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Consumers: Not Fans of the Strange
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Consumers are a wiley bunch, aren't they? Nowadays they demand all access to information, they demand to know how and where their favorite things are made or how services are provided, and they even want to have dialogue with the powers behind the brands they patron.

And of course, we oblige.

But we should not take consumers' want for information as a sign of them being risk-takers. Far from it, actually. A study being published in the Journal of Consumer Research demonstrates that the more a consumer recognizes a product, the more likely they will pick it. There is a positive correlation for the opposite as well; the more a product is ignored by a consumer, the less likely they will pick it in the future.

Attention matters more than we think.

This study highlights how "habit" is nurtured. It starts out with a consumer picking products that are familiar to them. The more they pick it, the more familiar and comfortable they get. Therefore, when trying to introduce something new, or previously ignored, the consumer has an extremely hard time leaving the more familiar product.

We can apply this tidbit by making sure our brands are noticed. For email marketing, it may mean personalizing it by adding fields where their name may be plugged in. During in-store promotions, as consumers taste or use our offering, getting the brand in front of them is crucial. The study article mentions that using abnormal packaging could help get noticed, too.

Value is important. But we have to get noticed, first.


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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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