Monday, October 20, 2014

Flex Shoppers with the Complex

Consumers often seek simplicity, but the right level of complexity can engage them in ways which move them toward becoming purchasers. Researchers at University of London, University of Groningen, and Università della Calabria found this to be true with logos. When a store or brand logo was easier to perceive, people liked it better at first. However, with repeated exposures to the logo, the attraction turned to dislike. The simplicity became boring.
     On the other hand, when the meaning of the logo was challenging to discern, people didn’t like it as much at the start, but grew to especially like it with repeated exposures.
     In the documentary “Milton Glaser: Inform & Delight,” Mr. Glaser attributes the success of his “I ♥ NY” logo to what he calls “sustained mystery,” whereby a consumer absorbs the design message better because of needing to figure out what the design means.
     Research findings from Indiana University and University of Colorado-Boulder indicate the value of a mystery ad format, in which you wait until the end to announce the retailer’s name. Start off with an unusual story or absurd humor that dramatizes the category of retailer, but hooks the ad’s viewer or listener into thinking “Who’s this commercial for, anyway?”
     Consumers tolerate perceptual complexity if they consider the task important. University of Florida and University of Pennsylvania researchers assigned study participants to select among airline flights. Some were told the decision was important. The others were told the decision was relatively unimportant. And some members of each group were given the information in a way that was hard to read, while the remainder were given easy-to-read information. The hard-to-read text used a small font and little contrast between the text and the background. The easy-to-read text used a larger font and clear contrast.
     Those in the first group presented the hard-to-read text made more careful decisions.
     Researchers at University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University found circumstances in which retailers do well to actually complicate choice. Among these are purchase decisions the consumer considers as having potentially life-changing consequences. Some of these situations, such as buying a house, extend over time. Others, such as selecting funeral arrangements, could last no more than a day or two.
     Because of the significance of such choices, the consumer believes they should devote time and mental effort even if the process seems at first to constitute a straightforward selection.

Click below for more: 
Sustain Mystery, But Not for Too Long 
Mire Customers as Calamity Prevention 
Look Simple, But Offer Complexity 
Let Go of the Unprofitable Logo

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