Sunday, April 28, 2013

Reveal the Folly of Shopper/Product Rivalries

Shoppers can feel they’re competing with the products they’re thinking of purchasing.
     Study results provided this insight for Columbia University researchers. They noted the outcomes when shoppers who viewed themselves as uncreative thought about purchasing an Apple computer—considered to have a creative product personality. The thinking about the purchasing led to the shoppers’ estimates of the Apple computer’s creativity growing greater. The shoppers felt themselves to be competing on creativity with the product, which made them less likely to buy it.
     The Columbia researchers suggest that, before pushing to close the sale, the retailer build the shopper’s confidence in having personality traits which would be strengthened further if the product is purchased. For the Apple computer, help the consumer reveal their creativity to themselves and then show ways in which the product can help the owner become more creative.
     A consumer phenomenon related to this is called “parody display.” Usually, people purchase and display items they associate with groups to which they aspire to belong. But sometimes they’ll want items associated with a lower-status group. Among Americans, tattoos were more popular in low socioeconomic classes before the prevalence moved uptown. Among Brazilians, dancing capoeira was done most often in the slums before upper classes took it on as a form of parody display. Blue jeans. Pickup trucks. Work boots. And on and on.
     What’s behind parody display, and how can you use these motivations to build your profitability?
  • Easy competition. Researchers at New York University and Israel Institute of Technology found that college students were more interested in learning about a T-shirt tattooed with a sophisticated design when the T-shirt was worn by a grocery store packer than when by another college student. In a related study, students developed higher likelihoods of buying a wireless charger when they saw it used by a security guard than by a college student. 
  • A desire to be distinctive. Everyone else is wearing the aspirational wardrobe. Create a striking image by incorporating artifacts others don’t expect, these shoppers say. The retailer leverages this motivation via contrast in marketing and merchandising. Show the lower-class item surrounded by the usual aspirational things. 
  • A wish to relax. Your customers could be sick from “affluenza,” worn down by the pursuit of high status. Parody display items project an attitude of, “I’m here to kick back and enjoy life.” The retailer addresses this one by creating a shopping context of fun. 
For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Plumb for Consumers’ Desire to Slum 
Redirect with Evil Envy

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