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Consumer Theory Now Makes Way For 'Consumption Bereavement': When Favourites Go Extinct

by Tanya Thomas on October 22, 2009 at 8:23 AM
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 Consumer Theory Now Makes Way For 'Consumption Bereavement': When Favourites Go Extinct

Ever heard of the term Consumption Bereavement? Well, this new-fangled jargon is for experts to refer to the withdrawal symptoms you experience when your favorite coffee shop shuts down, or your favorite TV show closes shop.

The technical definition of the new phrase is that it is the process by which consumers react emotionally and behaviourally to the withdrawal of favourite brands.

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Researchers at University of Auckland have claimed that losing access to favourite store, clothing label or brand of lipstick can lead to a range of emotions linked to grief and mourning.

"Even we were surprised at the results of the research," Stuff.co.nz quoted project head Professor Cristel Antonia Russell from the Business School's Department of Marketing as saying.
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She added: "The analogy of personal loss, abandonment and even death abounds and, across multiple product categories, consumers displayed a range of emotions that evoke grief and behaviours you would normally associate with grief and bereavement.

"In these recessionary times, people are being affected by the loss of favourite brands as they are pruned or deleted by companies making discontinuation decisions to serve greater firm objectives. And that effect could get worse."

After Russell analyzed behaviours of fans of American Mafia drama series 'The Sopranos' which ended in 2007, with the help of a six-year participant observation study, she concluded that entertainment products mostly provoke the greatest mourning.

Technology products and services that have been discontinued, and foods and drinks that have been deleted follow as more frequent reason for 'Consumption Bereavement'.

She further said: "Health and beauty products that are no longer available, and retail stores that have closed, are also prevalent."

Russell ended: "This kind of consumer behaviour is growing in society, as people find moving on from change more and more difficult."

Source: ANI
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