It’s no secret that Americans are obsessed with value and low prices and love getting a deal. “The truth is, few of us can resist a sale,” writes branding expert Martin Lindstrom in his book, Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy (Broadway Books). “Huge markdowns, or even the anticipation of sales, spark a primal urge in consumers’ brains.”
The Great Recession has kicked this craving into overdrive. As a result, we are fixated on low price even more than usual. “Thanks to the recession, we have become, psychologically, a society of bargain-hunters, even bargain-expecters,” Lindstrom writes.
Of course, paying a low price or getting a deal is better when consumers think they are getting quality goods or something new and different. As Lindstrom says, we ascribe greater value to things we perceive to be in some way special. In other words, consumers are more likely to get excited if they walk into a high-end design showroom and get a cool fixture for cheap than if they walk into a big box store and paid a similar price for a brand they don’t know that well.
Which brings us to your homes. We know you’re always looking for products to meet your budget, but your real goal should be to find products that also balance low-cost and good looks—those that add a measure of coo, visual interest, personality, and creativity. Budget products are good, but affordable choices that look cool and different are even better.
Of course, price should not be the only criteria for choosing products. You also need to factor in perceived value (for example, glass tiles have a higher perceived value than ceramic tile, and it also looks cooler), architectural impact, and uniqueness.
It helps to approach product acquisition with an open mind: be creative, think outside the box, and visit websites or stores that you wouldn’t normally think to visit.
To help you get your creative juices flowing, here are 10 more low-cost products offering great visual appeal.