By Mary Aviles & Sandra Bauman
At the end of last year we were intrigued by Richard Smith’s article in Research Live where–using a qualitative methodology (Zaltman’s metaphor elicitation technique)–his team found that “time is central to luxury.” This was a novel view–the idea that time is an intangible luxury good–with interesting marketing implications. It got us thinking, were there any other intangibles that could also be reconsidered like this? What about privacy?
Consider what Maciej Ceglowski says in his talk, What Happens Next Will Amaze You:
“Those who control the data gain enormous power of those who don’t…In this world, privacy becomes a luxury good. Mark Zuckerberg buys the four houses around his house in Palo Alto, to keep hidden what the rest of us must share with him. It used to be celebrities and rich people were the ones denied a private life, now it’s the other way around.”
So which is more valuable, time or privacy? This question is ripe for quantitative and qualitative study. And it turns out that others agree as new studies from the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles and Trendwatching attempt to investigate related questions.
Does time or money lead to greater happiness?
That’s the question the Anderson School of Management researchers asked of 4,000 Americans.
Findings: on average, those who choose TIME over money were “statistically happier and more satisfied with life.” Further, the “value individuals place on time and money relative to each other is predictive of happiness.” Here’s the clincher:
“People who chose time focused more on how they would spend it…on wants rather than needs…and on other people rather than themselves–two expenditures that have previously been linked to elevated levels of happiness.”
Implications: If these were findings for a marketing communications project, for example, we’d direct our client to focus their marketing on this gain: obtaining more of this precious time, making this connection to those people or activities in their consumers’ lives they truly cherish–that is, inspiring consumers to focus on the reasons WHY more time matters.
Is nothing private?
The editors of the January 2015 issue of Science postulate that, “privacy, as we’ve known it, is gone and can’t be won back.” Well, the folks at Trendwatching suggest that for the right (very high) price, it can. According to the 2016 Knight Frank Wealth Report:
“39% of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals worldwide say that online privacy and security is an issue of concern for them when it comes to the creation and preservation of their wealth.”
Trendwatching’s latest trend report outlines several luxury brands that are tapping into these concerns big time. Their findings are based on submissions from more than 3,000 trend spotters in over 180 countries.
- Bvlgari and app-development partner WISeKey have developed a subscription-based service that stores personal data in a bunker in the Swiss Alps for $53/year.
- SIRIAN LABS has developed a $13,000 smartphone capable of military grade security, featuring a chip-to-chip 256-bit encryption
- And, everyone’s favorite ex-pat Edward Snowden has partnered up with hacker Andrew Huang to develop a smartphone case that can tell you when information is being accessed (no word on pricing yet)
Implications: Trend analysis fuels innovation. Partnerships like the Bvlgari/WISeKey one could inspire new opportunities for data security companies. And, data security practitioners and credentialing bodies need to be need to be aware of and training on these new technologies in their ongoing efforts to stay ahead of breaches. Think of the possible industry-specific applications, like military-grade encryption embedded into self-driving automobiles and medical devices, like implants.
Now it’s your turn. Think of your clients. How could you use the intangible luxury goods of time and privacy to move their objectives forward?