The value that motivates a William-Sonoma buyer to buy a $19 apple is not in the apple at all.

It may be the impact of it given as gift or served at a party. It may be in the feeling of success or prosperity or of rewarding oneself with indulgence that come with making the purchase. It may be a sense of superiority, of buying or serving the best or something unique and unusual.

Bragging rights: it’s a trophy apple, because, after all, we can’t really frame our bankbooks on the wall for all to see, so instead we opt for other visual representations of our achievement and success: trophy car, trophy house, trophy watch, trophy wife, trophy apple.

Dan S. Kennedy, Marketing to the Affluent

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