A college student has just purchased a new PC. What factors might cause the student to experience post dissonance?
How might the student try to overcome it? How can the retailer who sold the computer help reduce the students dissonance? How can the computer manafacturer help?
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From a student's point of view, the dissonance post purchase might be economic (having spent too much money) or the belief that the PC will be obsolete, given advances in technology. Yet, there are many ways to overcome this post purchase dissonance. The computer manufacturer can play a large role in this with offers of discounts on upcoming upgrades, or involvement in some type of online market. For example, when purchasing an iPod, an immediate subscription to iTunes accompanies. The weekly updates from iTunes, as well as access to an online library of music, movies, and videos that can be purchased offsets dissonance because of the constant upgrades and additions to the original purchase, making it seem "new" again. This can be done with the PC situation through upgrades or some type of online membership for a nominal fee, or even featuring free access for a trial period. Additionally, intermittent communication that reveals new aspects of the PC purchased can allow the student to feel that a "new" portion of the purchase has been discovered. The manufacturer has to "key" or "trigger" the original reservoir of excitement or passion about the purchase. Perhaps they will not be able to initiate all of this zeal, but being the catalyst for some of this enthusiasm can help to offset the feeling of post purchase dissonance.
The retailer might follow the same course of action. Offering weekly tutorials regarding the PC (in person at the store or via webcast) might be one way to emphasize the idea that the product has more element that can be revealed on further reflection. Additionally, offering discounts on hardware, accessories, or "plug- ins" that are needed could help offset dissonance. For example, the store could offer free "skins" for the laptops as protective covers.
The student might have the toughest task to overcome it because of the rationalization that has to be endured. They will rationalize it as initial buyer's remorse. Given the product being essential to student life, this might be alleviated with consistent use. If the PC has an active and strong internet connection, the student will be able to offset this static condition with the dynamic and fluid nature of the web. Additionally, the student might use the PC for multiple functions: Work related items, entertainment, or gaming alternatives, to name a few. Interacting with the product on these different and divergent levels might allow the dissonance to subside a bit. Finally, purchasing upgrades and proper maintenance of the product (virus scans, software and hardware/ plug in enhancements) will increase the capability and capacity, offsetting dissonance to a certain extent.
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