Every time I go into a shop I will be aware of what is making me buy from now on...
All of the retailers are getting help on how to make us buy by the great minds of neuroscience. Now, we have listed some of the ways that stores get you to shop so that you can resist when you want to!!
I hope you have a great weekend and see you next week.
1) CREATING WANT-NEEDS
The old parental retort — to a child desperate for the latest trainers or toy — goes: “You don’t need it, you want it.” But blurring the line between those two verbs is what retailers fantasise about. Want-needs, according to Lewis, “generate an emotional desire so powerful that … it has to be satisfied, no matter what the cost”. Tactics to turn a want into a want-need include making the shopper work for the product (rifle through tat for that designer bargain!), imposing scarcity (there are just six £32,000 crystal-embellished Dolce & Gabbana red dresses in the world!), provoking inadequacy (you never realised you had ugly elbows ’til now, but here’s the magic potion that’ll turn your woeful wenis into a wonder wenis!) and by passing off buying as playing (consider the theme park shop, a “disguised supermarket”).
The idea of atmospherics — designing retail space to up a customer’s purchasing probability — was dreamed up three decades ago by Philip Kotler, professor of marketing at Northwestern University. Today, though, it is a more honed art. Lights in a discount store will be bright to show off its wares; in an upmarket shop, they’ll be more subdued. Supermarkets are even craftier, Lewis notes: they use “warmer lights in the bakery and cooler ones in butchery”. Cosmetics departments, meanwhile, use soft lighting to “flatter the face”. Colour is also important: blues and greens made shoppers feel calm, red and dark colours increase stress and tension. Music matters too — even when shoppers can’t remember what was playing (baby boomers spend when classic rock is blaring out, wine shoppers buy more expensive bottles when classical music is on). The tempo also affects the speed at which customers move around a store: slower music means they linger longer.
This is an ugly word for the dark art of customer service, which has evolved way beyond the mantra that “the customer is always right”. Technology giant Apple is a prime example, with its Genius army going through extensive vetting and training before donning that blue T-shirt. In an article for the website Gizmodo last year, Sam Biddle wrote that the idea is to “become strong while appearing compassionate; persuade while seeming passive, and empathise your way to a sale”. There is even a five-part plan: Approach, Probe, Present, Listen, End (see what they did there?), and employers use the words “feel”, “felt” and “found” extensively to show they understand shoppers’ needs. As Biddle puts it: “Every customer should feel empowered, when it’s really the Genius pulling strings.”
4) EMOTIONAL ENGINEERING
Lewis quotes a survey of US parents which found that two-thirds believed their children were aware of brands from the age of three. “From playground to playing field and schoolroom to boardroom, brands are increasingly perceived as the outward and visible signs of personal accomplishment and social inclusion,” he declares. And brands employ pictures, colours, music and words to trigger emotional attachments, acting like “brain worms” that seep into our consciousness. Take the Maccy D’s slogan “I’m lovin’ it”. It slides into the viewer’s mind, they may start to repeat it themselves, and by the use of “I’m” instead of “you’re”, Lewis writes, customers give themselves a command to “love” McDonald’s. In other words: Big Brother has been outclassed by a burger chain.