Sunday, March 27, 2011

Excite Consumers with Nature

“Natural is much better than artificial.” Perhaps that preference resides within our DNA, so basic is it in the choices our shoppers make. It’s why green product packaging and store décor have a special appeal to our shoppers. Show consumers from throughout the world green product packaging and you'll probably hear descriptions like new, organic, healthy, and refreshing.
     The attraction of nature is multifaceted. There’s much more, but some of the psychology involves simplicity and some involves adventuresomeness. The natural alternative feels simpler than the artificial one. That’s one conclusion from a study conducted by international advertising agency Euro RSCG Worldwide and as reported by online Marketing Daily. Study conclusions were based on responses from 5,700 adults residing in France, the Netherlands, England, the U.S., Brazil, Japan, or China. In that study, about 60% of the respondents felt consumers should be more connected to nature.
     As to adventuresomeness, the Center for Culinary Development noted a few months ago how chefs at white-tablecloth restaurants are incorporating new flavors into their preparations by foraging in forests and along seashores. A prime example from CCD is the use of sprigs of Douglas Fir not only in entrees, but also in cocktails. Other examples include the bright orange, strikingly tangy sea buckthorn and the alpine/arctic cloudberry, traditionally the theme of jams and liqueurs, but now being seen in beer, wine, and sparkling drinks.
     CCD has predicted that the excitement of the foraged, adventurous herbs, flowers, and other ingredients found in nature will spread from use at fine-dining restaurants to eventually influencing overall consumer preferences.
     Perhaps the prototype is wasabi, best known in Japanese cuisine, now a not uncommon addition to mashed potatoes, and having spread its stimulation to be the basis for a fire alarm for the deaf. Researchers at Shiga University of Medical Science rigged up a device to spray wasabi fumes when suitably activated.
     The shopper’s current attraction to both excitement and simplicity sometimes conflict. Applebee’s restaurants hang all sorts of conversation starters on the walls. Cracker Barrel restaurants position board games around for customers to play. It adds stimulation by adding atmospheric complexity to the dietary carbohydrates.
     Then there’s the Bass Pro Shop and Scheels approach, in which the excitement is better digested because the excitement arises from the wonders of the natural world.
     How can you best introduce both the simplicity and the excitement of nature into your retailing?

Click below for more:
Exercise Cultural Sensitivity in Color Use
Offer Fundamental Indulgences
Use Store Decor to Create Shopper Excitement

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