Last month I bought a desk to put in my bedroom from Ikea of course I had to assemble it…while my mum was on holiday, when she got back home the first thing she said to me was what is that horrendous white thing that is in your bedroom? It is true that is not exactly as on the brochure photos, but it took me hours to put it together…I made it so I love it!
This is a known effect, The Ikea Effect, as from Wikipedia:
“The Ikea effect is a cognitive bias where labour enhances affection for its results. The name for this psychological phenomenon is in honour of the wildly successful Swedish manufacturer named Ikea, a large portion of whose furniture products require some self-assembly. The “Ikea effect” is seen as an actual psychological situation which is linked to consumers placing a disproportionately high value on an object that they partially built themselves.”
From the Journal of Consumer Psychology The IKEA effect: When labor leads to love
(http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1057740811000829) they showed by 4 different tests the existence and magnitude of the IKEA effect, which occurs for both utilitarian and hedonic products, and it is sufficient in magnitude that consumers believe that their self-made products rival those of experts.
The research suggest that customers are willing to pay an extra for DIY products that make them more involved. But how much are they willing to pay for a product that involve them even more maybe in the product design? The thing to keep in mind is that the tasks have to be neither too easy nor to difficult, if too difficult and the customer fails to successfully complete the task, the IKEA effect vanishes.
For instance in the 1950s ready cake mix were introduced were not successful. Housewives found that it was too easy and their participation in the cake preparation was minimal. Things changed when the producers made slightly more involving by having to add butter, eggs etc.. to the mix.
This attachment to the things we contributed in creating (or in my case the desk assembling) can be explain by Peck & Shu 2009 (http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/598614) study that examine (explored) the function of touching on perceive ownership and valuation. The result was that touch raises the connection between the person and the object giving it more perceived ownership and valuation.