Monday, June 17, 2013

Brush on the Blush for Revelations

When I sin, my cheeks get red, according to conventional wisdom. Moreover, when I see red all around me, I become more willing to sin, evidence suggests. Think of Amsterdam’s red light district, and ask why the devil chose his particular color scheme over all the alternative possibilities.
     Still, researchers at Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel and Ghent University contend it could be another color as well. Participants in a set of studies were shown different colors, one at a time, while for each color there was a depiction of either socially proper or socially improper behavior. Afterwards, it was found that the participants judged undesirable behaviors to be more acceptable when shown the negatively-valanced color while making the judgment.
     The implication for retailers is that shoppers are more willing to admit to socially undesirable flaws when shown a negatively-valanced color. Red is the easiest example.
     Suppose I present you with a questionnaire saying I’d like to get to know more about you so I can better meet your needs. An item on the questionnaire asks specifically about those socially undesirable flaws. On one version of the questionnaire, the header has a store logo on the left and on the right reads, “Survey on Strengths & Weaknesses” in a professional black font. On the other version of the questionnaire, the header has on the left a cartoon devil logo and on the right reads, “How BAD Are U???” in a bright red font.
     On which of those two would you be more likely to admit to the flaws? The questionnaire with the professional look or the one with the very casual look?
     Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University explored this issue of people revealing their shortcomings. If you are like most of the people who were in that study, you’d be more likely to admit to your flaw when the questionnaire is casual.
     With our shoppers, elicit information about flaws by loosening them up. We don’t want to leave the impression of an unprofessional business, though. In some retail settings, the “How BAD Are U???” approach works fine, but in other settings with other sorts of customer expectations, you’ll want to use techniques like gentle humor and casual conversation to do the loosening.
     Then once the flaw is revealed, describe the remedy you can provide. People shop to correct shortfalls. When somebody admits to a flaw, there’s the opportunity to make a sale.

Click below for more: 
Loosen Up Shoppers to Reveal Flaws 
Steal Attention with Rascal Appeal

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