Monday, April 20, 2015

Resolve to Leave with Resolution

Two charities have asked your store to participate with them in a fund-raising campaign. One is named “Feed the Children,” the other, “Stop Child Hunger.” You’d prefer to collaborate with a charity that will be around for a while so the personality of the partnership will strengthen in your customers’ minds. Considering just the names alone, which of those two charities has better prospects for longevity?
     Before reading on in this blog posting, please make your guess and think about why you chose that one. Is it “Feed the Children” or “Stop Child Hunger”?
     University of Utah researchers, before formulating their answer to that question, analyzed ten years’ worth of financial data from a group of nonprofits and tracked actual donation behavior for a couple nonprofits.
     The results indicated that “Feed the Children” would last longer. The reason is that consumers prefer to spend their money on supporting the positive than on fighting against the negative. Consumers seek an uplifting denouement—an end to the story which draws together the threads of the plot.
     “Stop Child Hunger” does tug at the emotions more than does the promise of a positive resolution. Of the two alternatives in the short term, it’s likely to draw more money from consumers. Shock is powerful.
     Researchers at Bangor University, Glyndwr University, and Loughborough University say they were shocked, absolutely shocked. The cause was the use of shock itself, specifically the broad consumer acceptance of shocking images and descriptions in advertising. A TV ad from the early 2000’s for a product called X-cite employed shockvertising to convince the viewer that using the product would eliminate what the ad referred to as “dog breath.” The ad starts with a disheveled man awakening on a couch. The man opens his mouth and, via special effects magic, regurgitates a dog.
     Shocking images and descriptions trigger storytelling in the consumer’s mind. Once having been stopped in their tracks, the viewers ask themselves questions like “What is happening here?,” “What led up to this scene?,” and “What’s likely to happen next?” They spend more time contemplating the situation and, we hope, thinking about the product.
     But to close the sale, remember to give potential donors and purchasers a positive, morally correct resolution to the story they’re telling themselves. The X-cite ad ends with the man quickly swallowing a tablet before being happily kissed by a woman who’s entered the room.

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

Click below for more: 
Double Down on Cause Marketing 
Devise a Denouement for Departed Brands 
Collapse to Soles When Asking for Money
Shock Consumers, But Morally
Magnetize the Consumer with Mystery

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