Thursday, February 10, 2011

Salute Sales to Concerned Patriots

If your customer feels their country or beliefs are under threat, the customer becomes motivated to buy products associated with that country or those beliefs. Have the right products ready for them at these times.
     People like to help out a friend, especially when the friend is at a disadvantage. This drive carries over to their relationships with stores and brands. Researchers at Harvard University, Simmons College, and Boston College found that when a choice of chocolate bar brands was offered to study participants, the brand positioned as the underdog was selected about 70% of the time.
     If the allegiance is to the customer’s country, we’ll call it patriotism. Researchers at Duke University, Cornell University, and University of Waterloo discovered that when Americans felt their country was under verbal attack, they became more likely to buy American. Study participants perceiving that America was being threatened were more likely to choose a Chevrolet than a Toyota, everything else being equal. They chose Nike over Adidas, even though they very well might not have been consciously thinking Adidas is based in Germany.
     This preference for American brands was substantially stronger under a certain condition: When the consumer believed not only that their country was being threatened, but also that America was having trouble responding to the threats. Those consumers who expressed absolutely no doubt America would prevail against the threats had weaker “Buy American” spirits.
     Americans certainly aren’t the only ones showing this shopper psychology patriotism. Researchers at Canada’s Carleton University and York University tracked what happened with Australian consumers before, during, and after the French government conducted nuclear testing in the Pacific in the mid-1990’s. French products were evaluated more negatively after the testing was announced and during the tests. Over the next ten years, as the memories of the threat receded, Australians’ attitudes toward French products moved back upwards again.
     Other studies indicate that the motivational push from attention to national origin takes a little while to fire off. Findings from researchers at University of Illinois and Hanyang University in South Korea suggest featuring country-of-origin information well before you present other information about the product. Mentioning country-of-origin immediately before describing other product attributes didn’t generate maximum effectiveness.
     State the country-of-origin in ads a shopper would see before coming to your store. In personal selling, state country-of-origin first, then pause briefly so the information starts brewing in the shopper’s mind.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more:
Boast About Underdog Determination
Sell Identity Affirmation to People
Feature Country-of-Origin Advantages

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