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After the Buy: Helping Consumers Savor Events Before They Occur

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels routinely distribute multiple upcoming trip reminders (e.g., “Your Disney experience starts right now!”) and send customized MagicBands before consumers arrive on site. While these activities might make the wait more enjoyable, a study in the Journal of Marketing explored if pre-experience prompts also enhance how much people enjoy the vacation while they’re on it, as well as how much they remember enjoying it after they get home. In fact, yes. Across five studies, the research team shows that consumers enjoy ongoing and remembered consumption experiences (e.g., Spring break, movies, on-line video games, and hotel stays) more when they do savor them before they happen. This is because the positive feelings evoked from savoring a priori are reactivated from memory when the actual experience unfolds and when it is remembered later.  
When a company’s product or service involves consumption experiences, they should carefully create a customer journey that helps consumers savor the experience before it happens. As enjoyment increases, consumers are more likely to repeat the experience, driving revenues and tell others about it, expanding the customer base.

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From: HaeEun Helen Chun, Kristin Diehl, and Deborah J. MacInnis, “Savoring an Upcoming Experience Affects Ongoing and Remembered Consumption Enjoyment,” Journal of Marketing, 81 (May).

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