I always have had an interest in marketing – traditional marketing, as in branding, advertising and promotion. That was the focus of my M.B.A., and while I have never worked for an ad agency, I have worked in radio and TV, and now as a blogger and freelance marketer I work with many advertising and public relations agencies. So this stuff really interests me!
Martin Lindstrom is a branding expert, and has figured out ways that consumers spend more time and money in grocery stores, which he shared it in his book Small Data: The Tiny Clues that Uncover Huge Trends.
While I won’t divulge all of the book’s secrets, I will share a few that Martin talked about on the Today Show (watch his segment at the bottom of this post).
- I’ve got the music in me!
I can’t believe I’ve never noticed this, but you better believe I’ll be listening intently the next time I’m in a grocery store: Many stores play slow tempo music in their speaker system, which makes you slow your pace, and stay in the store longer – which leads to more items in your cart!
What can you do to overcome the slow jam? While you’re shopping, wear some earbuds with your own upbeat music playing, which will help you tune out the store’s ploy!
- Less is the best!
When a sign lists a maximum number you can purchase, it gives people the idea that they must buy more, or up to the maximum, and tricks you into thinking you don’t want to miss out on a good deal. Along the same lines, when you see “3 for $5”, in many stores you don’t need to purchase three to get the sale price. (See, now it pays off that you learned your fractions and percentages!). If you know your store policy, you can quickly grab one or two for $1.67 each, and not feel compelled to buy three just to get the sale price.
- What’s your sign?
This was fascinating: Consumers spend more when there are handwritten signs among products. Have you ever walked into a produce department, and on top of a fruit display was a chalkboard with cutesy hand-drawn fruit and writing to display the price? Your eyes are drawn to it, simply because it was handwritten.
Also, while this is no secret, it’s good to remember: Be choosy over your shopping cart. If at all possible, use a small cart or even a handheld basket, because you’ll buy up to 40% less. Think of the similar reasoning of using a smaller dinner plate, you trick yourself into eating less. We want to fill up all available space. It’s innate! So if you use a full-size grocery cart, you’ll tend to over-buy.
These are only a few of the supermarket secrets in Martin’s book. I find this so fascinating! Being empowered with even such simple shopping hacks like these, will help save you time and money when you’re grocery shopping for your family.
About the Book
Hired by the world’s leading brands to find out what makes their customers tick, Martin Lindstrom spends 300 nights a year in strangers’ homes, carefully observing every detail in order to uncover their hidden desires, and, ultimately, the clues to a multi-million dollar product.
- How a noise reduction headset at 35,000 feet led to the creation of Pepsi’s new trademarked signature sound.
- How a worn down sneaker discovered in the home of an 11-year-old German boy led to LEGO’s incredible turnaround.
- How a magnet found on a fridge in Siberia resulted in a U.S. supermarket revolution.
- How a toy stuffed bear in a girl’s bedroom helped revolutionize a fashion retailer’s 1,000 stores in 20 different countries.
- How an ordinary bracelet helped Jenny Craig increase customer loyalty by 159% in less than a year.
- How the ergonomic layout of a car dashboard led to the redesign of the Roomba vacuum.
You can purchase the book here, and view the clip here:
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