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Jul 2, 2013
Market Watch is a snapshot of current issues and insights that can influence your consumers or customers and, therefore, impact your brand
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.
• Musical tempo: One supermarket found slow
in-store music to increased sales by 38% vs.
• 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
• 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
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
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
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
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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.
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
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
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
Tesco.com. 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.
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:
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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”.