Sunday, July 21, 2013

Acknowledge Your Subliminal Powers

A loco logo dustup. “Loco” as in crazy fuss about nothing important. The Huffington Post says “many” people are wondering why the current logo for Wendy’s quick-service restaurants has the word “MOM” written on the girl’s collar in a way which appears to be a hidden message. The Stock Logos website says it was done intentionally to create associations between the Wendy’s menu and Mom’s home cooking.
     Suspicions of subliminal influence never cease to draw consumer attention. What would your customers think of you if you said you wanted to influence them to make certain purchases? My guess is that they’d consider you as fulfilling your proper role as a retailer. Contrast that with what your customers would think of you if they overheard you saying to one of your staff that you wanted to manipulate the customer into making certain purchases. My guess is that the customer would promptly become uncomfortable shopping in your store.
     Researchers at Stanford University point out how retailers have reported success getting customers to make a purchase by having text—such as on signage and packaging—set in narrow adjacent columns. The reason this is said to work: In order to read the text, a shopper needs to slowly nod his head up and down, and this sign of yes subconsciously produces even more positive evaluations of products the customer already likes.
     Is the head nodding production tactic manipulation? And what if you claimed it was subliminal? That would easily frighten consumers.
     The reality is you can sway consumers by using cues below the level of conscious awareness. Psychologists at Princeton University had study participants watch an episode of “The Simpsons.” During the program, phrases and pictures related to thirst were shown to some of the participants, but each phrase and picture was presented too quickly for the human brain to consciously recognize what it was.
     Those participants shown the subliminal thirst prompts reported being more thirsty after than before the program and more thirsty than the group not shown the prompts.
     Yes, we can influence consumers subliminally. According to the Huffington Post piece, The Wendy’s Company says they didn’t aim to do this with their logo, though. Still, maybe the fuss wasn’t loco after all. The dustup did get potential Wendy’s customers to look closely at the logo and gave both Stock Logos and The Huffington Post something to fill column inches.

Click below for more: 
Influence Subconsciously, Not Subliminally 
Position the Logo Like a Handshake 
Analyze Errors Accurately

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