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Can a Big-Box Supermarket Create ‘Liking’?

Most readers here know that one of the six principles of persuasion proposed by influence expert and recent Pubcon keynoter Robert Cialdini is “liking.” Liking can be established by displaying shared attributes – we both went to the same college, we both have Siamese cats, etc. But can faceless companies generate a similar reaction? […]

By |March 27th, 2014|

Walmart CEO Confirms Payday Timing Effect

A surprising commentary by Walmart CEO Mike Duke reinforced the theory that less affluent consumers operate on a payday-based buying cycle (see When Are Consumers Most Receptive). According to Duke, “Purchases are really dropping off by the end of the month even more than last year.” Walmart shoppers often are paid at the beginning of the month and stock up on goods then. […]

By |April 28th, 2011|

What’s A Return Policy Worth?

Ask catalog or Internet retailers what a return cost them, and they will likely be able to cite some very specific numbers reflecting shipping costs, processing labor, damaged packaging, and so on. But it turns out there’s a specific value that customers apply to returns, or, more accurately, the OPTION of returning a product. That value varies by the type of product, the product price, and other factors. […]

By |April 14th, 2011|

Sensory Marketing in Retail

Here’s an interesting little video that highlights what supermarkets and other retailers are doing to engage all the senses of their shoppers: […]

By |November 30th, 2010|

Bit Pickles & Fuzzy Olives

In The Million Dollar Pickle (retitled after a reader suggested the original title When Stories Don’t Sell wasn’t that good), I retold a story about how a single bad customer service experience turned a business author and speaker into a negative PR machine for a local supermarket. What sparked that post was my OWN version of a pickle story. Oddly, my story also involves a condiment vegetable: the humble olive. […]

By |October 6th, 2010|

Holy Branding! Religion Gives Brand Immunity

Most marketers don’t count religious affiliation or degree of religiosity as key demographics, but a new study suggests perhaps they should. Makers of branded “self expression” items (such as logo apparel or designer sunglasses) in particular may find […]

By |September 28th, 2010|

Five Magic Days to Sell (to Women)

What if there were five days every month when your customers were unusually receptive to your product? If you market products or services that make women more attractive (apparel, cosmetics, diet programs, etc.), those magic days exist. New research shows that women’s purchasing behavior is unconsciously influenced by their hormones. Specifically, it was found that women who are ovulating buy and wear sexier clothes, and their choices are less influenced by men than by the need to outdo female competition. […]

By |August 18th, 2010|

Virtual Supermarket

One of the challenges facing marketers is the difficulty in predicting real-world behavior from data captured in less than real circumstances. A horizontal, immobile subject surrounded by a claustrophobic, noisy fMRI tube might reasonably be expected to behave differently than one walking around a retail store, for example. While EEG caps and wireless transmitters have permitted capturing data from mobile subjects, they have to be in the actual environment. In many cases that is easy to do, but what if the store hasn’t been built yet? Or what if one wants to test a large number of display configurations? […]

By |July 26th, 2010|

Cut Products, Boost Sales

I’ve written about some of the research that shows that shoppers don’t always respond positively to a bigger selection of products (see More Choices, Fewer Sales) and extreme product/brand proliferation (see Mega-Branding: The Purple Oreo Problem). Now, retailers are implementing the concept of reducing selection in their stores and finding that it can indeed increase sales. […]

By |May 27th, 2010|