Monday, December 25, 2023

Gut Discrimination Using Commonalities

People are most comfortable associating with others who share their social identity. One example is that retail salespeople whose religious beliefs disparage lesbian and gay marriage relationships might hesitate interacting with lesbian or gay shoppers purchasing wedding-related services.
     A set of University of Texas at El Paso and University of Wyoming studies indicates that the consequence of this gut reaction is flawed service. This pattern was seen most clearly in study scenarios where the identity relevance of the service was high. It was seen with a retail transaction for a wedding ring, but not with one for a birthday gift ring.
     Flawed service corrupts retail profitability. The operator of the business may have little or no prejudice toward shoppers who present as lesbian or gay. But if the salespeople discriminate against these groups, the operator benefits from easing the salesperson-shopper interaction discomfort. Fortunately, the researchers find how the remedy to the problem resides in its cause. If we show these religiously conservative salespeople aspects of social identity they have in common with the lesbian and gay consumers, service quality should improve. Successful interventions in the studies included asking study participants to “write about the commonalities that you and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) individuals hold. Some similarities that you could focus on are that both are human beings, both seek to love others, both have families and friends, etc.”
     The researchers point to how such interventions go beyond the usual diversity, sensitivity, and empathy training methods. Feedback to identify discriminatory service is important in the researchers’ suggested system. It would be prejudicial in itself to assume that every religious salesperson will provide poor service to every lesbian or gay shopper. For one thing, the researchers found that the problem arose with those reporting intrinsic religiosity (“I try to live all my life according to religious beliefs”) more than with those reporting extrinsic religiosity (“I go to church because it helps me to make friends”).
     Other research also finds advantages to surfacing commonalities with shoppers. Researchers at University of British Columbia and INSEAD Singapore set up a study in which a personal trainer offered a trial fitness program. Participants who believed the fitness instructor was born on the same day as them were more likely to buy a membership. Dental patients who believed they were born in the same place as their dentist were more likely to schedule future appointments.

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

Click for more…
Go Over the Rainbow for LGBT Retailing 

Monday, December 18, 2023

Embed Politically Hot Facts in Personal Stories

Political opinions resist change. New information which confirms previously held beliefs is attended to and remembered well. Any new information which contradicts beliefs is ignored or forgotten. The result is political polarization or even dehumanization of those whose views oppose our own.
     Based on their study results, researchers at University of Kaiserslautern-Landau and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggest that telling stories can dissolve the dehumanization. True stories of personal experiences in which true facts about the political issues are embedded. This is consistent with the broader finding of consumer research that with disagreements such as political positions, where emotional engagement is high, personal stories are more persuasive than impersonal numbers. But better yet is a synergistic combination of tales and facts.
     The researchers were interested in how news media and social media can improve partisan relations and not inflame partisan tensions. They conclude that the best stories for reporters to tell describe ways strongly held political beliefs led to or avoided personal harm. The result is that people with opposing views are considered less as an enemy. Sharing personal experiences mentally transports listeners into the narrative, which curbs counterarguing. Talking about harm facilitates empathy because we all fear harm.
     Prior research identifies four additional characteristics of persuasive stories
  • Authenticity. Keep important details the same each time you tell the tale. Reports of outrageous outcomes in bizarre circumstances are not influential. 
  • Conciseness. Keep it short. Make the point of each story crystal clear. 
  • Reversal. Use contrast to highlight differences among points of view. If the contrast is good versus bad, though, be careful not to portray an opponent’s views as evil. 
  • Humor. Like narrative transportation, humor heads off counterarguments. Your audience is too busy chuckling to challenge points of your story. Check that the humor doesn’t ridicule the target’s point of view. A touch of self-deprecation in the humor portrays humility, which people in many cultures find endearing.
     Starting off by asking about the experiences of your targets of political persuasion is another validated tactic. Listen to stories of life experiences told by the partisan which have led to mistaken beliefs and then share true stories that illustrate a more accurate worldview. All this should be conducted with the exchange of tales in ways which sidestep personal judgments of each other. The objective is to let others know they’ve been fooled without making them think they’re fools.

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

Click for more…
Craft Powerful Stories 

Monday, December 11, 2023

Voice Persuasion from a Number of Speakers

Up to a point, the more persuasive messages I hear for a course of action, the more likely I will be persuaded. What researchers at Singapore Management University, Cornell University, and INSEAD, France add to this commonsense formula is that, up to a point, the greater the number of distinctive voices presenting the messages, the more compelling will be the persuasion.
     Analysis of Kickstarter fundraising campaigns showed that adding another voice while keeping the length of the appeal the same increased by almost 40% both the tally of people making any pledge and the average amount pledged. In a laboratory study, the more voices included in a brief video advertising a cell phone charger, the greater the dollar amount people said they’d be willing to pay for the charger.
     Certainly, one explanation for the advantage of an additional voice is that it implies the appeal of the persuasive messages is more widespread. Additionally, the researchers’ explanation for the effect is that a change in voice restores attention which may have drifted away from the messages. Analysis of the study data suggests that having an additional voice or voices is best when the messages are relatively simple so that less effort is needed for comprehension, and even with simple messages, the effect works best when the speakers talk at a moderate rather than rushed pace.
     The characteristics of voices also make a difference. Duke University researchers found that if the announcer advertising a retail service is a man, the women listening to the ad are more likely to purchase the service when that announcer uses a creaky voice rather than a smooth voice. When the announcer in the advertisement was a woman, female listeners were more likely to make a buy if they heard a smooth voice instead of a creaky voice. Female consumers go for smooth in women and angular in men.
     Researchers at California State University Bakersfield centered their inquiry about voice assistant personality on the principle that the main objective of a persuasive voice should be to flow us through the transaction. The researchers asked a total of 275 consumers to rate on seventy personality traits the voices of Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, and Google Assistant. Among the characteristics found to clearly enhance a prospect’s flow state were intelligence, defined as how competent and confident the voice sounds, and sincerity, defined as how friendly and agreeable the voice sounds. 

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

Click for more…
Visualize Beyond Three Claims 

Monday, December 4, 2023

Free Constrained from Self-Gifting Constraint

An important way in which consumer psychology research assists both marketers and shoppers is by exposing mistaken assumptions. For example, both sellers interested in targeting their advertising and buyers interested in peace of mind are likely to assume that financial strains cause people to lose benefits from buying gifts for themselves.
     Researchers at Cornell University, Indiana University, and Duke University verify that not just financial constraints but also perceived time and mental energy constraints reduce interest in self-gifting and that one reason is consumers’ belief that feeling constrained will necessarily stymie post-purchase enjoyment of the gift. The researchers also present evidence that this belief is mistaken. In actuality, the self-gift generally repairs mood.
     In their studies, the researchers defined self-gifting as a process of invoking a hedonic consumption experience, with the a priori intention of boosting one’s emotional well-being. The gift is the consumption, not the acquisition. Not the purchase of a bar of luxury soap in itself, but rather the use of the soap, which was intended before purchase as providing a way to improve the purchaser’s mood. It’s relevant that acquisition of the gifts described in the studies—headphones, biscotti, soap—would be unlikely to substantially increase the user’s financial, time, or mental energy stresses. In my opinion, the results might well be different for self-gifts which are extraordinarily expensive or require extensive time commitments to master.
     For the type of modest gifts used as examples in the studies, the researchers recommend to marketers techniques for combatting consumers’ mistaken belief that feeling constrained will necessarily stymie post-purchase enjoyment of a self-gift: Avoid featuring resource constraints such as a one-day sale or a short-term rental. Position the potential self-gifts as distinctively beneficial for people feeling time-crunched or money-crunched and as assisting with self-care.
     A related finding is that retail therapy—the intentional use of shopping by people who are feeling sad in order to improve their mood—works. Researchers at University of Michigan say the mechanism of action is restoration of control. Sadness generally arises from perceptions that situations are controlling one’s life. Deciding to go shopping and then doing it verifies to the person that they can assert themselves in the face of difficult situations. Having salespeople strive to please us, making choices among alternatives, and spending money are all signals to ourselves of being in control. Retail therapy works best in sales situations with those characteristics.

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

Click for more…
Present Self-Gifting