Monday, June 13, 2011

Categorize in Stimulating Ways

A current feature on Charming Charlie speculates why the chain, composed of about 100 stores selling women’s fashion accessories, was named a “Hot Retailer of 2010” by the International Council of Shopping Centers:
  • Treat each purchase as special. Regardless of the price of the item, it is wrapped in tissue and placed in a bag with the Charming Charlie logo.
  • Host shopping parties. Get together a group of ten, and Charming Charlie will set you up for a two-hour in-store mingle. They’ll even spring for the refreshments and give everyone a 20% discount on purchases made at the time.
  • Categorize items in helpful ways. For Charming Charlie, the basis of grouping is color. Customers have said this makes putting together an outfit much easier.
     Whatever your product line, you can do these same sorts of things toward boosting sales. If hue, tint, and shading are important dimensions with that product line—furniture, wallpaper, cosmetics—you can go Charming Charlie one better by giving juicy names to the colors.
     The color of a product strongly influences its attractiveness to consumers. Researchers at University of British Columbia and University of Florida found that the color of orange juice was more of an influence on how taste was perceived than was information about the price of the juice or claims about its quality. And shoppers searching for the right shirt, interior paint, or nail polish pay lots of attention to hue.
     But what about the names given to colors? Is a retailer better off carrying products labeled “cherry red” rather than just “red” on the package? Is a car salesman or interior designer likely to make better sales saying “passion blue” instead of “medium blue,” even though the automobile or the carpet swatch is right there for the customer to see for themselves?
     Research at Boston College and University of Pennsylvania implies that Shakespeare’s Juliet may have had her accuracy clouded by love when she uttered “What's in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.”
     Unexpected color names—like “Florida orange” and “freckle brown” build interest. Color names which venture beyond surprise to blatant ambiguity—names like “antique red” and “millennium orange”—might be better still. Ambiguous names work best when the shopper doesn’t see the actual product color first, while unexpected descriptive names work best when the product color is seen.

Click below for more:
Juice Up Sales with Flavorful Names
Give Experts Novel Product Categories

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