The White Road To Impulsivity


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A new look at impulsivity from a shopper marketing perspective.

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The White Road To Impulsivity

  1. 1. White Road Impulsivity
  2. 2. “White-road and red-road journeys are qualitatively different. You need the right map. On the red road it is about the destination. On the white road it is about the road. On the white road you must travel light. The white road is quiet. It is about simplicity. It is often adventurous. You need to dig deep. Sometimes there is no road. You have to trust your gut.” - Gary Erickson, Clif Bar
  3. 3. Impulse I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spontaneously bought another tube of lip gloss that I just “had to have.” Although I have plenty of options in my purse, something tells me I need just one more. Impulsive, you say? Well, I’m not the only one. I talked to three other people who also tend to make impulsive decisions. Let’s see how they justify their actions and what it means for those of us in marketing.
  4. 4. The Keeter Ladies Casino Patrons Do you consider yourself an impulsive person? “Not really. I’m usually very conscious when it comes to buying things, but I have no self control at the casino. I have to leave my wallet in the car, or I’ll keep going to the ATM!” How do you justify your impulsivity at the casino? “It’s my guilty pleasure. I don’t go that often, and I enjoy making the trip a special occasion with my grandma. I think – oh, what’s another $20…I won’t eat out next week.” Do you ever feel regret after gambling? “Only if I lose!”
  5. 5. Amy Callahan-Stillman Infomercial Addict Do you consider yourself an impulsive person? “I guess you could say that. I’m pretty laid back and will sometimes make a decision without thinking too much about it.” What drives your impulsivity with infomercials? “The amazing results the products claim to provide. I mean, I’m in sales and know it’s a total pitch, but I get totally sucked in!” Do you ever feel regret after making an impulsive purchase? “Sometimes when I realize I didn’t really need the product, but it’s okay. That’s the fun part of life. That’s what you do before you have kids, right?”
  6. 6. Amy Mastin •New Bride (engaged for just 2 weeks) •Bought a new car during a routine oil change Do you consider yourself an impulsive person? “It’s easy to be impulsive if you trust your instincts. When you’re older, you have more life experience and know what you want.” What made you decide to get married in only 2 weeks? “We dated in the past and recently got back together. We knew we’d make a great family.” Do you ever feel regret after an impulsive decision? “I make decisions easily and don’t live with regret. Once I make up my mind, I don’t look back.”
  7. 7. End of the Road We are a society that demands instant gratification. Whether it’s one more pull on the slot machine, the desired comfort of a new red Snuggie or making the commitment to a life partner, when we want something, we want it immediately. Although different people have different levels of impulsivity, everyone has a trigger and can usually find a way to justify their purchase or action. It’s just a matter of defining what that trigger is for our target audience in order to reach them at the right place and right time to satisfy their need. A little spontaneity is good for the soul, right?
  8. 8. “On the white road, the moment – the journey itself – matters most.” - Gary Erickson, Clif Bar
  9. 9. White Road Warrior Marta Kiser is an Account Planner at MARS, a leading U.S. shopper marketing agency. She’s proud to be a natural on the white road. As a planner, she’s not afraid to ask each unique life traveler she encounters the questions you won’t find in any survey. As an outdoor adventurer, she doesn’t need a map to reach her destination.