Friday, April 27, 2012

Raise Your Community’s Aspirations

Since forever, shopping has motivated people to reach for more in their lives, to set their aspirations a few notches higher. Consumers see merchandise and learn about services potentially available to them, then get energized to turn the potential into reality.
     It doesn’t always happen that way. Shopping also can frustrate and anger people when what they’re shown and told about seems too far beyond their realities. Researchers at University of Texas-Austin and Switzerland’s University of Bern found that consumers are more likely to form an emotional attachment to an item at retail if the consumers see the item as fitting their image of their current self rather than of the person they aspire to be. Shoppers hesitate stretching their aspirations out too far.
     This fact leads to two tips:
  • Feature items which, for your target customers, are out of grasp, but within reach.
  • Raise the self-esteem of your shoppers so that they feel ready to reach for the stars. 
     Doing that second one will increase your sales in the short-term. It also will help ensure longer-term sales by keeping your customers healthy. Recently published research from University of Chicago, Emory University, Johns Hopkins University, and University of Vermont supports a classic finding in psychology: Consumers with higher self-esteem fight off disease better than do others.
     Raise your community’s aspirations and your store sales by helping people feel great about themselves:
  • Flatter expertise. Researchers at Duke University saw that a motivator for many experts is showing off their knowledge. For the best long-term results, give genuine praise. But researchers at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology find that even insincere flattery can be effective.
  • Each time you personalize the selling message by referring to a characteristic of the shopper, you’re delivering a compliment. Even the smallest things can give you a retailer’s edge. For example, researchers at Universiteit Leuven in Belgium find that across languages and cultures, people’s self-esteem is heightened if their name is used.
  • When customers are completing their purchases, they are more interested in reassurance than in benefits statements. This is a prime opportunity for praise. Compliment them on the good decisions they made. Invite them to return to tell you how their purchases worked out for them.
  • Researchers at Virginia Tech, Babson College, and Florida Atlantic University found that improving the atmospherics in neighborhood retail stores tends to improve the self-esteem of the residents.
For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Convince Shoppers to Reach for the Stars 
Crow About Helping the Local Economy
Mobilize Collective Efficacy for Health

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