Friday, February 18, 2022

Lend a Hand to Brand Selfies

Proud purchasers of branded items might want to show them off with selfies distributed widely via social media. If you’re the marketer of that brand, you’d benefit from knowing which selfie characteristics pique purchase interest in viewers of those images.
     Researchers at University of Hamburg, Vienna University of Economics and Business, and Columbia University compared three formats: 
  • Pack shot. A standalone picture of the item with the brand logo clearly displayed 
  • Consumer selfie. Like a pack shot, but the face of the selfie poster or item user is also in the frame 
  • Brand selfie. Like a consumer selfie, but rather than a face, only a hand holding the item is shown
     It was the brand selfie format which produced evidence of the highest purchase intention by the social media viewer. The explanation is in the ability of the viewer to imagine themselves holding the item. The pack shot doesn’t do as well in getting the viewer in touch with the item. The face in the consumer selfie directs thoughts away from the brand and toward the person shown.
     When we imagine holding an item, we become more likely to purchase it. Also, depending on the angle of the shot, the brand selfie could imply that the model in the photo is handing the item to the viewer, adding to this impact. Studies at Brigham Young University and University of Michigan indicate that if you aim for this, you should have the hand on the left side of the image. Right-handed people—constituting the large majority of most stores’ customers—are more likely to buy items which are displayed in a way the items can be easily picked up with the right hand.
     In all this, we’re assuming the poster is proud of the branded item. If the selfie is intended to warn people away from a purchase, omitting the face has varying results. When a shopper viewing a negative review is unsure of the identity of the reviewer, they often assume the reviewer is like them, adding credibility to the review. When a negative reviewer is clearly identified and the shopper already has developed positive feelings about the brand, the shopper often starts thinking how they are different from the reviewer in order to discount the negative review. They want to like the item.
     And a review is more influential if the shopper feels a similarity to the reviewer.

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