Thursday, April 21, 2005

Fools and their money ...

Read the following excerpt and see if you can guess the consumer item being discussed in the article:
And niche, as John Seely Brown, a marketing expert who is a visiting scholar at the Annenberg Center at the University of Southern California, recently prophesied, is the future of consumer marketing.

Both the surfeit and the numbing sameness of goods on the market have conspired to produce a nascent cult of connoisseurship, experts like Mr. Brown say. In this new marketing sphere, even ordinary objects can be told apart by consumers whose extreme discernment becomes a subtle way of signaling status. Like Luis Buñuel's Tristana, Mr. Brown's new niche consumer can see three peas on a plate and know instantly which is the best.

"Every consumer decision now carries with it class and status implications in a way it didn't used to," said Barry Schwartz, the author of "The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less" (Ecco Books, 2005). "As you add dimensions to goods, you add ways in which people can distinguish themselves." Thus is created a perpetual chase after status and cool.

"You can never relax," Mr. Schwartz said.
Exotic foods? Jewellery? Kick-arse cars? Not even close. Here's a clue, the most sought after of these come from Japan.

Give up? It's Evisu, of course, and a bargain at US$625 they are.

If I could understand words like "surfeit", "nascent" and "connoisseurship" I might be smart enough to earn the kind of money needed to be able to afford such goodies. Evisu sells almost exclusively to more-money-than-sense, daddy-doesn't-love-me-he-just-gives-me-money liberals, wouldn't you think?


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