Would you buy a book by Arnold Schwartzenegger?

I would not, but many other would. At the Book Fair in Frankfurt the other week Arnold Schwartzenegger was the most sought after person among 300 000 visitors. According to an article in the German newspaper Die Welt 9 out of 10 people chose a book by the title if it has a name on it they recognise. The publishers know that so when they find a topic that seems of interest to potential readers a contract is made by publishers and agents and then they seek someone who writes a book on that specific topic. It is very important that the book and the author then appear frequently  in media and thus become a name the buyers may recall.

This is in line with a theory called the Superstar theory by the economist Sherwin Rosen. It is a general theory about paying for the exclusive. The human being and the markets ability to appreciate variation is limited, especially when it comes to variations in quality. At the same time you do not want to be a deviant. It results in a tendency to listen to the same music and appreciate the same artist. That is why the superstar gets the lot.

In an article in the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet October 15, 2012, the superstar theory is called upon without explicity saying so. The article, which is not on the web, discusses the declining av Main Street trade. A shopping centre director argues that the consumers prefer the same setup of chain stores regardless of investors efforts to create a variation. These crocodile tears from shopping centre owners like the one quoted here feels misplaced. The shopping centres have eroded the variation that existed and they now fall victim to the resulting trivia they have created themselves.


Fyll i dina uppgifter nedan eller klicka på en ikon för att logga in:

WordPress.com Logo

Du kommenterar med ditt WordPress.com-konto. Logga ut /  Ändra )


Du kommenterar med ditt Google-konto. Logga ut /  Ändra )


Du kommenterar med ditt Twitter-konto. Logga ut /  Ändra )


Du kommenterar med ditt Facebook-konto. Logga ut /  Ändra )

Ansluter till %s