My personality type likes to try new things, so I'm often a sucker for new products. I noticed this recently because this summer, Starbucks introduced four new flavors of Frappucinos. I don't go to Starbucks very often and struggle with the stewardship of paying four bucks for a drink, but I do like Frappucinos. So I immediately felt like I had to try all four new flavors before the end of the summer. Sure enough, over the past few months, I've tried all four. If they had only introduced two, I would have just had those two and that would have been it. If they had introduced six or eight, I probably would have tried them all. I am such a sucker.
This is why every field, every industry, comes out with new versions of its products every year. Car companies, breakfast cereals, even staples like toothpaste and toilet paper come up with new permutations in hopes of catching new customers. Mountain Dew now comes in Code Red, Pitch Black, Live Wire and Baja Blast. Candy bars mix and match white chocolate, dark chocolate, cookies 'n' creme, almond, caramel, etc. VW Bugs and iMacs come in six fun colors - collect them all! While in Denver a few weeks ago an industry friend and I went to a Jamba Juice for a break, and they have some thirty kinds of smoothies and juice drinks. I wanted to try them all. I don't want to miss out on anything. This means that even if I enjoy whatever drink I choose, I feel vaguely disappointed or dissatisfied because I didn't get to try the others. Sigh. Consumer culture is based on perennial dissatisfaction and insatiability - infinite choices to reel in repeat customers that can't possibly try everything that's offered.
My wife has the opposite personality in this regard - she will tend to stick to the tried and true rather than the new fangled option. Both of us need to be careful of our default tendencies. She needs to be careful not to keep on buying a certain kind of product simply because it's what she's used to, when something else might be a wiser option. And I need to beware getting suckered into buying things simply because they're new and cool. At some point I need to just avoid the commercial messages and advertisements for whatever new thing is out this season and just say enough is enough. You're not going to get me this time.
Oh, but Panera has this really good I.C. mocha almond drink . . .