In 2003, Michael Silverstein and Neil Fiske published the book Trading Up: Why Consumers Want New Luxury Goods…And How Companies Create Them. As partners at The Boston Consulting Group, Silverstein, Fiske (now the CEO of Eddie Bauer Holdings, Inc.) and others worked to research the consumer purchasing trends in the United States and overseas. The phenomenon that they identified was the willingness of consumers to pay a premium for certain goods even in times of economic downturns.
Earlier this month, I posted an article on The College Board’s annual report, Trends in College Pricing. There is a companion report to Trends in College Pricing, Trends in Student Aid. Published since 1983, this year’s Trends in Student Aid report is only 20 pages long but is supplemented by a website that provides detailed information on all aspects of student aid.