Sunday, September 29, 2013

Limit Mouth-Watering Evaluations

Looking at photos of a food we love increases our appetite for it. But looking for too long kills our appetite for that food.
     Researchers at Brigham Young University and University of Minnesota asked study participants to rate or express their relative preferences for foods shown to them in pictures. After repeating the task many times, the participants lost interest in actually eating the food. This happens less often if the participants evaluate a range of foods rather than similar choices.
     Consumer psychologists call on two verified phenomena to explain:
  • Ideomotor effect. In 1890, William James, one of the first true experimental psychologists, wrote, “We may lay it down for certain that every representation of a movement awakens in some degree the actual movement which is its object.” Getting consumers to nod yes makes them more likely to feel they’ve agreed with a request a retailer is making. Having people look at photos of a food they relish makes them experience the sensations of actually eating that food. 
  • Sensory-specific satiety. If we experience a small taste of something good, we’ll want more. But if we experience lots of it, we become sated, and so don’t desire more of that particular food. Because of ideomotor action, the satiation can occur from looking at pictures of the food. 
     We’d like to present our shoppers with mouth-watering experiences of all sorts. Northwestern University researchers showed a group of men photographs of physically attractive women and asked these men to decide which one they’d prefer to take out on a date. A matching group of men were asked to think about getting a haircut. The first group developed more of a mating goal than did the second group.
     Next, all the men were presented images of high-end sports cars while hosting in their mouths the type of cotton rolls you encounter in the dental chair. The objective was to quantify the salivation.
     Sure enough, the men shown the photos salivated more when viewing the sports car images than did those in the haircut group. They were more likely to swallow the notion of purchasing the car.
     Thinking about desired foods could fill a cotton roll to overflowing. A mouth-watering sports car is operating on the brain in the same sort of way as the mouth-watering food. That does build purchase intentions. Maintain those intentions by limiting the evaluations in order to avoid satiation.

Click below for more: 
Imagine What Will Work 
Start Your Shoppers Feeling Yes 
Hesitate Giving Away the Store 
Take Wing with a Shopper’s Swallow 
Ask Shoppers Why They Like or Dislike Items 
Help Shoppers Use Their Imagination

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