When It Comes to Tech, Pricier Doesn't Always Mean Better.
Why do people automatically gravitate to the most expensive products?
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: October 18th, 2012
Being inexpensive doesn't always mean a product is inferior quality--take, for example, Nokia phones.
hen you're in the market for something like a new television or computer, one of the first things you probably consider is your budget. And more often than not, people have a preferred brand they stick with (say, Sony or Apple). But when it comes to the quality of the product you want and the price you're willing to pay, does a higher price mean that the product is higher quality? Obviously, not always—so why do some people automatically think that the more expensive product is better?
In cases like whether someone wants to buy an HP laptop or a MacBook, of course the actual technology matters—which processor is faster, which has more memory, which one has better screen resolution and a better camera, etc.—but often times things like what the brand says about the person using it comes into play. For example, for a person who uses a computer for only word processing and surfing the internet, a non-Apple computer would work just fine. But there's a certain cache that comes from carrying around those slim-line, stylish MacBooks that Jobs & Co. offer up.
And there's a psychology behind thinking that expensive means better—in a study, participants were given wines to taste. For the first wine, the researchers told some participants it was a $145 wine and others that it was a $5 wine. For the second wine, participants were told the wine was $90 or $10. In both cases, the tasters chose the "more expensive" wine, even if it wasn't actually expensive. In other words, people automatically associate high cost with high quality.
Status symbol consumption is nothing new, but it's interesting to think that people would jump for a certain color plastic and not what's on the inside. Are we the product of very skilled marketing, trained to think that expensive is better, even if what we're actually buying is the lesser choice in terms of quality?
The same can be said for the reverse—less expensive doesn't mean that something is lower quality. Take, for example, the Nokia candybar phones of yore. They were never expensive (these were not $500 phones, and back then, people would have laughed in the salesperson's face if that was the sticker price), but you could practically run them over with a truck and they wouldn't break.
When you're in the market for your next tech toy, be sure to look at the actual specifications of the product—different brands may offer similar products but have much different price tags. Make sure you're buying something for the right reasons. If you want the sparkly expensive laptop, you might be paying a pretty penny just for its design.