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How the IKEA Effect Could Make Your Projects More Valuable

Have you heard of the IKEA effect? When we put effort into building something, like putting together IKEA furniture, social scientists tell us that we tend to value it more.

Maybe you’ve noticed this effect in your own life. It doesn’t have to involve IKEA furniture maybe it was a painting, carving, bookshelf or a dish you cooked. It’s possible that you value that item more because of the investment of time, energy and care that you put into it.

How Might You Leverage the IKEA Effect

Can you think of any ways that you might utilize this concept in your business? Is there a way that you could engage clients in putting some effort toward achieving the outcome they desire?

If you found a way to invoke the “IKEA effect” it could cause your clients to more highly value the outcomes you are delivering.

I understand that not all businesses will find a way to implement this idea. But what if you could?

Cake Mix Gone Wrong

A long time ago American food manufacturers tried making cake mixes simpler. They made it so simple that all the cook needed to do was add water. The sales of cake mixes declined. That wasn’t the result they were looking for.

After hiring a psychologist to help them figure out what was wrong it was discovered that the cake mix was too easy. The cook was not getting enough satisfaction because they hadn’t put enough effort into the cake. Because they weren’t getting enough satisfaction from using the cake mix it didn’t justify the effort of making your own cake. It didn’t feel worth the little bit of investment over buying a pre-made cake.

The solution was to require not just water but also the addition of an egg to the quick mix. Sales picked back up. In order to feel the reward of making the cake people needed to put in enough effort to feel emotionally invested.

Your Turn

Maybe there’s a small way that your clients can contribute to the outcome that would help them feel at least a little emotionally invested.

Give it some thought and see if there’s any way that you might be able to implement this concept into your projects. If you can your clients may find your services more valuable.

Photo Credit: Cakes are great! But it turns out if you use a mix you need to mix at least water and eggs to make it feel worth the effort. Thanks, Annie Spratt.

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Trevor Wilson

Trevor Wilson

I love helping business owners who are passionate about making a positive difference in their clients' lives. I'm a passionate learner and teacher. My purpose is to help people live a more fulfilled life. In my professional life, I love helping business owners get clear on their purpose and identity. Then I help them clearly communicate their story so they can attract their ideal clients. I do this because I believe that when you work with your ideal clients you'll live a more fulfilled life.

Successful people do what everyone else won't dare to do. Don't wish it were easier; make yourself better.