released without doubt, and people will queue, will you be one of them? Let us know in the comments.

About the author : Dan Izzard writes for Strategy Internet Marketing who offer pay on results seo, meaning that you only pay for SEO that produces results for your company.


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