If you are a pet owner, chances are high you are guilty of talking to your cat or dog as if it’s human. Or even give it its own little raincoat when the weather is bad. That sort of interaction is how we create a strong emotional bond with our pet and how it becomes part of the family. Or maybe you give your car a name. A bit strange, but it helps to create a sense of personal connection and attachment to the vehicle. Ever heard of the movie Cast Away? This movie depicts a deep truth about the irrepressible social nature of humans: the main character, who is left alone on a deserted island, personifies a volleyball and names him Wilson. He does this because of his basic need for social interaction. Wilson is the symbol of hope and of his salvation.
Picture this: you're wandering the aisles of a grocery store, looking for a healthy snack. You come across two seemingly identical products, but one has a brand name that's as long as a Shakespearean monologue, while the other has a snappy, short name that's easier to remember. Which one are you more likely to trust as the healthier choice? Did you rely on your instincts and beliefs about the product rather than scrutinizing its nutritional label?
As consumers, our food choices are heavily influenced by our intuition (Chan & Zhang, 2022; Motoki & Togawa, 2022). In turn, our intuition is largely shaped by branding elements. From brand names to logos and even the personality associated with a brand, these cues offer us valuable information that guides our purchasing decisions.
For instance, foods packaged in green or blue colors are often perceived as healthier, while those in red packaging may trigger a different response (Huang & Lu, 2015; Schuldt, 2013). But what about brand names? Can a simple name affect how we perceive the healthfulness of a product?
“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world” the words of Mark Twain, an American writer in the late 1800s. “I know because I've done it thousands of times.” In the present day, it’s crystal clear that smoking and alcohol consumption is a great health risk, but still, it’s very difficult for people to quit or decrease their consumption of these indulgence.
The motto “Prevention is better than cure” (Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus) has motivated scientists around the world to look into ways to help people live healthier lives and avert diseases. Moreover, more and more companies are becoming socially responsible and looking into ways to promote healthy purchase decisions.
But how to do that?
Taste is taste, isn't it? Well, not quite! What if I told you that the color, shape, and packaging of a product can significantly alter the way we perceive its flavor?
Imagine this: a vibrant, red soda can with a sleek, modern design. Your taste buds anticipate a bold and exciting, perhaps cherry-flavored experience. Now, picture that same drink in a plain, unadorned can. Suddenly, your expectations shift, and the taste seems more muted, subtle, or even unexpected. In this blog, we will uncover the secrets of how our senses collaborate with design, presentation, and surroundings to shape the way we taste things. Get ready to discover how the look and feel of a product can play a tantalizing role in the delightful dance of flavors on your palate.
Consumer psychologists and neuromarketing researchers try to disentangle what makes a product stand out on a shelf. With eye tracking, we can now measure even the most subtle attentional effects.
The major factor driving attention is hardly surprising: shelf position. For example, eye tracking studies reveal that areas slightly below eye level vertically, and in the middle of a shelf segment horizontally, constitute premium shelf real estate that demand more shopper eye balls and higher conversion rates.
Interestingly, attention is not only determined by shelf position, but on a more subtle level also by the neighboring products. For example, a product that’s placed right next to the market leader tends to benefit greatly from attentional spillover. It simply has a higher chance of being discovered and therefore to end up in the customer’s shopping basket.