Monday, December 30, 2019

Experience Higher Profits with Experiences

People are more receptive to a price increase for an experience than for a material object. A major reason is that people generally consider an experience to be more distinctive than a material object, and they’re willing to pay a premium for distinctiveness.
     A set of experiments at Universidade Catolica Portuguesa suggests that the distinctiveness can be portrayed to consumers in one or more of four ways:
  • Limited opportunity. “You are here now.” “We are available now to provide this experience.” “You have the time for this experience now.” 
  • Unique design. “This experience will be dramatically different from any other experience you’ve had so far.” “Each time you partake in the experience, we can make it different for you.” 
  • Personalized design. “We will customize this experience to fit your characteristics and preferences.” 
  • Counter-conformity. “This experience allows you to temporarily rebel against what others expect you to do.” 
     Prior research has found that people usually find greater happiness in purchasing experiences than in purchasing objects because experiences bring higher pre-acquisition savoring, more opportunities to share consumption of the purchase through joint participation, and more interest of others in hearing about the purchase. These subsequent studies verify how the difference in acceptance of price increases is due to the distinctiveness apart from the expectation of greater happiness.
     An implication of the findings is that you can ease resistances to price increases for objects by emphasizing the distinctiveness of the purchase. In a counterintuitive example of this, researchers at University of Texas-Dallas found circumstances in which you should raise your price on a particular item when the price on apparently equivalent items is lowered.
     One result of such a drop by a supplier of a high-prestige item is that demand increases for a substitutable item with a higher price. The logic goes like this for the consumer, perhaps at a subconscious level: “If the price is now lower, more people will be able to buy the item. This means the people in my social group won’t be as impressed when I show them I purchased this item. However, if I buy this other item, which carries a higher price, my purchase will impress others more because it’s distinctive.”
     Whether it is in selling experiences or material objects, you should respond to increased demand by raising the price. Not a huge jump, since it’s never a good idea to gouge, but a nudge upwards.

Successfully influence the most prosperous & most loyal consumer age group. For the specific strategies & tactics you need, click here.

Click for more…
Up the Experience Purchase Quality
Prepare Customers for Price Increases
Charge for Savoring
Raise Luxury Prices If Equivalents Drop Prices
Dip Your Toe Into Extreme Experiences
Encourage Customers to Pay What’s Right

Friday, December 27, 2019

Discern Motivations for Joint Consumption

In purchasing merchandise or experiences to be shared with others, characteristics of the buyer, the other consumers, and the item all count. Researchers at University of Pittsburgh, New York University and Duke University recommend you discern the specifics to ensure optimal satisfaction.
     The fundamental balance in joint consumption decisions is between preferences of the purchaser and preferences of the others. When the group consists of family, the preferences might be quite similar because of shared genetics and life experiences. Still, different generations may have divergent objectives. Grandparents might be pleased to place the preferences of their grandchildren over their own when sharing because the grandparents will derive their enjoyment from watching the youngsters enjoy.
     With a group of friends, there are often commonalities of interests, making it easier for a retailer to suggest a purchase which will please all. In a group of coworkers, consideration of the hierarchical position of the buyer gains importance. Arranging a banquet or team building retreat in which the boss will participate is different from making arrangements when you are the boss. The salesperson should keep in mind how shared consumption decisions both reflect and affect relationship networks.
     People making joint consumption purchases generally aim for collaboration (“I’ll start by placing top importance on the item features we all like”) or compromise (“Because I selected a time I prefer, I’ll select a place they probably all prefer”). Compared with male shoppers, females are more likely to use compromise in order to maintain the relationship or, when compromise is not feasible, to give greater consideration to others’ preferences than to their own.
     When collaboration or compromise is overly difficult, the interpersonal style of the decision maker and the size of the consumption group come into play. Shoppers who pride themselves on maintaining good interpersonal relationships strive to accommodate the desires of as many of the group as possible. Shoppers who pride themselves on independence progressively neglect the desires of other group members as the size of the joint consumption group grows. As a retailer comes to know the customer over time, they can discern the customer’s placement along the interdependence-independence dimension.
     People concerned with how they appear to others are willing to spend ample time finding what would please the entire group. That characteristic might be easier to spot by looking at how the customer dresses and interacts with others in the shopping setting.

Successfully influence the most prosperous & most loyal consumer age group. For the specific strategies & tactics you need, click here.

Click for more…
Attend to Genetic Influences in Selling
Leapfrog Generations to Sell Experiences
Influence the Compromise Choice Process
Transition as Entire Cultures Transition
Discover What the Gift-Giver Expects in Giving

Monday, December 23, 2019

Enliven Influence by Viewing Life Scripts

Elderly adults generally strive to see the upside in any situation. At the same time, they tend to see their own lives as becoming more negatively-toned in advanced years. Researchers at Canada’s Wilfrid Laurier University and Brock University found this fact about life scripts to be similarly true for people across the varying cultures of twelve developed countries. Moreover, it was true for the life scripts of younger adults as well as those of the elderly.
     A life script consists of a person’s description of key events they expect to experience between birth and death. A common technique for eliciting a life script is to ask the individual to imagine an average newborn in their culture and then list the seven most important milestones this newborn would likely encounter over a subsequent lifetime.
     Because of the similarity in life script trajectories across cultures, attention to features of life scripts is especially useful to marketers who are attempting to influence groups of consumers worldwide with whom the marketers lack personal contact. We can safely assume that our target markets believe their lives will become increasingly more challenging as they enter into and then continue through their senior years. Consumers can be interested in planning to maintain what they possess and compensate for what they anticipate losing. It may take a targeted effort, though. For example, some young adults are no more motivated to save for retirement than to give money to a stranger. Those young adults view a self in the distant future to be like a stranger.
     The researchers’ review of studies considered how elderly adults perceive the trajectory of their lives, not necessarily the actual life trajectories. Because heavy responsibilities increase during young adulthood, the typical life script about that period is notably more positive than the actual sense of well-being. In the transition from middle age to old age, well-being is usually stable or increases, at least up until death approaches. However, the life scripts expressed by adults tend to overstate the downsides of the transition.
     It is consumers’ perceptions of themselves—and, in this case, the course of their lives—which are of more interest to marketers than the objective realities. People are persuaded best with appeals to their perceptions of their realities. Adults of all ages could be motivated by appeals to an underlying assumption that life satisfaction is threatened as they approach advanced age.

Successfully influence the most prosperous & most loyal consumer age group. For the specific strategies & tactics you need, click here.

Click for more…
Blend Culture into Senior Selling
Bag Consumers with Future Images

Friday, December 20, 2019

Clothe the Aged Workforce

Smart marketers have noticed that older Americans control about 70% of the disposable income in the U.S. Many of the initiatives to get seniors to spend those funds are being devoted to products and services designed to ease the health problems of aging and enhance the pleasures of leisure time.
     Researchers at San Francisco State University, University of Minnesota, and Iowa State University point to a niche that is easily overlooked in those efforts: Seniors who need clothes to wear to work. People of all ages spend more on clothes when they are employed. This is both because employers expect staff to dress to fit the position and because being employed gives the consumer more to spend. But the researchers find that holding a job is a stronger determinant of clothing purchases by the elderly than is having the money to spend.
     Along with the senior population growing in size, the percentage of seniors who choose to continue employment is high, now approaching 32%. Old age does bring health problems, and those should be accounted for in the design of apparel and of store dressing rooms. But in general, the health problems are not frequent or severe enough to hamper most seniors from seeking the social, intellectual, and economic benefits of staying on the job or seeking a post-retirement job. Based on their literature review, the researchers estimate that fully 25% of the total U.S. part-time and full-time workforce consists of people aged 65+. Many who don’t seek employment do volunteer in settings requiring a fashion cut above retirement-community casual.
     Compared to younger consumers, seniors are more willing to pay for quality, comfort, and safety. The researchers point to particular opportunities for marketers to profit from featuring women’s footwear dressy enough for an office setting while avoiding the tripping dangers of shoes acceptable to younger women. In all apparel categories, seniors prefer classic to trendy brands and styles.
     Compared to middle-aged consumers, the elderly are likely to want to refresh their wardrobe regularly in order to maintain good fit as body dimensions change. As we age, we tend to shrink in height and width, fat and muscle reconfigure themselves, and the shape of the resting posture changes.
     A need for regular updates paired with the ability and willingness to spend money and time on apparel can be a formula for success for those choosing to clothe the aged workforce.

Successfully influence the most prosperous & most loyal consumer age group. For the specific strategies & tactics you need, click here.

Click for more…
Store Goodwill with Seniors
Cut Out Trying Item Tryouts
Foot the Bill for Stocking Shoes

Monday, December 16, 2019

Beautify Persuasion Transactions

People are generally more likely to be persuaded when the face-to-face influence agent is good-looking. Handsome solicitors for charitable contributions collect more money. Beautiful store salespeople produce bigger market basket totals. Political candidates whose facial features are symmetrical are more likely to garner votes for themselves and for their causes.
     A team from America’s University of Dayton, Canada’s Concordia University, and China’s Sun Yat-sen University verified how a service representative’s physical attractiveness boosts consumer satisfaction, service quality perception, and likeability of the representative. In combination, these should lead to more repeat business. The scenarios used in the studies were a restaurant and an airport, with the attractiveness of the service provider varied.
     Encourage your workers to maintain their physical attractiveness. Charity solicitors or store salespeople don’t need to be real knockouts, though. Researchers at University of Western Australia find that human faces incorporating a typical appearance for a culture are likely to be judged as beautiful by people in that culture. This is because what is average is more familiar to us, and familiarity is comforting. In fact, the mechanism behind the beauty premium effect is that people consider themselves to be socially closer to others who look attractive. We want, and therefore tend to consider, good looking individuals to be trustworthy members of our in-group.
     Too much beauty can intimidate consumers. Studies find that shoppers who perceive themselves as being unattractive can respond negatively to salesperson beauty. In-store shoppers for appearance-oriented products compare themselves to how others in the store look. If the comparison comes across with the shopper thinking they end up on the short end, the chance of you making a sale drops.
     This idea is true not only about the clerks. When a female store mannequin looks unattainably gorgeous, women who have doubts about their attractiveness feel threatened, with the result that they criticize the product the mannequin displays.
     The researchers at University of Alberta and University of British Columbia who saw this happen also observed a similar effect in men. In this case, one explanation is that the fellows felt disturbed that they’d not be able to hold the attention of a real woman who was so attractive. Another explanation is that an attractive female mannequin stimulates in men the general idea of how society casts judgments based on physical appearance. Suggested remedies include masking the faces of mannequins or even using headless bodies.

Successfully influence the most prosperous & most loyal consumer age group. For the specific strategies & tactics you need, click here.

Click for more…
Mobilize Your In-Store Erotic Capital
Anticipate Aesthetics Avoidance
Mask Those Gorgeous Mannequins
Look Out for Ugly Shoppers!

Friday, December 13, 2019

Shove Materialistic Shoppers’ Shame

Materialistic shoppers judge themselves by how much desirable merchandise they own. The more the better. Mainstream religions judge materialistic shoppers to be shameful, if not downright evil. Marketers, economists, and consumer researchers carry a more sanguine, nuanced view of these consumers, who take pride in purchasing lots of quality stuff: As long as they don’t start to buy compulsively, hoard their large collections, ignore their vital obligations to society, or yield to scams, materialists should be able to enjoy themselves.
     With this sanguine approach in mind, researchers at University of Virginia and Bridgewater College explored how to ease the shame. The headline answer is to allow these consumers to represent themselves to others as smart shoppers. The tool to accomplish this is a program of price promotions. But recognizing which price promotions work best depends on an understanding of the moral dilemmas. Our society criticizes both wastefulness and stifled self-expression.
     Buying a never-ending supply of home improvement construction materials wouldn’t be criticized in the way that filling closets with dresses and jewelry would be. Discounts on what society considers to be nonessentials are useful in development of that smart shopper label.
     When people put forth an effort to obtain merchandise, they are seen as less self-indulgent. Reminding materialistic shoppers of what they did to earn the money they’re spending shoves away shame. Offering discounts that are unadvertised or accrue only to those who ask for it also are seen as requiring a shame-reducing effort. Along with this, obtaining any discount strengthens one’s impression of being a smart shopper.
     The size of discounts is less important than the frequency of discounts. If negotiating with the materialistic shopper, quote a moderate size discount in total dollars, not as a percentage, on a substantial bundle of items. The researchers found that a gift with the purchase also worked. In fact, a “Buy One, Get One Free” deal reduced shamefulness judgments more effectively than did a monetarily equivalent “Buy Two, Get Both 50% Off.” I believe use of the word “free” in the first offer was what made the difference.
     Interacting with a salesperson might in itself ease negative feelings beyond shame. Tilburg University studies found that a subcategory of materialistic shoppers buy in order to meter their degree of success. This habit increases isolation, so it can be said that the materialism is a cause of loneliness. These shoppers will welcome nurturing interactions from retail salespeople.

Successfully influence the most prosperous & most loyal consumer age group. For the specific strategies & tactics you need, click here.

Click for more…
Compulsive Buying Disorder. Okay, Laugh
Supersize Switching with Superconsumers
Personalize Discount Offers
Go for BOGO Free Over BOGO Discounted
Isolate Loneliness & Materialism

Monday, December 9, 2019

Attract Volunteer Retirees with Ease

Seniors who have retired from regular employment are an excellent source for volunteer services to help out your nonprofit or business. Volunteering also helps the seniors by giving them stimulation, prestige, structure, and socialization.
     Taking this into account, a pair of researchers at Deakin University and La Trobe University are troubled about the rates. They report that in the U.S., about 75% of seniors do not currently volunteer, and in Australia, where the researchers are based, volunteer rates, although higher than in America, have been declining.
     Let’s view the situation as one of untapped potential. The researchers find that once volunteering begins, the increased sense of well-being within the seniors motivates continuation. Keep it easy to get started and the momentum will carry it on. Plus, from the start, base the appeal of volunteering on the gains achieved instead of the losses avoided for the beneficiaries of the contribution. This fits best with the positivity bias carried by seniors.
     Let’s also attend to a likely reason for the low or declining rates: Seniors are staying in the workforce until higher ages than was true for the prior generation. It is at the time of retirement from regular employment that people are especially good candidates to segue into contributing their time.
     Altruism is important to the elderly. Seniors like to give their business to retailers who are compassionate, and they like to view themselves as generous. Whenever you organize a charitable activity, offer a variety of ways for your older customers to pitch in to help. One dynamic behind this is seniors’ desire to leave behind a legacy of love. Maybe behind this, in turn, is a calculation of what will be required on the résumé submitted at the Pearly Gates.
     However, contributions of money are considered differently than contributions of time. Researchers at University of Louisville and University of California-Riverside find that people with beliefs in karma—good actions produce good results at some point—will donate money more generously to charities when the appeal is the opportunity to help others. But the same sorts of people are less likely to contribute time to charitable activities when the appeal is to karma. Contributions of time are perceived as opportunities for social companionship. These strike many believers in karma as tawdry cheating, gains for oneself masquerading as selfless sacrifice. In these cases, use trigger motivations other than karma in requests for donations of time.

Successfully influence the most prosperous & most loyal consumer age group. For the specific strategies & tactics you need, click here.

Click for more…
Generate Seniors’ Generativity Now
Embrace Sadness in Marketing to Seniors
Sell Seniors on Future Plans
Consider Karma in Contributions

Friday, December 6, 2019

Describe Alternatives’ Appearances for Seniors

If shown even a small number of purchase alternatives, we can get confused later when trying to compare and contrast them from memory. Because advancing age brings memory deficits, the problem is greater for seniors. Researchers at The University of Edinburgh find that one technique smart seniors use to maintain recollections of the item alternatives is to describe the physical features of each one to themselves. With this technique, older adults can perform at about the same level as young adults.
     Success of this technique depends on the senior having sufficient opportunity to describe the item, either aloud or inside their head. To assist with this, be patient with seniors as you persuade. In addition, thoroughly describe physical characteristics of each alternative you present to seniors, such as the colors, the shape, and the size.
     Since the physical characteristics may have little to do with the functions or benefits of the item, you might be tempted to omit mention of the physical characteristics. With young adults, that’s fine. In fact, including the descriptions could irritate younger consumers, coming across as a waste of time or an effort to distract the shopper.
     But with older adults, the careful description of the physical characteristics of each alternative serves a function. This holds whether or not the physical characteristics are integral to the products’ features and benefits. Still, if you can verbally associate the physical characteristic to the specifications, so much the better. “Being less than 24 inches high, this one would fit nicely under the counter you described to me.” In comparison grids you give to a shopper or post online, include photos or illustrations of the alternatives.
     A cardinal characteristic of items is color. Colorblindness is more common in the elderly, so a comparison of the alternatives in terms of color might need to be augmented with descriptions of shape and size. And for seniors who aren’t colorblind, the best way to describe colors differs from what works best with young adults.
     Unexpected color names like “freckle brown” and blatantly ambiguous ones like “millennium orange” build interest among young shoppers, and mental involvement increases purchase likelihood. Ambiguous names work best when the shopper doesn’t see the actual product color first, while unexpected descriptive names work best when the product color is seen.
     For older consumers, an ambiguous name muddles remembering. For them, if the item is red, call it red.

Successfully influence the most prosperous & most loyal consumer age group. For the specific strategies & tactics you need, click here.

Click for more…
Remember Effective Senior Memory Training
Activate Prior Knowledge for Senior Persuasion
Juice Up Sales with Flavorful Names

Monday, December 2, 2019

Proselytize to Fit Current Culture

Almost 80% of American adults identify with some religious faith, and most Americans without religious affiliation still say they believe in God. However, a growing percentage of Americans question the value of adhering to a particular religion. Rates of membership in a church, synagogue, or mosque have fallen to about 50% overall—the lowest ever recorded by the Gallup organization.
     A professor from City University of New York and one from Italy’s Libera Università di Bolzano viewed this as a marketing challenge and so analyzed what benefits an organized religion has offered to target audiences. Their comprehensive review of research findings identified four:
  • Control over the world by adhering to a moral code. Organized religion includes petitionary prayer, in which we can achieve results via appeal to God if we adhere to God’s requirements. By behaving properly according to a well-articulated set of standards, we can largely influence whatever happens in our lives. 
  • Protection against eternal death. Through the concept of heaven or reincarnation, an organized religion relieves us from many of the anxieties about dying. 
  • Certainty in understanding the world. An organized religion includes a set of explanations for phenomena that can seem puzzling. Consumers are uncomfortable with long periods of ambiguity. Religious doctrine curbs ambiguity by advancing a master plan intended to cover even phenomena, such as human suffering, otherwise difficult to understand. 
  • Social identity. Those who are accepted by an organized religion achieve self-fulfillment and emotional comfort by labeling themselves as members of a distinctive tribe. The acceptance can come through a brief baptism, completion of a long indoctrination, or something in-between. 
     I’ve listed these in what the research review suggests is from the most to least influential value propositions for current Western cultures. So people who want to proselytize should emphasize the mastery over one’s future, including death, achieved by deep dedication to the particular organized religion.
     Because scientific explanations of previously puzzling phenomena abound in contemporary society, certainty in understanding the world depends less on organized religion than in the past. Still, there is much left to be understood, and the concept of “God’s master plan” can appeal to the human need for uncomplicated explanations.
     There are currently many ways to achieve a distinctive social identity and feel accepted by others in a group. Consequently, the professors make a case that this is a relatively weak appeal when an organized religion chooses to proselytize.

Successfully influence the most prosperous & most loyal consumer age group. For the specific strategies & tactics you need, click here.

Click for more…
Disentangle Religiosity Effects on Shopping
Use Consumer Karma to Build Repeat Business
Dimension Your Approach to Customer Culture
Sustain Mystery, But Not for Too Long
Keep It Simple, Whatever That Means!
Accept Shopper Concerns About Acceptance