Monday, March 16, 2015

French Kiss Nutrition Notices Goodbye

In providing you advice based on consumer behavior research, I'm attentive to the cultural orientation of the study samples. Asian cultures have different takes on luck and liability than do Western cultures, for instance.
     Researchers from Baruch College, University of California-Berkeley, and San Francisco State University surprised people with promotional gifts. Americans enjoyed their gifts more than did those from Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, or Vietnam. Because the reward appeared to be unearned, the East Asian recipients seemed to feel it produced a menacing imbalance.
     And according to studies at Chinese University of Hong Kong and Lingnan University in Hong Kong, compared with those who identify with predominant North American cultures, your customers who identify with an Asian culture are more likely to forgive flawed service outcomes if they have been granted courtesy and attentiveness.
     Even among Western cultures, consumers show differences significant for your retailing practices. Researchers at University of Minnesota and NEOMA Business School aroused national pride in a group of American and French consumers by showing them cultural symbols—the Statue of Liberty and bald eagle for the Americans, the Eiffel Tower and Gallic rooster for the French.
     All the study participants were then told about a fresh fruit mix and a piece of chocolate cake and asked to predict how much they’d enjoy each. For some of the participants from each culture, what they were told about both items included detailed nutritional information. The question was in what ways, if any, the nutritional information influenced the anticipated enjoyment of the items.
     As in the traditional French Kiss, the tongue played a major role. The French consumers, with a heavy heritage of relishing the taste of food, were put off by being asked to process mundane details like health benefits or lack thereof. The predictions of enjoyment for both the fruit and the cake were significantly lower than among the French consumers not given the nutrition information. With the Americans, no real differences were seen between the two groups in predicted enjoyment.
     A related research report ends with a quote attributed to Mark Twain, “The secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.” It appears to me that Mr. Twain, a quintessential American writer whose bibliography includes The Innocents Abroad, in this case came down on the side of the French slant.

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

Click below for more: 
Give the Gift of Uncertainty, Love
Deliver Friendliness If Outcomes Are Uncertain

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