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Factors impacting the exchange relationship of unpleasant goods
Some exchange relationships are maintained by reasons other than the willingness of both parties to participate in the exchange. This is especially the case where the product being exchanged is an unpleasant product. Examples of unpleasant products include the filing of a bankruptcy or a divorce attorney.
One of the factors that impact such a relationship is the factor of necessity. Nobody wants to be sick, and thus it is unlikely that a person will preserve diabetic equipment in anticipation of becoming diabetic in the future. However, people will find themselves getting the condition, and thus, by necessity, they will seek the services they would not have even thought about before they were sick. It is thus apparent that necessity, as a factor, is a great influence on the exchange relationship of unpleasant goods.
Another factor that impacts such an exchange relationship is inevitability. This factor usually guides the actions of the person who offers the unpleasant goods. For instance, it is common knowledge that death is inevitable. Therefore, due to this fact, people will always make coffins, even though it would be very unusual to see a person getting a coffin in anticipation of death. Therefore, because people have to die, the coffins maker will make coffins and wait for people to be driven by the aforesaid necessity to get them (Beniger, 2010, p. 31). It can thus be argued that the said necessity drives people towards the unpleasant goods while the inevitability of necessity drives the maker of the good to have them in his/her stores because he/she is assured of the necessity-driven market.
To have a strategic advantage in offering unpleasant goods, companies should ensure that they have messages that console their customers for their misfortunes. The company must never appear as if it is rejoicing in the misfortunes of its customers by making sales. The company may also ensure that it has sufficient data on the trends in the market of the unpleasant goods so that it would not need to have extensive advertising campaigns because they may not be received well by customers.
An exchange relationship is particularly difficult when the goods that are being exchanged can be considered to be unpleasant goods. In such a case, some activities that determine the success of an exchange relationship such as advertising are difficult to carry out without adversely affecting the relationship. In this paper, a clear description of an exchange relationship is sought, with an exhaustive discussion of what gets exchanged in an exchange relationship as well as the factors that are necessary for an exchange relationship to be successful. The paper also seeks to clarify how an exchange relationship can create value to the items being exchanged. In conclusion, the paper gives a summary of the implications of the description of an exchange relationship and also summarizes the other discussions covered in the paper.
Meaning of exchange relationship
An exchange relationship can be described as the kind of a relationship in which a person receives a good or service, in anticipation of receiving a certain benefit in days to come as a result of the benefit already received (Larson, 2010, p. 17). An example of an exchange relationship is a situation in which diabetic patients purchase diabetic equipment with the expectation of controlling his/her sugar levels.
At the time when the patient purchases the equipment, he/she is not sure that the equipment will be able to help his/her in managing his/her sugar levels. As stated, in some exchange relationships, products may difficult to advertise/sell. Some of those products include diabetic equipment, coffins, anti-retroviral therapy drugs for HIV, etc. These products may be difficult to sell because they are undesirable products for people who do not have specific problems, and thus their demand is determined by the frequency of occurrence of certain misfortunes.
In an exchange relationship, what gets exchanged is a good/product for which a person pays a certain amount of money. The problem is that the value of the good bought is not realized until sometime later. In some cases, the good may even fail to benefit the buyer. For instance, a person who purchases ARV drugs and uses them with a poor diet may not benefit from the drugs. Thus the exchange benefits the buyer after a certain period, and this mostly happens after some conditions are met.
For a successful exchange relationship, the seller of the products being exchanged must be empathetic with the buyer. The seller should by no means appear to be glad to participate in the exchange. Some follow-ups after the exchange may also be helpful, especially in cases where the buyer needs guidance on how to use the products. On the other hand, the buyer should ensure that he/she meets all the conditions for using the purchased goods as guided by the seller. For instance, if the product is diabetic equipment, the buyer should use them properly to ensure that he/she benefits from the product.
The exchange creates value because it helps to solve problems, or even alleviate suffering on the part of the customer, and improves the finances of the seller. The customer may even get substantial consolation from the seller as he/she purchases the product.
In conclusion, it is apparent that if people ignored unpleasant products due to their nature, this will translate to more suffering on the part of the buyer. Consider a case in which a bereaved person has to purchase timber or whatever, to make the deceased’s coffin. It is therefore apparent that exchange relationships are good for society. Since the benefit to the buyer takes some time before it is realized, the relationship is often based on trust and driven by necessity. As stated, the seller needs to make follow-ups to ensure the buyer benefits from the product.
Beniger, J. (2010). Exchange relationships in social-control systems. New York. Barnes & Noble.
Larson, A. (2010). A Study of the Governance of Exchange Relationships. Web.