What comes to mind when you hear that word? Indulgence? 

For me, I think luxury, I think the Spa or perhaps a relaxing massage. I think of candles. I think fine dining. I think coffee coupled with my favorite piece of chocolate. I think a nice dessert. I think of memorable perfume. 

Here is the thing about indulgence. When you start indulging, you kind of what to keep doing that — indulging. 

That’s pretty much stating the obvious, but not until I read about the impact of injecting indulgence in the experiences of consumers that I realized the power of it. 

Roger Dooley in his book Brainfluence, described how being offered candy actually makes us want to buy.

“Researchers Julio Laran of Miami University and Chris Janiszewski of the University of Florida offered subjects a chocolate truffle and encouraged them to eat it. They found that the subjects who indulged were eager to keep indulging, not only consuming more truffles but also fatty foods such as ice cream, pizza, and chips. — Dooley, Roger. Brainfluence

But it’s not just about eating more food. It’s also about wanting to indulge more in luxury.

“An additional experiment found that subjects who ate the first truffle also assigned more value to consumer goods such as Apple computers, designer shirts, high-end TVs, and cruises compared with those subjects who successfully resisted the truffle temptation.” — Dooley, Roger. Brainfluence

When I read this, I couldn’t help but remember being offered chocolate, coffee, green tea, etc. when I am at the salon. These guys really take care of us. When, we, women, decide to go and pamper ourselves, they nudge us to indulge more by offering little pieces of pleasures, like good chocolate or coffee — and when we do, we might want to do an additional pampering service. Maybe facial? Hair cut? Who knows? And if we stuck to whatever we came for in the first place, we “assign more value to it” and thus might pay more for it. 

Hold on, don’t get too excited. There is always a but… Right?

So, what’s the “but” for this indulgence tip?

1. You need to figure out how much is enough because too much of it and it will become a turn-off. 

“There were a few other relevant findings as well. First, if the subjects continued to consume truffles until satisfied, the desire to indulge turned off.” — Dooley, Roger. Brainfluence

2. And… Those who are strong enough to resist the temptation from the start, are the hardest to convince to indulge. 

“Second, those individuals who resisted the truffle also seemed to become more virtuous in their attempts to avoid self-indulgence.” — Dooley, Roger. Brainfluence 

Well, so if you operating any kind of indulgence like service or selling luxury products, you might consider offering your customers something to indulge in… and if you are a customer, you might want to accept that truffle chocolate and enjoy even more. You decided to go ahead and pamper yourself anyway, so make the best out of it 😉 … and lastly if you are tight in budget, then walk away? 🙁 Ok, take the chocolate, but keep your credit card at home. 

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