Washington, Dec 10 (IANS) People with higher levels of narcissism select more unique and expensive products, said a new study.
What’s more, narcissism can even be induced in customers through marketing techniques, the researchers said.
An increasing number of retailers and manufacturers provide their customers with the opportunity to create individualised, unique products.
“Our research suggests that firms should consider customers’ narcissistic tendencies as well as the ability to influence their current states of mind to exploit the largely untapped potential of mass customisation systems,” said study co-author professor David Sprott from Washington State University (WSU).
The researchers conducted four studies showing how narcissism can lead consumers to desire and purchase uniquely designed products.
One study established that actual car buyers self-designed more unique cars if they scored higher on narcissism.
Another study demonstrated thatfirms can put consumers into a temporary narcissistic state of mind with marketing techniques.
For example, customers were shown an automobile advertisement with the slogan, “You impress. Like the new Audi A6”, that capitalised on their desire for admiration.
Overall, the results showed car buyers with higher levels of narcissism selected significantly more unique and expensive cars, as did consumers in a state of narcissism.
The study also showed that narcissists rate customisable and personalised products more favourably and are willing to pay more for them.
The study was published in the Journal of Retailing.