Re-enchanting Product Revivals: The Analog Technology Comeback in a Digital World
Despite the rise of digital consumption, there has been an increase in consumer demand for analog technology products, particularly amongst digital native consumers. This study develops an understanding of why and under what conditions outdated technology products become revaluated within the context of an increasingly digitalized world. Using 40 in-home ethnographic interviews with digital native consumers of analog technology products, triangulated with ethnographic field work and netnographic observations from Instagram and Facebook, this study investigates the relationship between digital consumption and the analog technology revival. The findings reveal that three dimensions of digital consumption – rationalization, routinization and dematerialization – lead to a negative experience of ‘digital disenchantment’. Consequently, we find that consumers engage in a revaluation of materiality, leading to an increased desire for embodied engagement. The findings indicate that analog technology products enable more embodied engagement through their more tangible, sensory nature. Specifically, consumers gain three values from analog technology consumption – atmospheric value, symbolic value and anachronistic value – which ultimately provide a sense of re-enchantment to alleviate the effects of digital disenchantment.
Varala Maraj is a Doctoral Candidate in Management (Marketing) at Cass Business School, City, University of London. She works within the Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) domain, with particular interests in materiality, digital consumption and product revivals. She obtained a MSc in Marketing Strategy & Innovation from Cass Business School and a BA (Hons) in Journalism from University of Westminster.
This seminar is a part of the IMS Marketing Research Seminar series
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