Monday, March 17, 2014

Yoke Low or High Happiness to Life Stage

YOLO—you only live once—is the ethos of the movie “Dead Poet’s Society,” in which the youthful students are urged to “Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary” in order to find happiness. A contrasting movie counterpart is “The Bucket List,” whose protagonists nearing the end of their days discover that they seize the best happiness via calm time with family.
     Researchers at Dartmouth College and University of Pennsylvania used those two examples to dramatize their findings that retailers should connect happiness appeals with the shopper’s life stage. As people progress though life, they seek distinctive adventures to define themselves at landmark steps. But those consumers who perceive themselves as closer to the end of life—perhaps because they are old, perhaps because they are seriously ill—are less likely to define themselves by new experiences and are more likely to find contentment in the tested routines of daily life.
     Travel agents, for example, would do best to advertise journeys to younger customers as opportunities to mark milestones, where the appeal to older folks would be sharing familiar journeys with family and long-time friends.
     In another set of studies, the University of Pennsylvania research team, plus teams at Stanford University and MIT, found that two ways in which consumers define happiness are related to age: Younger consumers seek the excitement of novelty, while older consumers seek the calmness of familiarity.
     Participants were offered choices in tea, bottled water, and music. The future-focused participants were more likely to select “a refreshing peppermint blend” over “a relaxing blend of chamomile and mint,” the bottle of “Pure Excitement” water labeled in bright orange over the “Pure Calm” one labeled in green, and the more upbeat version of the song “Such Great Heights.” The younger consumers were more future-focused and the older ones more present-focused.
     In the marketplace, many experience offerings are retailed to include a range of consumer ages. Researchers at University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Virginia, Duke University, and University of Bologna report that consumers are often operating on the assumption that they'll have more time in the future, but not necessarily more money. This doesn't mean at all that the consumers are satisfied to be wasting time. On the contrary, they want to feel in control of their time. An essential part of you offering family-oriented experiences is to advertise the benefits the experiences offer for shared happiness.

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

Click below for more: 
Meditate on Happiness 
Offer Family-Oriented Experiences

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