Center For Customer Insights

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Q: At a staff meeting, my manager stood up and told employees that her birthday was coming up soon and that we could buy gifts for her. During subsequent meetings over several weeks, she repeated this point. Of course, I bought her a gift. My question is: Was she taking advantage of her superior-subordinate relationship to, for the lack of a better term, extort presents?


Recent research indicates buyers sometimes fail to recognize that money (or, as with real-estate hunts, time and effort) are sunk costs that may not be recoverable but shouldn't be reflected in future decisions. In other words, just because you've lost countless Sundays looking at apartments doesn't mean you need to pay $100,000 more for one.


Everyone likes doing their bit to help out the environment, right? Not always: consumers are less likely to buy a “green” product if they believe its benefit to the environment was the result of an intentional change.

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