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Making Sense - The Impact of Senses on Shopping and other articles


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Market Watch is a snapshot of current issues and insights that can influence your consumers or customers and, therefore, impact your brand

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Making Sense - The Impact of Senses on Shopping and other articles

  1. 1. ©XPotential 2010 October 2010 Feature Focus: Making sense We rely mostly on visual features when trying to influence consumers, but there are widely un-tapped opportunities to reach them on influential levels through other senses. Sound: • Musical tempo: One supermarket found slow in-store music to increased sales by 38% vs. fast tempo. • Volume: Loudness leads to shorter shopping times, but does not decrease number of purchases. One coffee shop used louder music at busy times to speed up consumer traffic flow. • Alignment: Bespoke store radio, fitting music to the shopping missions typical to different times of day has been shown to boost sales, and the theory could be applied to e commerce too. Many brands use sound well as part of their signature to create a holistic and memorable brand feel. McDonald’s “I’m loving it” is recognised by 93% of people who've heard it. Sound can even effect spending and product choice. Dr Adrian North, found people spent the most while listening to upmarket classical music, which evokes more affluent associations. In another study, he found that a French wine was more likely to be chosen over German when a store was playing French music. Chef, Heston Blumenthal, has found that use of sound can also increase product enjoyment. Diners found his oyster dish tastier when provided with sea sound effects (now part of the dish). Smell: 75% of our daily emotions are generated by smell and smells cue memory more effectively than any other sense. Issues: So sound and smell have been proven to effect consumers, but as a relatively unexplored approach, their use in marketing can be controversial. A few years ago in San Francisco, a “Got milk?” campaign used cookie- scented strips on their bus stop posters, which had to be removed after complaints. Although the cookie smell was congruent with the milk brand, in a bus stop the smell appeared confusing, unauthentic and suspicious. Fashion retailer, Hollister is renowned for its loud music, aimed to pump up customers and deter older shoppers who don’t fit their cool image. Due to company policy, the music must remain at 80-85 decibels, even though it poses a danger of permanent hearing loss to employees. Consumer Connections: What’s on offer? With new laws to monitor use of misleading offers being put in place in the UK, many retailers and manufacturers will have to rethink the way they promote their products on offer. This provides an opportunity to reconsider some key points in constructing effective offers. The new laws proposed by the Office of Fair Trading (to come into effect this December) aim to protect consumers from misleading and confusing promotions that make it difficult to see true value and can lead to stress, annoyance and an unpleasant store- experience. These include: offer period extension, baiting (where availability is very limited) and tighter regulations on the use of the word “free”, for example in the extensively used BOGOF - a move bringing the UK closer to EU countries like (continued on next page) Trend Spotting: UGC ads - Peperami The latest brand to dabble in User Generated Content (UGC) Advertising is the sausage-snack brand, Peperami, aiming to be “bold, experimental and engaging”. Crowd-sourced ads offer some attractive features: consumer engagement, social media activity and buzz. But what will happen when the trend becomes passé and loses the buzz? Wannabe creatives will still submit entries, but the goal of UGC competitions extends beyond entrants, to reaching a wider audience of voters and viewers whose interest does not depend on winning. Engagement is core in Peperami’s aim, but how engaging have they been compared to their peers? T-Mobile’s “Night In” show- cased happy customers’ in home-made ads. Peperami’s advert was made by an agency, using a pre-existing character. Doritos “King of Ads” crowd-sourced winner- selection to public vote. Peperami decided their own winner – choosing an entry from an advertising executive. Their only clear accomplishment was avoiding agency fees. And although UG ads are seen as a new “innovative” trend, sceptics point out that crowd-sourcing takes group collaboration, these are really just competitions, the likes of which (for radio jingles) have been around for the best part of a century.
  2. 2. ©XPotential 2010 -2- Retail Therapy: Drive-thru Tesco The eyes of dubious analysts are on Tesco as they pilot their drive-thru collect service for shopping online. The service is aimed at those such as busy mums who can’t commit to waiting in for home delivery and don’t want to drag their kids around the store. Analysts say that there’s little potential to roll the service out across stores as they are simply not big enough to operate the service efficiently. It could be argued that the issue of waiting in for delivery could be addressed by using this budget to take on a bigger delivery fleet in order to shorten the waiting at home time instead. Some retailers, such as Boots, already offer an order online, collect in-store service. However the volume of a Boots shopping trip is considerably less than a Tesco’s one and the customer is still required to come in-store which means less extra staff are needed and there is the possibility of making further sales to them. Sceptics also point out that benefits could only be marginal, as only 5% of Tesco’s sales are made online, however this is over-looking the possibility that the convenience of the drive- thru service will attract more custom to Online grocery shopping is not a format to be overlooked, with combined online grocery sales (of the main 5) now topping Waitrose’s sales and market share at 4.2%. With this growth and Tesco’s investment in online shopping through their piloted Drive- thru service, there could be some big implications for shopper marketing to consider, such as a new type of shopper journey; matters of signage, atmosphere, proximity and service are all still relevant but may need to be addressed in a new way, and if more retailers follow Tesco in encouraging online shopping, it’s worth the investment. Brand Barometers: Should Old Spice have gone funny? “Smell Like A Man” Old Spice campaign has become a famous social media success, boosting sales and awareness through use of humour – a well-crafted plan for the brand? Some experts think not, saying that turning the brand into a comedy subject will be damaging in the long run, alienating its original loyal consumers by making a joke of their product. They say that clear beliefs are what sell, humour confuses the message – is the ad trying to entertain or to inform about a product? But maybe Old Spice does both at once. Humour allows a message to reach people subconsciously, in a way that a serious ad with obvious selling objectives would not. It creates an association of positive feeling, as long as the brand is visibly placed and relevant to the humour, like Old Spice is. Humour also achieves higher audience attention span and a much better likelihood of user circulation (why would you send a serious advert to friends?). Market Watch is a snapshot of current issues and insights that can influence your consumers or customers and, therefore, impact your brand. If you would like further information about these articles or our services, you can reach us on: (44) 01628 485847 or visit our website XPotential aligns individuals, functions and organisations, throughout the world, to create and deliver brand equity. Consumer Connections: What’s on offer cont.? Germany, where use of the term “free” is prohibited unless no money is exchanged at all. The rules crack down on limited availability offers, but is this necessary? Yes, there is a feeling of disappointment if you miss the chance to benefit from an offer, but without the possibility of missing out, motivation to get to the shop quickly depletes. One shopper sums it up, “I don’t want to feel cheap, I want to feel lucky”. Shoppers not wanting to feel “cheap” is an insight supported by evidence that deep discounts don’t gain new consumers and their loyalty effectively. The Institute of Promotional Marketing has warned that discounts over 25% aren’t effective in persuading shoppers to try a new product or be loyal to it. Over half of consumers would switch brand on a shallow discount coupon. Customers were more loyal to a coupon product when discount was lower. Some suggest that price cuts even damage brands, and that a more effective and brand-building tactic is to use promotions that offer something extra rather than a discounted price. For example, Marmite’s promotion packs entitling consumers to a free Horrid Henry audio book download, engaging consumers on a more memorable, meaningful and unique level than big discounts would. So this re-examination of promotional offers could encourage an effective shift in thinking, away from “limited offer” extensions that reduce the sought after “lucky” feeling and away from promotions based on cheapness which are ineffective in changing loyalty. Remember, “I don’t want to feel cheap, I want to feel lucky”.