Best Buy promotes collective retail consumption

best-buy-pitch-inThe recession saw many consumers postpone big-ticket purchases, a challenge that electronics chain Best Buy is addressing with its novel Pitch In card. Think bridal registry meets microfinancing meets layaway. Best Buy terms it “easy group gifting.”

Customers looking for help financing a purchase create a Pitch In card along with a Best Buy wish list, which they share with friends and family. Gift-givers can contribute payments ranging from $5 to $9,999.99. “It’s the perfect way to get that big Wish List item you’ve been dreaming of,” says Best Buy on its Web site.

Recently we’ve seen a rise in collective action, with people increasingly understanding that every bit counts in addressing today’s big issues, from the economy to the environment—adopting a “we” rather than a “me” mentality. While we’ve seen similar efforts in the independent music scene, Best Buy is charting new territory by bringing this idea to the commercial realm, enabling consumers to tap into the collective conscious of their friends.

It’s a great example of how brands can help spur spending without relying on steep discounts while their customers are laying off the plastic.

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