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Rory Sutherland is quick to illustrate that “all value is subjective” in this parallel currencies keynote. The driving force behind consumer purchases are based on a degree of whimsicality. People do not have an absolute measure of value; things are judged and rated on a basis of comparative measure.
Profitable and successful business edifices rest on the idea that human whim is the central driving force behind consumer behavior. What someone is willing to pay for something is entirely individual and in no way related to what another person might pay. It is vital for businesses to understand the peculiarities of what people will buy in order to remain successful.
This approach has led Rory Sutherland to the study of parallel currencies within the marketing world. Pleasurable purchases are often laden with guilt because people compare it to something more fruitful that should be purchased. Reward systems offer an incentive to buy basic everyday products because they lead to the accumulation of points that can be spent on luxury.