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In a prediction for 2007, trend and inspiration organization PSFK stated on its site: “…consumers will react by engaging in brand abstinence…” consumers will ask questions like, “Why should I replace my phone so often? What will happen to my old one? Why upgrade my PC? Do I really need a faster machine made of plastic and metal just to surf the web?” They will wonder what their product purchase decisions will mean to the world around them.” 

While consumers may have asked questions like that, did they actually act on it? With electronics sales being one of the only strong growth areas in the retail market (especially over the holidays; Best Buy posted 11% revenue increase in Dec. 2007 alone), is the thought of “brand abstinence” little more than just that, a thought? Or will consumers actually look around them and say, “You know what, I don’t need this crap.”

One interesting angle is the financial incentive package that means to put spending cash in consumers’ (held out) hands. While the economic theoretical side of this “jump start” are debatable, the fact that, as they wait, consumers are continually getting blasted with the message that this money is meant to be spent. And consumers, as has already been noted, need little nudging when it comes to coming up with “reasons” to spend. The idea that “I’m supposed to spend this $600″ is probably a nudge enough to see consumers putting off that brand abstinence for another year.

What do you think?