How to make wine taste better: Pay more for it

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Who knew that the secret to finding a good wine was simply paying more for the bottle? Researchers in California gave volunteers sips of wine while monitoring brain activity. They also told the volunteers fake prices of the wines they were drinking. And 80% of the time, the volunteers preferred wine that they thought was more expensive.

The wine didn't have to actually be a more expensive bottle. Just being told it was more expensive created brain activity that indicated the drinkers liked it better than other wine they believed was less expensive.

Clearly this gives us some direction in marketing products and services. There is an affinity and preference associated with things that are priced higher. If a seller can find a fine balance between pricing things higher, but not out of the buyer's range of affordability, a strong connection and preference may be made in that buyer's mind.

Who knew our preferences were linked so closely with price?

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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