Sunday, May 30, 2010

Emphasize Emotions with Older Consumers

Older consumers respond better to emotion-laden sales messages (“The aroma of our coffee brings waves of contentment”) than to purely rational sales messages (“Award-winning taste at a lower price”). This is what’s suggested by research at University of Pennsylvania, UCLA, and University of California-Irvine. Emotional appeals also help senior shoppers remember details about sources of sales messages more accurately, according to researchers at Trinity College, College of Charleston, and University of Toronto.
  • As a general rule, talk about achieving positive emotions (comfort, contentment, joy) rather than about avoiding negative emotions (fear, sorrow, envy). However, combining the two can be powerful, if not done too often. Start out by talking about avoiding the negative and then segue into talking about achieving the positive. All emotions—positive and negative—arouse interest among older consumers, and as people age, they get better at turning the negative into the positive (such as the comfort from having control over fear).
  • Add to the effect of the emotional messages by tying into socializing (“What’s better than enjoying this game with grandchildren?” “Don’t let embarrassment keep you from lunching with friends.”) In many of today’s cultures, elderly people experience increasingly limited participation in social events. This can be because younger family members pull away, because physical problems make it more difficult or more fearsome to socialize freely, or for other reasons. Sales promises to ease loneliness enhance emotional appeals.
  • Then supercharge the emotional appeal by reminding the senior of time limits: “This offer is good for just the next three days.” “Why wait to start enjoying the benefits?” Researchers discovered that what’s behind the attractiveness of emotional appeals for seniors is the realization that the seniors’ time on earth is limited. Young consumers don’t think about this much. Older consumers recognize the realities better.
For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

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