Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Evolve the Most Basic Sales Pitches of All

What are the most fundamental benefits we can present shoppers?
A pair of psychologists from University of Minnesota and Arizona State University addressed that question by using the Fundamental Motives Framework, a tool from evolutionary psychology. The question became, “What are the basic consumer motivations which lead to propagation of the human species?
     Here’s my adaptation of that framework along with ways retailers can use it:
  • Evading physical harm. We evolved from ancestors who faced much higher homicide rates than encountered in almost any current consumer society. As a general rule, then, people overestimate the probability of danger and are willing to pay to reduce very small odds of death to even smaller odds. As with the other four motives, there are important exceptions among consumers. Some people seek danger for the stimulation. Most people will endure danger in order to care for their families. 
  • Avoiding disease. When activated, the evolution-developed trigger for a fear of disease results in consumers becoming less interested in foreign products, ideas, and people. A hint for retailers is to have a hand sanitizer dispenser available in the area of merchandise from less-developed countries. Just the presence of the dispenser can ease the prejudice. 
  • Making friends. But we’ll chance disease to form up with buddies. Propagation depends on affiliation. An attraction for many consumers is the ability to share a purchased item with others. The retailer who helps a shopper decide what a gift recipient would like is building on the evolutionary drive in consumers to fit in with others who might be different from themselves. 
  • Attaining status. In looking at consumer behavior from an evolutionary point of view, we must acknowledge that the marketplace in which we live is little like that of our ancient ancestors. What we see now may be remnants of propagation aids. People who know their high status is recognized may not want to show it off with their acquisitions. However, primitive cues can activate primitive drives: People insecure with their status who have just accomplished an important achievement yearn to show off using their purchases. 
  • Acquiring a mate, keeping a mate, and caring for family. We’re genetically programmed to nurture others. In tight economic times, adults will sacrifice their own comfort in order to provide adequately for a mate, their offspring, and even the household pets. These last items in the Fundamental Motives Framework are central to propagation. 
Click below for more: 
Scare Customers into Buying 
Acknowledge the Power of Cycles 
Discover What the Gift-Giver Expects in Giving 
Let Lonely Consumers Know They Belong 
Position the Logo Like a Handshake 
Fish for Broader Pet Market Profits

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