Monday, June 19, 2017

Salt Shoppers’ Truth with Conviction

One spring afternoon during my sixth year of life while I was playing outside my Uncle Jack’s house, I saw a strikingly attractive bird. My desire to have that bird as a pet so I could look at it whenever I chose appeared as quickly and strongly as if I’d just spotted a must-have toy at the store. At dinnertime, after I told my uncle about my wish, he said, “Well, you can capture the bird if you can put salt on its tail.”
     My Uncle Jack didn’t smile when he said that, so I wasn’t really sure whether he was kidding me. Still, I realized my Uncle Jack rarely smiled. He was a caring, yet gruff, lawyer who advocated aggressively for clients my uncle believed and felt had been wronged by society. Not that his beliefs and feelings were always in accord. My Uncle Jack loved to watch professional wrestling, vigorously cheering the matches on TV. He was especially taken with Gorgeous George, whose effeminate antics and credo of “Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat!” drew crowds who relished booing him.
     When I was older, I recognized how my uncle believed the professional wrestling matches were staged, but got joy from feeling they were genuine. It’s a phenomenon called kayfabe. Every theatrical production, World Wrestling Entertainment match and beyond, depends for success on presenting something the consumer would believe is fake if analyzing it, while signing on to the agreement to feel what’s seen and heard is genuine. Decades after Gorgeous George, comedian Stephen Colbert referred to this phenomenon in political discourse as truthiness.
     To the degree that retailing is theatre, let’s recognize how feelings can trump beliefs as a shopper is deciding whether and what to purchase. We’ve no interest in defrauding consumers, so it’s essential our conviction is justified when making recommendations. Actually, that conviction is also essential in maintaining a phenomenon like kayfabe. The wrestlers in the ring and the actors on the stage or screen must behave as though they really feel it themselves.
     So I figure my uncle was justified in not smiling when responding to my dinnertime wish. The suggestion he gave me was accurate, even if not in the way I initially understood. If you get close enough to a bird to put salt on its tail, you certainly can capture it. Simply grab the creature.

For your success: Retailer’s Edge: Boost Profits Using Shopper Psychology

Click below for more: 
Give Shoppers Reason to Believe
Selectively Keep Information from Customers
Know How Much Emotion to Deliver
Dial In to Dialectical Thinking

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