Research shows there’s a relationship between labor and affection. Dan Ariely explains the IKEA effect:
You build something and you fall in love with it. When marketers do sell you a product, their theory is about preference fit. You like pink and I like orange and I like this a little higher and everyone knows their preference. That’s important. But I think the more important issue is not the preference fit but the investment in the product. Say you like orange and pink. Imagine that in one universe you found shoes that are orange and pink and in other you had to invest five minutes of effort and attention and care to choose the exact shades. What we show is that when you’ve invested into it, you would appreciate them more and you would think about them more. You might talk about them more, you might be more likely to buy them again from the same vendor, your connection would be much higher. It takes very little investment to make something your own. … It’s sometimes surprising how little that is.
From Swedish furniture to cake mix, when you set up products for others, with some assembly required, you might just enhance the commitment. Reasons that I kept my first IKEA desk for nearly two decades now fall into place.