Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Enlarge Influence with Contagion

“Please use this high-end putter to attempt ten shots on this artificial green. Here’s the putter.” That’s the setup used by research scientists at Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics. For half the number of participants, selected at random, when each was handed the putter, he was also told something like, “Oh, by the way, this putter I’m handing you was used in the past by Professional Golfers’ Association player Ben Curtis.” Mr. Curtis has won the PGA Tour four times. His total career winnings exceed $13 million.
     Compared to the study participants not given the additional information, those who were led to believe they were using the golf club previously held by Mr. Curtis sank a third more of the putts into the hole, on average. There’s also reason to believe they found the task to be easier: When all the study participants were asked to draw a picture of the hole before attempting the shots, Curtis-primed golfers produced drawings 9% larger.
     Contagious magic refers to the belief—commonly encountered in consumers and usually subconscious—that two objects which touch will exert an influence on each other. That’s what was going on in this study, with the contagious magic endowing confidence.
     A study at Arizona State University and New Zealand’s University of Auckland used musicians in place of duffers, guitars in place of putters, and supposed replicas in place of supposed actual possessions. Why is it, the researchers asked, that a purchaser of a guitar would find that having a respected rock star sign the guitar caused the guitar to produce better music? This was especially true when the guitar was a replica of the instrument used by the rock star autographing it. The answer: Contagious magic!
     Contagious magic operates not only to enhance the attractiveness of the merchandise you sell, but also in the other direction. As an example, suppose you sell toys in your store. Today you saw a news story saying a dangerous defect has been found in some toys from this manufacturer.
     None of the toy product lines you're selling has been found to contain defective items. What can you do to improve sales?
     Space out the boxes. University of Utah research findings suggest that when a product is feared to have a defect, putting the boxes further apart leads shoppers to think the one they purchase is less likely to have the defect.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Catch the Power of Contagion 
Resist Contaminating with Residue Sensitivity 
Match the Product to the Customer's Skill Level

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