At least, the notion is suggested in a new paper published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
The researchers were examining those who stay very attentive in the decision-making process (experiencers) versus those who would consider themselves a bit aloof when making decisions (mind-wanderers). As elementary as the study appears to be, they actually dug up some interesting conclusions.
First, the group who considers themselves attentive in the decision-making process is more sensitive to price than anything else. The paper goes on to explain that these experiencers, because they are more immersed in the environment, are more susceptible to change and therefore more aware of it. As we live in a consumption-based society, one of the things that will change often is price.
Rightfully so, then, if you consider yourself as a mind-wanderer and pay no real attention to the fluctuations of the marketplace, then price would not be a major factor, but the perception of quality and reputation would rank quite high.
Second, there is no real way to control which moods customers are in when shopping. The paper related a source that found that people find themselves in one of those moods nearly 50% of the time, but there are some situations that would appear to be more favorable.
For example, when the brand is in complete control of the consumer's attention (sales presentation, demo, or pitch) using the "experiencer" approach would be ideal. If they consider your brand to be high quality with a good reputation, the brand would be able to suggest a high price; it would match expectations. Doing anything otherwise could damage the brand and lose the sale.
For mind-wanderers, if they are flipping through TV channels or a magazine, paying less attention to price and building brand recognition and reputation would be a better bet.
The finished article will appear in the August 2015 issue of the journal. It's yet another dive into the fascinating mind of the consumer.
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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