Monday, September 15, 2014

Number the Attractions for Attraction Effects

To unfreeze a shopper’s indecisiveness when choosing between two alternatives, you can introduce a third alternative which is clearly similar to one of the others on an attribute important to the shopper and also clearly inferior on another attribute important to the shopper.
     For example, suppose a customer wanting to purchase an electric lawn mower tells you she can’t decide between the one that’s more powerful on hills and the one that’s cordless. You now know two attributes important to this shopper. You’ve also noticed she says she doesn’t have lots of space in which to store a mower. So to unfreeze her decision making, you show her a corded mower which is powerful on hills, but is wider than either of the other two. As a result, she selects the one that’s powerful on hills, but is more narrow.
     Consumer psychologists call this phenomenon the “decoy effect” or “attraction effect.” Studies have verified that the attraction effect operates with consumers choosing among microwave ovens, television sets, cars, apartments, beers, airline tickets, and even political candidates.
     According to Yale University and National University of Singapore researchers, the power of the attraction effect depends on how attributes are presented to the consumer. It works best when the salesperson describes the attributes using numbers, such as a toaster oven with a durability rating of 7 and ease-of-cleaning rating of 5, both on a 10-point scale. It works least well when the consumer actually tries out using the alternatives.
     With the toaster oven, the shopper for whom ease of cleaning is important probably won’t have a chance to actually experience this at the store, so the attraction effect should be at its best. But for that lawn mower shopper for whom ease of storage is important, she can experience the width right there in the store, so the attraction effect would be weaker.
     The attraction effect is likely to be strongest with experience and post-experience goods and weakest with search goods.
     Search goods have features, the value of which can be relatively easily assessed before purchase. A refrigerator and a car are search goods.
     The values of experience goods are more difficult for the shopper to assess until they’ve been used. An insurance policy or unfamiliar food is an experience good.
     Vitamin pills and investment portfolios are examples of post-experience goods, where it’s hard to accurately evaluate the advantages even after use.

Click below for more: 
Decoy the Indecisive Without Getting Decoyed 
Post Dramatic Tales for Post-Experience Goods

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