It’s often said that there’s nothing quite like the allure of something shiny and new.
Take the iPhone 15 Pro as an example.
During the keynote, Apple’s emphasis on the iPhone 15 Pro’s gaming prowess was unmistakable.
And why wouldn’t it be?
With the new A17 Pro chip under the hood, they not only promised the capability to run AAA titles like Resident Evil: Village but also announced a significant partnership with Ubisoft to bring Assassin’s Creed Mirage – the full version, mind you – natively onto the device.
If these weren’t strong enough indicators of Apple’s newfound focus on gaming, their audacious statement in an interview certainly was: “It’s going to be the best game console.”
A bold claim? Yes.
But is it baseless? Not entirely.
Advanced reviews highlight the shortcomings of the new iPhone 15 Pro and how it falls short of what handheld game consoles are capable of.
But we both know that doesn’t matter.
Hordes of sweaty customers will have a rumble to be the first to get their hands on one.
Think about that for a moment, though.
A phone geared towards gaming isn’t as good as a handheld console, but customers desperately want it anyway (most of whom are perfectly willing to batter someone to get it).
A new study by Jie & Li into consumer psychology may reveal why.
Why we’re nutty for something new.
A recent study by Jie & Li (2022) terms this phenomenon as the “mere newness preference.“
Understanding the Mere Newness Preference.
The concept of Mere Newness Preference is intriguing.
I’ve just referenced Jie & Li’s study as a “new” finding.
Without even realizing it, you may have instantly given the study more credence simply because it is new.
This psychological inclination can be seen everywhere – from science to shopping.
Researchers Jie & Li believe this preference stems from evolutionary reasons.
Over millennia of evolution, humans have developed a taste for fresh foods due to their greater nutrition content and disgust toward decaying foods due to their possibility for illness.”Jie & Li 2022
It’s a compelling argument, suggesting our ancestors preferred fresh food because it was a safer and more nutritious choice.
New findings, products, or concepts feel more relevant to our current lives, making them seem more pertinent and impactful.
An exciting study from two decades ago might appear outdated or less influential compared to a newer one, even if they essentially communicate the same message or do the same thing.
Practical techniques to use newness in marketing.
Understanding the mere newness preference offers significant insights for businesses and marketers. Here are some consumer psychology strategies to tap into this inherent human bias:
It’s not just about when something was created but how it’s presented. For example, sending an email today about content created yesterday makes it appear fresher and more relevant.
Mention new arrivals.
If you’ve ever felt the urge to buy a “newly arrived” car over one that’s been on display, you’ve been influenced by the mere newness preference. E-commerce sites can also capitalize on this consumer psychology by highlighting newly stocked items.
Offer limited editions.
Limited edition products naturally scream “new.” The exclusivity combined with the novelty can be a potent mix for attracting consumers.
Highlight product updates.
As prices rise, consumers often need justification. Mentioning a product’s new features or improvements can make the price increase seem more palatable.
Instead of emphasizing how few items are left, try highlighting their recent arrival. Phrases like “newly arrived 2 days ago” can entice customers to buy something that feels fresh off the batch rather than something that’s been collecting dust.
Why we like to try new stuff.
The mere newness preference is more than just a modern-day quirk; it’s potentially an evolutionary trait. By understanding its roots and implications in consumer psychology, businesses and individuals alike can better navigate our ever-changing world and the constant allure of the “new.”