What game theory can teach us about brands

Rory Sutherland

All transactions involve games. Rory Sutherland analyses the short versus the long game in business, and wonders if the instinct to prefer the long game in life may make women better marketers

If You want to have a bad meal, it's very easy. Just go to a tourist restaurant. And if you want to have a really, really bad meal, go to a tourist restaurant with a view. The very worst meal I have ever eaten was at a tourist restaurant with a fine view of the Acropolis, the whole disastrous experience being exacerbated by the fact that the very bad food was very bad Greek food. I like Greek food at its best (the technical term for this is ‘Cypriot'), but at its worst it barely qualifies as food at all.

Any tourist restaurant with a view will almost always disappoint. And no wonder, for such a place will be driven by a combination of very high property costs and a reliable flow of never-to-return customers. This makes it advantageous to them to rip you off as much as they can on the sole occasion in your life when you cross their threshold.