Psychology for sale
One casualty of the economic downturn has certainly been the confidence of consumers to make investments. Big ticket items ranging from new houses, home improvements, new cars, and even private school tuitions have all shown the impact of the decline in consumer sentiments. The problem, of course, is that consumers are afraid of making new commitments when they fear that they might lose their jobs.
Some companies, Kia Motors was first to the fore, have worked to offset that fear by offering assurances that payments will be suspended should a bread-winner in the family lose their job. Lloyd’s of London has taken this idea to a higher level and is offering insurance for banks, private schools, manufacturers and other entities hurt by this negative sentiment. In return for relatively modest premiums, companies can offer this unemployment insurance to its customers.
So, adversity breeds innovation. And perhaps consumer psychology can be bought for a relatively small price.