Friday, May 24, 2013

Arouse the Love for Your Store

The psychophysiological evidence is in: Consumers can fall in love with your store. The researchers—from Xavier University, Texas Tech University, and Kansas State University—characterize it as “loyalty beyond reason” and demonstrated how it manifests itself in various bodily measures of the emotion of love. Other studies of the phenomenon from a while back—at Arizona State University and Texas Christian University—referred to “love-smitten consumers.”
     Brand love for your store counts for a lot. University of Michigan researchers found it even more important than the consumer’s judgment of merchandise quality for predicting the consumer’s praise of your store to others and resistance to believing criticisms of your store.
     How to arouse the love? Here’s what the research says:
  • Self-store integration. Show how your store is compatible with the values held by shoppers. Almost all shoppers value staff expertise. Your shoppers love being served by experts. They judge the salesperson’s expertise even before the two start talking. The salesperson’s dress and body language say a lot as the prospective customer asks, “How much does this salesperson look like somebody I’d like to be?” If the store is busy, does the salesperson appear to have things under control? If so, that’s the mark of an expert. 
  • Positive emotional connection. When the shopper is happy, reflect the happiness. When the shopper seems sad or angry, show concern. Have staff greet customers and, to the degree possible, call them by name. We each love to hear others say our name as long as it’s said to support us. 
  • Long-term relationship. Control staff turnover so the repeat shopper feels they’re entering a familiar place. 
  • Separation distress. Offer an appealing distinctiveness so that your customers think long and hard about starting to shop somewhere else instead of at your place. The Arizona/Texas researchers spoke of a passion evidenced in strong urges to visit, even if only to look. 
     The Xavier/Texas/Kansas studies found that the physiological patterns of store love differ across consumers. But other research has found commonalities in two psychological characteristics:
  • Feelings of passion about everyday activities. So coach your sales staff to listen attentively when shoppers express urges to do business with your store. 
  • Confident certainty. So project respect for the shopper’s opinions. Also be there to buttress against fading certainty. Facilitate the brand love for your store by including some comfort products and indulgent services in the mix you offer. 
Click below for more: 
Brand Love for What Shoppers Experience 
Arouse Lovers by Flaunting Haters

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