Monday, December 23, 2013

Stop Threatening My Buds

Some years ago, a set of studies at Erasmus University in the Netherlands, INSEAD, and London Business School found that a certain set of campaigns to encourage breast cancer screening had the opposite effects, and worse: These campaigns:
  • Reduced women’s perception they would develop breast cancer 
  • Produced women’s self-reports that they were finding it hard to truly understand moderately complex articles about breast cancer 
  • Reduced the interest of the women in donating money to fight breast cancer 
  • Reduced the motivation to donate money to fight ovarian cancer, another female disorder 
     What distinguished these unsuccessful campaigns from others was the emphasis on the woman’s gender:
  • Text messages: “If you are a woman, what you are about to read could save your life.” 
  • Direct imagery: A photo of a woman covering with her hands the area where a cancerous breast had been removed 
  • Symbolic imagery: A pink ribbon, which has become associated with femininity 
     Now research at University of South Carolina and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology provides additional insight as to what was going on, and how it applies beyond selling breast cancer screening.
     When consumers feel that an important group membership is being threatened, they’ll try to protect their buddies and, in the process, often fail to remember details surrounding the threat. This is true even when the information they’re forgetting could be valuable to them. The failure is due to anxiety about the threat and also due to a conscious intent to erase the information. It is motivated forgetting.
     Other examples include:
  • University students who read a critical article about their school become less likely to remember an accompanying ad describing discounts at the bookstore 
  • Regular patrons of a sports bar with decorations featuring a local team that’s doing poorly forget about a special promotion offered by the bar 
     On the other hand, if the consumer doesn’t perceive that the threat is coming from the retailer, the selling potential increases. Researchers at Duke University, Cornell University, and University of Waterloo discovered that when Americans felt their country was under verbal attack and was having trouble responding adequately, they became more likely to buy American.
     Study participants perceiving that America was being threatened were more likely to choose a Chevrolet than a Toyota, everything else being equal. They chose Nike over Adidas, even though they very well might not have been consciously thinking Adidas is based in Germany.

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

Click below for more: 
Cancel Out Implications of Female Inferiority 
Salute Sales to Concerned Patriots 
Threaten Shoppers Craftily

No comments:

Post a Comment