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Do I have to read the instructions?

Most people judge a task’s difficulty based on how easily they can understand the instructions. What if product information is made harder for consumers to understand?

Research from Georgetown University has found that if the consumer believes that the seller is competent, making it harder for the consumer to process instructions enhances the service provider’s value - that is, the consumer believes that they need the seller’s assistance, and that the task or item is of more value.

For example, fine dining restaurants have long used the strategy of convoluted dish names and descriptions to subtly manipulate the consumer’s perception of the complexity of the food and the skill of the chef.

Although businesses should not make it impossible for consumers to read their materials, slightly increasing the vocabulary in the description of a service can enhance the perception of the effort or skill required, as well as the value of the service.

Read more at Georgetown University

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