Monday, February 25, 2019

Attract Conservatives with Luxury Maintenance

Knowing distinctive purchasing characteristics of political conservatives is useful for targeted marketing. Certain media outlets, such as Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, tend to have politically conservative audiences. Demographic surveys have shown that certain geographical locations, such as Colorado Springs, Colorado, reliably contain a high proportion of conservative consumers. And psychographic research indicates that ads directed to senior citizens should take account of the conservative sensibilities which prevail in that population.
     Researchers at Georgia State University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and INSEAD looked at how such sensibilities influence interest in luxury purchases. The distinctive characteristic they identified was a desire to maintain status. Unlike what was true in consumers of more liberal political persuasions, this desire to maintain status was stronger than the desire to increase status. Therefore, in marketing luxury to politically conservative target populations, emphasize status maintenance. In the research, this was accomplished with phrasing like, “Keep your status with [product name],” and by asking consumers to think about ways they are maintaining their status as the world around them is changing.
     Consistent with these findings, other research finds that political conservatives are responsive to statements of stability, such as “Our business has been here for 100 years,” while liberals are sensitive to statements of growth, such as “We’ve been changing for 100 years.” In marketing to conservatives, highlight the concepts of tradition, conformity, security, power, and materialism. With liberals, highlight harmony, benevolence, universalism, and egalitarianism.
     Political scientists at University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Rice University say that liberals tend to be physiologically different from conservatives, and that the differences influence what the people will purchase at retail. A primary distinction between the two orientations is in the frequency, nature, and intensity of physiological signs of disgust. Prior research had found that the higher a consumer’s identification with politically conservative values, the higher the probability of that consumer buying lots of cleaning supplies, laundry baskets, and desk organizers for use in the household. In another set of experiments, political conservatives spent more time than political liberals fixating on depictions of vomit. This suggests the conservatives would be more receptive to items which head off the disgust.
     Conservatives have a sharper sensitivity to all sorts of negative stimuli. Depictions of house fires and dangerous animals also drew prolonged attention. Facial expressions interpreted as surprise by liberals were more often interpreted as threat by conservatives.

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

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Market by Political Propensity
Discuss Disgust Conservatively & Liberally

Monday, February 18, 2019

Retouch Unattractive Rejection by Revealing

Front-of-package nutritional information labeling provides a competitive advantage for food marketers, according to studies at University of Mississippi and University of Arkansas. Because the information is in their faces, purchasers know what they’re getting and whether it’s healthy or less healthy. Consumers feel empowered by information.
     Researchers at City University of New York, American University of Sharjah, and University of Lausanne say front-of-package labeling reduces purchase rejection in another way, too. It earns trust by the marketer portraying, “We reveal all to you.” These researchers then extended the logic to another example of in-your-face declarations—notices of photo retouching for products and services designed to enhance physical attractiveness.
     The researchers note that when photo retouching is discovered in such marketing materials, consumers and consumer protection advocates use words like “immoral,” “unethical,” and “dishonest.” So what would be the effects of clearly labeling each such photo of a young woman with a moderate build as retouched to look highly slender? That’s the sort of notice the government of France requires from advertisers.
     The experiment-based answer was that young female consumers had significantly more positive evaluations toward the ad than in cases where no notice was given. In fact, the item evaluations were more positive than in the case where the experiment’s participants were shown an unretouched ad and told it was not retouched. That’s the sort of thing done in an Aerie Advertising Campaign for American Eagle’s lingerie line, which read, “The girl in this photo has not been retouched! The real you is sexy!” The liking for an admitted retouched ad was higher than the liking for a boastful unretouched ad.
     Three cautions here. First, these findings are found to apply most clearly to products and services in which solving a physical attractiveness problem is a major objective. The findings applied less clearly to items in which the major objective was to enhance a shopper’s perception of existing attractiveness. Second, a more positive attitude toward a product does not always translate into a substantially higher purchase rate. Third, there are circumstances, such child labor being used in the production of a product desired by the shopper, in which the shopper prefers to avoid your full disclosure.
     Still, earning the trust of the consumer always pays off, and revealing to the consumer information you believe will be interesting to them and in their best interests to know does earn trust.

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

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Label Why They Don’t Read the Labels
Put Foot-in-the-Door to Build Trust
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Monday, February 11, 2019

Stack Discounts for Thrust or Surprise

With stacked discounting, a retailer piles a second after a first. “Now take an additional 25% off the already 20% discounted price.” What are the best ways for a retailer to present stacked discounts?, asked researchers at University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.
     The answer is that it depends on whether the shopper encounters both discounts at the same time or at separate times in a way that the second discount is a surprise. The ecommerce shopper might see the first discount while browsing through the pages, but a popup on the screen reads, “An additional 25% off the discounted price for new customers!” The two discounts have been seen simultaneously. Or a consumer might have seen an ad for the 20% discounted price last week and today sees the updated offering as part of a closeout sale. The two discounts are seen sequentially.
     The studies found that with simultaneous presentation, the first percentage discount the shopper sees assumes an outsized role. If we’ve designed the announcement of the discounts in a way that we can predict which will be seen first, make that first discount the larger of the two. If we don’t know which will be seen first, it doesn’t matter which of the two discounts is larger.
     The same rule operates for surcharges as for discounts. The researchers noted the example of a baker who charges $17 for a standard-sized cake, levies 10% more for a large cake, and an additional 5% for a custom design. The relative sizes of the surcharges won’t matter for price perception if all the figures are presented at once.
     With sequential presentation in which the second discount comes as a surprise to the consumer, it works differently. The second discount has more influence than the first in the shopper’s perception of how good a deal they’re getting. In this situation, it’s best if the second percentage is the larger of the two. There could be more than two steps in the stack. In Expiration Date Based Pricing, the retailer progressively lowers the price of items as the expiration date approaches.
     Whether with simultaneous or sequential discounts, shoppers may estimate the total off the original price, and that usually results in overestimation. With a 25% discount off of a previously discounted 20%, the discount from the original price is 40%, but most people judge the discount to be closer to 45%.

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

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Set Price Anchors with Price Adjacencies
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Monday, February 4, 2019

Make Space for Socializing on the Corner

The notion of a convenience store is that shoppers will be able to pop in, make a purchase, and pop out. This is for the consumer on a quick trip mission. The notion of a corner store, such as a small-footprint independent grocer in a residential neighborhood, is different, suspected researchers at Thaksin University and Prince of Songkla University. They set out to evaluate what environmental attributes of a corner store made the most difference to neighborhood shoppers.
     The experimental methodology consisted of presenting 241 consumers 3D simulations of corner store interiors in a format resembling a video game. The simulations varied on ambient cues, such as the comfort of lighting and sound levels; design cues, such as the ease of reaching and selecting packages; and socialization cues, such as the presence of salespersons or other customers. The three types of cues were varied among the simulations, and for each simulation, the consumer was asked to indicate how likely it is they would want to shop at that corner store.
     It turned out that the most important of the three to the study participants was ample allowance for socializing. Shoppers want to have conversations and meet locals like themselves. Ambiance and design do count, but with these consumers, cues for socializing were tops.
     A challenge for corner store operators who want to make space for socializing is that the physical space is limited and what is available needs to be occupied with merchandise. A primary reason people come there is to purchase items, and these people expect an adequate variety in stock and on display. 
     One way around the challenge is to allow extra space for standing in front of food and food-related items you sell. The Nielsen Company, which tracks consumer sentiments, calls food “the social network of the ages.”
     Beyond this, the corner store operator should think of other ways to maintain a psychological space that stimulates socializing. The researchers say store staff who do this are described by shoppers with words like sincere, understanding, and caring.
     The study was conducted in Thailand, which is a collectivist society, and 71% of the study participants were female. For shoppers from individualistic cultures and for certain populations such as young men, the importance of public socializing spaces is probably less. Still, even these consumers might once in a while prefer a friendly corner store to a mission-designed convenience store.

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

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Socialize for the Next Four Years
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