Tennis rackets do not improve a lot from one year to the next. However, every year a new version is launched. The new racket has a changed look and some small tweaks in the design are made.
Marketers know that “new” boosts sales. That is why new cars, skis, smartphones and many other products are launched periodically. In addition, a new product launch is is also a great reason to re-engage with an audience. Nobody wants to hear about the same old stuff, but “new” sounds exciting.
Most product categories are mature, so it usually does not make sense to buy the latest for technical reasons. The change from the previous model is only incremental in most cases. So, why do we fall for “new”?
It is a combination of emotion and status.
- We want to feel that we have the best.
- It signals that we are the type of person who uses the latest.
- We get bored of the existing.
- Buying a new one feels good.
- We don’t want to be seen with “the old version”.
You might consider this marketing practice manipulative because “new” implies improved and that is not usually the case. But ask yourself if a placebo is really a placebo if it makes one feel better.