Did you know that shopping is good for you? Yup! There is power in a gift. New things, whether gifted (even to yourself) or bought, can affect us in an interesting way.
Psychologist call this human phenomenon the Diderot Effect. It is usually described as a negative trait. But at Dark Horse Sports we turn negative traits and emotions into positive habits and motivations. Understanding the Diderot Effect will give you a powerful tool to reach your training goals.
This is how the story goes: Denis Diderot was a French philosopher in the 1700s. Most of his life he was very poor though well known and respected for his intellect and writings. Later in his life he had the great fortune of selling his personal library to the Catherine the Great, the Empress of Russia for a good deal of money. Now he was rich! One day shortly after having this newfound wealth a friend gave him an exquisite scarlet dressing gown.
This robe was so beautiful! It fit the elevated station in life that he could now afford. Diderot immediately noticed how out of place his luxurious robe seemed when compared to the rest of his common possessions. He quickly began buying new things to match the beauty of his elegant robe.
He upgraded everything in his house. New rugs and mirrors, better armchair and kitchen table, and even better decorations such as art and sculptures.
The Diderot Effect is based on an essay he wrote and is defined as having two parts:
1 The goods purchased are cohesive to a consumer’s sense of identity. Or,
We identify with things.
2 Purchasing goods that are deviant to an individual’s typical buying behavior can begin a spiraling of consumerism. Or, Things change our identity.
In long (why do we always go short?), we see our possessions as an extension of ourselves and our image. These things reflect on us.
Have you ever walked into a store and saw an item such as a pair of shoes or a shirt that made you say, “That’s totally me”? That’s exactly what we are talking about. Your image.
Certain things either fit or don’t fit that image. Or the image you would like to portray. Things that don’t fit your current image are “Deviant goods”. If you buy one of these “Deviant goods”, that new item can radically change your perception or sense of self, causing you to buy other new items to match the new identity you are starting to create.
Those new heels (who doesn't love heels! - yes we know we know they aren't the best for ankle mobility) lead to a new dress to match. That new shirt leads to a new pair of slacks.
How can you harness the power of the Diderot Effect to reach your training goals?
Follow the strategies of successful marketing firms. Companies market hard to get people to make that first “Deviant goods” or “Scarlet Robe” purchase. In order to do that, they must get people to indentify with the product. Get emotionally wrapped up with it. Identify with it. Constantly put it in front of consumers.
Now the next step for companies is to change the identity of the customer. How does one sample purchase, one luxury, become a whole lifestyle? The key is to make the item not a purchase, but a replacement.
As one writer put it “Much of what we buy today is a kind of a taster product for a complete lifestyle. People aren't supposed to be springing for one big luxury purchase, they are meant to be buying better selves. That takes repeat business.”
Those new red bottom heels (did we mention we love heel!) clash with that Old Navy dress… that new button up shirt doesn’t go with jeans. You have to upgrade to slacks…. And voila we have a new lifestyle. A new identity.
One small change can have a spiral effect on your whole life.
Just like receiving that Scarlet robe gift changed Diderot’s lifestyle, one small change can have a spiral effect on your whole life. For example buying a new pair of training shoes or a new workout T-Shirt will cause you to identify yourself as an athletic, happy, healthy, and hot individual like never before. That in turn can lead you to change your diet. Which will then cause you to try a new workout program. That in turn will cause you to be conscious of your alcohol consumption and sleeping habits. Etc.
Because after all, that’s what athletic, happy, healthy, and hot people do. And you ARE athletic, happy, healthy, and hot! Its now part of your identity! It is your identity. Your lifestyle. You are now living it.
A gift has great power. The gift of a scarlet robe changed Diderot’s whole lifestyle. When you first sign up with Dark Horse Sports we know that this maybe your first “Deviant Good” purchase. Rest assured we will help you change your lifestyle to meet your goals. We will help you replace your old lifestyle with a better one. The one you really want. That’s why we want to take the first step. We want to give every new client an official Dark Horse Sports T-shirt with in there first 3 month training phase.
Our gift can be that “Scarlet Robe” that causes the spiral effect of success. Sign up today and let us give you the gift that keeps on giving!
P.S. Interested in Dark Horse Sports apparel? Email us with questions We are expanding with hoodies, t-shirts, and tanks!
BECKER, J. (2015, August 17). Understanding the Diderot Effect (and How To Overcome It). Retrieved April 16, 2019, from https://www.becomingminimalist.com/diderot/
Diderot effect. (2019, April 16). Retrieved April 16, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diderot_effect
Inglis-Arkell, E., & Inglis-Arkell, E. (2015, December 16). The Diderot Effect Makes You Want to Consume, Consume, Consume. Retrieved April 16, 2019, from https://io9.gizmodo.com/the-diderot-effect-makes-you-want-to-consume-consume-1578882099
James Clear. (2018, June 12). The Diderot Effect: Why We Want Things We Don't Need. Retrieved April 16, 2019, from https://jamesclear.com/diderot-effect
Melissa. (2018, July 09). The Diderot Effect: Why We’re Still Unhappy After Buying What We Want. Retrieved April 16, 2019, from https://www.jumpstartyourdreamlife.com/the-diderot-effect/
Wiest, B. (2018, July 10). The 'Diderot Effect' Explains Why It's So Easy To Feel Like You Never Have, Or Do, Enough. Retrieved April 16, 2019, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/briannawiest/2018/07/10/the-diderot-effect-explains-why-its-so-easy-to-feel-like-you-never-have-or-do-enough/#60c3797755fd