Jacqueline Rifkin does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Years ago, I bought a blouse at Target. That same day, I considered putting it on, but for no particular reason decided not to. That weekend, I again considered wearing the blouse, but the occasion didn’t seem good enough, so again, I passed. A week later, I considered the blouse for a date, but again, the event didn’t seem special enough.
Fast forward to today. I have never worn my Target blouse. What had started out as ordinary now holds a special place in my closet, and no occasion feels quite worthy of my wearing it.
I’m an assistant professor of marketing, and these are the questions that inspired my latest research with Jonah Berger, an associate professor of marketing.