A little above average

Weddings across cultures are expensive. A wedding today is far more pricey than one five years ago. What do weddings share in common that make them so?

Weddings everywhere convey status. With status, everyone wishes to be a little above average. Being just a little above average is the sweet spot. It is safe. It does not raise eyebrows. It meets all expectations.

But when everybody wishes to be a little above average, it creates a ratchet that pushes the average upwards – the ratchet of our expectations.

This isn’t unique to weddings. Any source of status sees this shift – fine dining, luxury clothing or dream careers. What these things have in common is the ratchet that keeps pushing the average upwards – things become costlier, the bar gets higher and the working hours get longer.

But pursuing status can be a choice. A lot depends on which side of the equation we stand.

If we seek to acquire status, we must embrace the ratchet of expectations. We must understand that we are paying not just for a service but the status that comes with it. Products and services can become commodities. Status cannot.

Alternatively, if we seek to deliver status, we can charge a premium for our promise. However, this requires us to subscribe to our customer’s definition of status – not our own. It then involves doing the difficult work of crafting an above average experience day after day.

Inpsiration: The Wedding Industrial Complex – Akimbo, a podcast by Seth Godin

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