BrainTrust Query: The Shopper’s Trophy, Part 2 – Creating the Crave

Discussion
Sep 14, 2011

Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from The Shopper Revolution, powered by MARS Advertising.

In order for an item to become an impulse buy, a shopper must become aware of the product and must perceive it as an opportunistic purchase. Opportunistic buys include suddenly-remembered purchases, good “deals,” something available for a limited time, or anything that is a bit unexpected but worth buying.

After those first two imperatives, it is possible that the product will land in the shopper’s cart. It may even be a slack budget expenditure. But without the third imperative, craving, it is still not a “trophy” purchase, the one she brags about to friends and family.

The quest to create craving is not new. It’s what marketers tackle every day. Grocery items considered “need-buys” could take some lessons from items considered “want-buys.”

Shoppers respond viscerally to the possibility of hedonic rewards: the aroma of the baking bread, the silky sheen of a chocolate fountain, the hiss of a soda can opening. These cues are found in nearly every airport and mall. While these are places of immediate consumption, grocery categories might adopt more of these techniques to rev up impulse.

It is the rare product that doesn’t have some sort of hedonic reward attached to it. The brands which have identified these rewards have set themselves apart. For example, strangely, family planning is far down on the “need-buy” list. Yet, there are fewer more sought after hedonics than sex. Trojan has begun to proliferate the category with fun flanker products, some of which surely help to sell the primary line. Axe deodorant knows about hedonics and has built a brand around it. Dog food is also deeply in the “need-buy” category, yet pet owners clearly delight in pleasing their pets. Why not have a surprise treat in every bag, like a cracker jack prize for Fido? It should be featured on the front of the bag.

A fast, emotional sell also relies on pictures. Shoppers react emotively and quickly to pictures. The most effective pictures elicit the emotional response of the brand benefit. For example, recently we saw a cartoon elephant close a sale for a woman shopping the tea aisle. The happy elephant made her smile and gave her a taste of how the product would make her feel at home. She bought it spontaneously.

Finally, the trophy purchase is extra-ordinary. To be a trophy, the product need be positioned as a treat and not something the shopper simply needs to buy. It is the “normal” category of mental accounting that must be transcended. It doesn’t have to be the Hope Diamond, but it should be something that (in the shopper’s mind) breaks with routine and adds to her spice of life — because the “spice of life” is the real benefit of the trophy.

Discussion Question: What drives a craving purchase in the in-store shopping experience? Overall, what conditions do you think are needed for food retailers to deliver a trophy purchase for consumers?

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14 Comments on "BrainTrust Query: The Shopper’s Trophy, Part 2 – Creating the Crave"

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Anne Howe
BrainTrust

It’s still hard to expect that items on the grocery trip can elicit this kind of trophy response. But, a perfect example of something that can is the Missoni product extravaganza at Target. I’m heading there right now ( literally ) to check it out after browsing Target.com. And, because of my “want” for a trophy Missoni sweater, Target gets my stock-up grocery trip this week instead of Meijer.

Hopefully I’ll be rockin’ that new Missoni sweater at the next Shopper Marketing conference! I’m quite certain it will add some “spice” to my life.

Doron Levy
Guest
Doron Levy
5 years 9 months ago

Impulse items must have a ‘shiny factor’. The ‘shinier’ the better. And by ‘shiny’, I mean it has to have instant appeal. Explosive packaging, uniqueness in what it does, pricing that isn’t going to make the shopper think twice. How the product is displayed is also a major factor of its ‘shininess’. I got scooped for a new barbecue lighter that had a little light built into it and an adjustable neck. Nicely packaged, displayed prominently on pegs in the cash lanes and all this fun for only $5.99. Did I need it? Nope. Matches still do the trick but now I can light my barbecue at midnight with no worries.

Matthew Keylock
Guest
Matthew Keylock
5 years 9 months ago

Agree with Anne! My wife had a great day at Target yesterday, although she’s already slightly zig-zagged out!

I think this highlights one of the key tools that marketers need to use: scarcity or exclusivity.

I believe the value of these tools has been amplified through the growth of social and word of mouth media.

Liz Crawford
BrainTrust

About Missoni at Target — I understand that the Target.com website crashed because there were so many Missoni shoppers!

Adrian Weidmann
BrainTrust

Shopper’s want to be surprised and delighted. The discovery of unearthing that special ‘prize’, whether it’s based on price, size, color, etc, is a tremendous joy. It’s that same jubilation when you find that unique ‘prize’ at a flea market. As far as hedonic rewards are concerned, smell is a unique human sense in that it cannot be filtered by the brain. Using scent as part of an in-store strategy has been shown to enhance brand recognition and affiliation by as much as 40%. Scent can be integrated into an in-store rich media strategy very effectively, whether it’s the aroma of fresh linen, sawdust, fresh cut grass, freshly baked bread and even basil, which could certainly be that ‘spice in her life’.

Mark Price
BrainTrust
Craving, or “desiring something intensely,” is driven by the creative experience in-store, which permits the customer to envision themselves using the product and already experiencing the benefits, usually sensory ones. To succeed at generating craving, retailers must go beyond making the rational sell — they must focus on “selling the sizzle, not the steak.” By evoking specific sounds, smells or experiences from a customer’s past (or the past that customer wished that they had experienced), the retailer links both the logical and rational sides of the brain with the emotional — the right side — the most likely to win. Key tactics in-store to achieve this goal are sampling (first and foremost), video, and evocative imagery. The amount of work involved in creating a craving sensation means that a retailer can only strive to create a craving experience for a limited number of products at a specific time. The combination of physical and electronic requirements will stretch the retail organization in their coordination and execution resources to the limits of their ability. The key to business success leveraging craving is to select the right products and deliver the experience that will drive the craving for customers who are the most… Read more »
Ed Rosenbaum
BrainTrust

Thankfully, my wife is not into Missoni. Oh, wait a minute, she just said she is leaving for Target. Guess I was wrong again.

Anne Howe
BrainTrust

Now that I have my sights set on a ziggy-zaggy Missoni trophy, take a minute to read my blog post that describes my very recent shopper’s journey to Target.

M. Jericho Banks PhD
Guest
M. Jericho Banks PhD
5 years 9 months ago
Am I the only one who read the reference about an elephant selling tea and was reminded of the Republican/Tea Party relationship? Cool! Subliminal political message noted and appreciated. As an aside, the Target website crashed because of inquiries about those ugly, eye-exam, Missoni products. There’s obviously no accounting for taste. But to the topic, which is really a linguistic Macarena designed to clothe an old concept in new Missoni britches: The old, yet venerable and still apropos, concept is “value equation.” Value equations are unique to every individual and are in constant flux fueled by outside influences such as paydays, peer influence, quality, taste/design, utility, price, familial expectations, timing, convenience, experience, availability, and on and on and on. At any time and for any reason, any one of these and other influences could rise to the top of an individual’s value equation priority queue. Value equations and definitions of “trophy purchases” are dynamic, not static, due to constantly shifting influences. Be known for new. Be known for special. Be known for the unexpected. Sometimes our purchases are less important for what they are than for where they were bought. Harry Winston comes to mind. Retailers who wish to become… Read more »
Anne Bieler
Guest
Anne Bieler
5 years 9 months ago

Craving comes from the deep emotional connections to a special brand, triggered by a great deal, or a new product offering (think Apple!) Something eye catching from the food aisle can attract, but you need a more to engage consumers at the emotional level to become a trophy. As discussed, you truly have to surprise shoppers — most of our shopping is done through habit — seek and scan. To reach the consumer through all that is on the shelves and become a trophy, the message has to be unexpected and new, and instantly understood.

Interesting how much attention marketers are paying to QR codes and Augmented Reality (AR) apps for packaging to create a new consumer experience — Pringles “football” or McDonald’s Apple Dipper tree planting campaign: there is more on the way…many new levels of possibilities.

Mark Burr
Guest
5 years 9 months ago
It was a different time and a different place, but growing up in an Italian owned supermarket with exceptional perimeter departments, I learned a bit about creating the craving and promoting the “have to have some” purchases as a result. There was no question that a completely scratch bakery at the time had a significant impact upon both craving and impulse purchases. The aromas were amazing at the time. I can still smell them as I write — the incredible smell of freshly baked white bread in the mornings; the distinct smell of garlic and asiago cheese bread in the afternoon; the incredible craving caused by brownies baked fresh right before the dinner rush to be ready for dessert. These great aromas not only caused customers to buy at the moment but caused them to return again and again. Out of a relatively small store by today’s standards, they drove sales of just regular in-store baked white bread to about 1,200 loaves a day, even on a weekday. The owners new this. They understood it. It was exploited. There were ribs and chicken roasting all afternoon in the deli. There was a daily choice of meat for sampling in the… Read more »
Ralph Jacobson
BrainTrust

This is about converting “desire” to “demand.” The product has to be on the wish list typically, for there to be a compelling reason to think about making the unintended, impulsive purchase. If the retailer makes a strong, “sparkly” offer for the shopper and connects with a common desire in a wide audience, then the odds of selling more of these items or services will increase.

Tony Orlando
BrainTrust

The deli is the best chance to get the craving rush mentioned here. Homemade signature foods always will get the smile on the customer’s faces, and usually will end up with a sale they had not planned on. In and out massive deals, such as .99/pkg. Johnsonville breakfast sausage will have them breaking down the doors to buy cases of it for their freezers. I’m working on a fresh gourmet cinnamon roll that will create the buzz, and it is what motivates me everyday. In this dismal economy, hitting the home-run is the key to keep your name in the minds of the consumers.

Candace Oshinsky
Guest
Candace Oshinsky
5 years 9 months ago

This is a wonderful topic. While I am not sure of conditions that must be met, I would like to throw out a thought. What if the shopper was to sample the product being “impulsively” bought? Would that act as the third component of a “trophy” purchase? We all know sampling brings more sales.

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