Your mission is to contradict old expertise from William & Mary College. Quite old expertise. In 1792, the proverb “Money can’t buy happiness” made its first academically documented American print appearance. It was in William & Mary College Quarterly.
We’d like our shoppers to buy happiness, using their money or monetary equivalents for the purchase. In the U.S., at least, it’s the patriotic duty of retail professionals during the election season. Our Declaration of Independence promises us “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
However, as researchers from University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, and MIT point out, the nature of happiness differs among the consumers to whom we’ll want to sell it. The researchers, after collecting questionnaire responses, conducting laboratory experiments, and analyzing diaries, concluded that a principle distinction is between the instances in which people find happiness in excitement and instances in which they find happiness in calmness.
We’ll want to be ready to, first, determine which our shopper is looking for and, second, provide it. Here’s a tip for those two parts: Compared to the calmness contingent, those looking for excitement tend to be younger and more focused on the future than on what’s happening right now. In the studies, younger subjects preferred more stimulating choices in tea and music. They discerned differences in bottled water alternatives and went for the livelier ones.
But sometimes, it is the young and those focused on what’s happening right now who find happiness in calmness. A while back, Ben & Jerry's ice cream shops introduced customers to a special selection of new flavors. With names like Chocolate Therapy, Apple-y Ever After, and The Last Straw, these flavors were not designed to stimulate. No, the Ben & Jerry’s folks intended the new flavors to soothe.
Ben & Jerry’s had gotten a bunch of input about what an entire sorority had named their “breakup ice cream brand of choice.” The ice cream shops were ready to lift the spirits of their recently-dumped customers.
On the other hand, older consumers may be looking for excitement because that’s what their younger consumption companions seek. These older consumers want to buy experiences which include family and friends. Happiness comes from spending money to share exciting times.
Let’s sell it to all of them. As retail professionals, let us transform the 1792 quote into, “Whoever said money can't buy happiness just didn't know where to shop.”
Click below for more:
Meditate on Happiness
Lift the Spirits of Your Customers
Offer Family-Oriented Experiences