Seth has a post and a challenge about compact fluorescent light bulbs. The challenge is, blog about why they're a good idea. He points to economics, the environment, and the cute factor. I have one more: Longevity. While that might factor into economics, for me, it started with the idea of conserving a different kind of energy -- mine. When we lived in the Victorian house in Galveston, we had a lot of bulbs. Seriously - a huge amount. And they were all at least 12 feet up. Which means they were a pain to change. On top of that, the standard security device in historic Galveston is a well-lit house. I guess that's kind of the same everywhere. CF bulbs last longer, so you don't have to change them as often. That was a big deal in our old house. And now that CF bulbs come in outdoor versions, they can burn all night, consuming less power than standard floods or other outdoor lights. We don't have as many bulbs in Alexandria, but we still light up the exterior. And we use almost all CF bulbs.
So, longevity got me started on them. But the real reason we continue to buy them is much, much simpler: Habit. Now we're in the habit of buying them. Which brings us to the marketing lesson: You usually have to give people a rock-solid argument, possibly multiple times, to get them to make a change. Once they change, though, habit (built on justification via benefits) kicks in, and it's even harder to get them to change again. They key, though, is remembering that you're never the first one to try to get them to make a change. Long ago, they heard a very persuasive argument for what they're already using.