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Art and pricing

Very low prices made participants like art less, very high prices made them like art more.

Consumers don't know themselves

Consumers, as it turns out, are not so easy to figure out. If you ask customers if they think stores are too cluttered, the answer is a predictable yes. The problem is with the research methodology. Rather than just ask shoppers what they think they would like, I can follow someone through their shopping trip in a grocery or mass merchandise store like Walmart and Sam’s Club and then interview them as they load their bags into the car. Continue reading the main story Recent Comments Indrid Cold Just now I've written a little diddy to the tune of "Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire"Hot dogs roasting on an open fire.They say daddy's plant is... Lola 1 minute ago The price of everything the value of nothing.The problem is not quantity it's quality. Shoppers want something that has true value and... Bob Dobbs 1 minute ago To my mind, it's not the clutter but the scattered organizationd. Go to a department store looking for men's shirts and you might have to... See All Comments Write a comment What is striking is the wide gap between what they say they did, and what I observed. I can ask them how long they spent in-store and the answer is again different from the one on the stopwatch in my pocket. I found that consumers generally reported that time spent in-store was roughly twice that on our stopwatch. One consumer reported the in-store time as approximately one hour; our stopwatch read 28 minutes. Ask them what they bought, and often the throw-ins I saw them buy are somehow forgotten.

Can 80 Yelpers be wrong? We sent the Post’s Tim Carman to review a one-star restaurant.

The garlic-cream sauce draped over flabby, overcooked cheese ravioli was chunky and lukewarm; if there was garlic in the sauce, only a beagle could detect it. The gnocchi was a mountain of gluey pasta covered in a meat sauce many degrees shy of hot; the gnocchi sat on the plate, solid and immovable, as if molded from clay. The lobster ravioli came stuffed with a stringy mixture speckled with tiny dices of the advertised crustacean but tasting more like crab sticks.

HBR: purchase decisions in the context of a social identity

Social identities are important for marketers because they guide people’s behavior at any given moment. Some behavior will bolster and support the group, and, equally important, some behavior will betray the group. It is no coincidence that people in the same profession—successful athletes, say, or chief executives—tend to buy similar cars and read similar magazines. When it comes to a purchase, the group you identify with at the time of the transaction is a very important factor in your decision. But a customer’s social identity at such a moment can’t be easily captured through questions on surveys, whether before or after the purchase. Subtle shifts in social context can dramatically change what group we identify with at any instant. Waiting in the business lounge to board a plane, we might reach for Harvard Business Review, not just for its content but also, subconsciously, to reinforce our identity as a successful executive. A chance conversation about the background music with a neighbor in the lounge, however, might lead us instead to choose a music magazine to reinforce our identity as a rock fan.

Social shopping and ranking

People are more willing to make a purchase if they feel, they’re not alone – that others have and are buying with them. I’m sure there is an insightful psychological reason for this but from where I sit, buying seems to have become a communal activity. One of the most powerful social proof marketing strategies I’ve used, when promoting Amazon affiliate links, is creating ‘Best Seller’ type lists for readers. These lists show readers what is currently popular, in terms of purchases in our community.