Yesterday morning I booked a cab from Ola. Since the wait period was a tad long, I cancelled it and booked a cab from Uber instead, even though it incurred me a relatively higher cost as it was peak hours.
On my way to work, I ordered some fast food (it was a cheat day :) ) from a slightly expensive restaurant near the office, and texted a couple of colleagues about something important at work.
Although I spent more money than I usually do, I was glad to make it to the office on time and eat good food while not having to wait for the replies.
At the end of the day, I reflected on all this and found one thing common in all that happened. It was also the reason I had a happy morning eventually.
Okay, it wouldn’t be right to make you wait any more because the answer after all is – instant gratification!
What Is Instant Gratification?
Instant gratification refers to the innate desire to experience fulfilment or pleasure without deferment or delay. Essentially, it’s when you want something – which means now.
Generally, we always feel the urge to get things now rather than later. There is a human psychological discomfort that is attached with self-denial. From an evolutionary standpoint, our natural instinct is to grab the reward at hand, and insulating ourselves from this instinct is not a walk in the park.
The deluge of information we’re served and the modern technological tools at our disposal have resulted in our reduced attention span and patience.
Now is as much time as we will ever have.
How Businesses Leverage Instant Gratification?
Businesses are cognizant of the fact that time is money for their consumers in today’s day and age. Therefore, they will fork out money for products and services that give them what they ask for in a time period that doesn’t push their patience to the edge of the cliff.
Think about why the business of fast food has flourished so much. In our fast paced lives, we’re looking for scrumptious food that can be cooked in no time. No wonder why Dominos came up with the 30-minute or free delivery challenge for its pizzas.
When demonetization was implemented 3 years ago, people were asked to stand in queues to exchange their old currency at the ATM with the new. In some cities, a few saw a business opportunity here- they hired people to stand in queues for those who were ready to pay money in order to save their time and effort.
Today, the penetration of Internet is such that people monetize social media platforms too. If you want to buy a product, you often look for reviews by bloggers or YouTubers who you trust because you may not have the time to go from one store to the other to compare prices and quality of the different options that are available.
Décor companies like D’Décor provide personal digital services to consumers so that they can select the colors and fabric of their choice on the digital application to see how their room will turn out if they buy the brand’s products. This saves their time, reduces indecisiveness and increases customer retention.
Religion is no different in this matter, When I went to visit a temple in Banaras recently, there was a long queue of pilgrims and devotees who were waiting patiently with puja thalis in their hands. However, there was also another ‘VIP’ entry option, through which you could enter early for a price.
Or Amazon Prime which delivers in a day is the poster boy of addressing customers’ urgency.
Entrepreneur Alok Kejriwal in his popular segment #dhandhekibaat, listed these out:
“In the real world, this happens all the time:
– I’m addicted to Indigo’s “Fast Forward”. A month ago, the queue for FF was long & slow. I told the lady, “Madam, this seems to be slow forward?”. She politely replied, “Sir, FF is for your BAGS on arrival, not for standing in this queue”. (Facepalm to me)
– All the Theme parks have express entry tickets
– The added fun of Biz class travel is to whiz past long check in lines & watch other passengers look enviously at you :))
– Most Indian temples have VIP darshan quotas.
As our patience becomes smaller, the opportunity to monetise it gets bigger.
What would you pay premiums for to enjoy instant gratification?”
And I personally couldn’t agree more with him!
Exercise Restraint, Will You?
I can go on and on with the examples but the point here is that only those business grow which understand the consumer sentiment and take actions to make sure that their products and/or services are aligned with the train of thought of their end-user.
However, as a consumer myself, I would like to advise caution here to others in my tribe. You should succumb to instant gratification only when there is no other way out, lest you get drained of your money for a pleasure you didn’t need in the first place.
If time is money, it naturally follows that money is time too.
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