Can your customers touch your value?

We all know that higher value products somehow seem to feel more luxurious, whether it’s the packaging, the texture of the actual product, or the weight. But did you ever give thought to why that sensation of touch can translate into a higher perception of value?

Research shows that people with a higher “need for touch” will show more confidence in evaluating a product when they can actually touch the product. Hence the reason why some people, despite the ease of online shopping, will resist the allure of e-commerce to make the trek out to a brick-and-mortar. In order to feel more certain they are making the right the purchase decision, they literally have to touch the merchandise.

Interestingly, research also shows that those same people, with a high need for touch, can better separate the aspects of what doesn’t matter to make a decision on the value. Therefore, these consumers will judge a water by its taste, rather than taste plus the physical aspects of the bottle it is packaged in. However, those who are not as touch-oriented will actually use negative or positive attributes of touch that have nothing to do with the actual product itself. In this instance, people with a low need for touch will feel the bottle and make unconscious judgments about the quality and taste of the water.

What does this mean for marketers? If you have a product that you want to give the connotation of quality, you might want to consider the packaging that the product comes in. Does the packaging feel flimsy, less substantial than that of your competitors? If so, you may want to put something on the packaging to denote that it’s “more environmentally friendly” to give those with a lower need for touch a reason to understand why the packaging feels the way it does. Or for those of us that market a non-tangible product like software, consider stepping up the¬†weight of the card stock for your marketing materials and business cards.

While ultimately, those aspects don’t really make a difference in the quality of the product, it sure does make a difference in the perception that your customers are generating about your product and your organization.

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Neuromarketing – Getting My Feet Wet

I’m taking a MOOC course through the Copenhagen Business School on neuromarketing. Although it’s pretty dense with neurological terms and you learn about brain structure, it also focused on how the brain works when exposed to brands, purchasing decisions, and reactions to pricing changes. For a marketer, it’s fascinating.

I just finished the first week where we read some research that’s been conducted into the topic. I tweeted a few facts that I learned while trying to absorb the material. For example, did you know that each second, we are exposed to 11 million bits of information? But we can only process 50 bits. That definitely made me realize that as much sensory information that is flying at us these days, no wonder it’s getting harder and harder to capture the attention of the audience. How do you manage to capture even some of those 50 bits without providing real significant value to your customer, or providing something that really stops someone in their tracks to pay attention to your message?

Another interesting fact is that when viewing a selection of products, 20% of your eye movements focus on what you were intending to select. The other 80% of those movements take in your alternatives. No wonder we get swayed at the grocery store to pick up something other than what we intended. If our selection isn’t a firm decision, you spend a lot of time looking at alternatives. Which explains the finding that 76% of US grocery shoppers make purchase decisions in the store…

Readers, let me know in the comments if you have an interest in reading more about this topic on my blog as I progress through the course.