Thursday, November 14, 2013

Rehearse the Shopper Picking Out the Item

If you rehearse with the shopper her selecting an unfamiliar brand, she becomes somewhat more likely to actually select the brand later for purchase. Although the effect is strongest if the shopper actually holds an item with that brand on it, the touching is not necessary for a preference to build. It’s a refinement of what consumer psychologists call “the mere familiarity effect.”
     A laboratory example of the effect was seen in a study at University of Florida, Louisiana State University, and London Business School. The study used as experimental stimuli an assortment of soda, cheese, shampoo, and chocolate brands which the researchers knew were not familiar to the participants.
     In displays of items, the participant was asked to locate a specified brand of an item category, such as a specified brand of chocolate. The task was repeated with different item categories. Then, afterwards, when the participant was asked to select between the brand of item previously located and a brand that had never been seen before, the previously located one was chosen much more often.
     That’s expected, you might say. But wait, I’m not done! In the initial location task, there were always precisely two brands of the item type. Therefore, in locating the one brand, as requested by the experimenter, the participant was neglecting another brand. The consumer was rehearsing rejection.
     What happened when, later, the participant was asked to express a preference between the previously neglected brand and a neutral brand which had not been seen before? Yes, the neutral brand was more likely to be favored.
     I’ve regularly heard from retail salespeople the observation that once a shopper has rejected selection of an item, the shopper seems resistant to changing his mind. This could be attributed to a fear of looking indecisive. However, I’ve found many exceptions, in which the shopper does have second thoughts and will end up going back to an already spurned alternative. University of Toronto research indicates one technique is to introduce an alternative which is obviously inferior to the previously rejected choice.
     In using these tactics, recognize that it’s the rehearsal of the selection and the rejection which make it work. People are more likely to do what they practice than what they’re told. If a shopper is pointedly asked not to think about a particular brand, it will be nearly impossible for that shopper to stop thinking about it.

Click below for more: 
Raise Your Right Hand Awareness 
Counteract Problems from Similar Brand Labels 
Decoy the Indecisive Without Getting Decoyed

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