Thursday, October 4, 2012

Play Full with the Sales Potential of “Playful”

Researchers at the U.K.’s Bournemouth University explored the role of playfulness with innovative consumers. Here is my application of their findings to the world of retailing:
  • Innovative consumers are of special value to retailers because market mavens tend to have innovative personalities. Market mavens are a special type of opinion leader. Rather than considering themselves expert advisors on only certain retail products and services, market mavens counsel others about the whole shopping experience and go on to recommend specific stores. 
  • Innovative consumers enjoy shopping experiences which include playfulness. If you sell products which attract state-of-the-art or creative thinking, accommodate people who want to play around with the items and want to be playful with store staff. 
  • Playful activities are characterized as being spontaneous, inventive, and changeable. Retailers wanting to provide for playfulness will want to regularly introduce novel products and rotate assignments in ways that allow for changing interactions with staff. 
  • Even innovative shoppers may hold back on the opportunities to be playful until they become somewhat familiar with the merchandise and the store. Don’t assume that an early hesitation indicates a lack of interest in play. 
  • Some retailers and researchers have said that showering a shopper with a variety of items all at once will encourage the sort of playfulness which increases the probability of making a sale. However, because facing more items means taking more time to gain familiarity with each, this showering suggestion doesn’t wash. 
     Giving the innovative consumer opportunities to play doesn’t assure a sale, though. Because of the flexible thinking of the innovator, the play might satisfy, on its own, whatever was motivating the purchase.
     For instance, there’s the stick. In year 2008, the stick was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, headquartered in Rochester, New York. Thus, the stick joined the likes of Tonka Trucks, Mr. Potato Head, and Barbie, each one an inductee from an earlier year.
     A plain stick. Not a pogo stick, a hockey stick, or a pool stick. Each of those others could be considered a plaything to purchase. But as the National Toy Hall of Fame induction announcement makes clear, the plain stick could fill in. For an innovative consumer, the stick becomes a sword, a baton, a big league slugger’s baseball bat, or some other variety of magic wand. In the hands of the playful artist, sticks are a foundation for collages, sculptures, and structures.

Click below for more: 
Court Market Mavens for Social Media 
Stick It to Shoppers with In-Store Experiences

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