Do you trust your feelings as information?

A new study shows that consumers trust feelings as information when making purchase decisions.  This means that instead of trusting facts, we sometimes trust the way that we feel, instead.  I studied this concept with Dr. Larry Sanna at UNC-CH in my doctoral program, so I was intrigued to read this study.

For instance, if we receive an offer on our house that is less than we paid for the house, we feel it is not fair, and we reject that offer, even if it is a fair market value offer.  We can relate to that feeling, and had to get over that feeling, in order to sell our house and move on in this down market.

This is also why you see some advertising appealing to how the product will make us feel as opposed to the features or benefits of the actual product.  Marketers know how to use that knowledge to their advantage.  This may also be why there is a 50% divorce rate in this country:  folks get caught up in their feelings and forget to think through the facts of their relationship.

This is good for us to remember in so many instances and is probably why my father always had me do a pros and cons list when making a decision–don’t get too caught up in your feelings without considering the facts, as well.

This study was done by:

University of Chicago Press Journals (2012, June 19). Should consumers trust their feelings as information?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 24, 2012, from­ /releases/2012/06/120619225953.htm?utm_source=rss1.0&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+(ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+News)

Buzz does not equal Buy

I applaud this effort to try to figure out what Dads are buzzing about, but I don’t think they asked the right question.  The survey asked, “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”  All this is asking is whether or not the person has heard about the brand–it has nothing to do with purchase intent.  If we really want to know the brands that Dad’s perceive as the best brands, we need to ask them “What brands did you buy this week?

If you asked the Dad in our house this question, there is one brand he would tell you he buys on a daily basis.  Can you guess which one?! (Hint: this is a picture of my own personalized cup!)

Zappos Uses Social Networks for Announcing Downsizing

Here’s an update on Zappos, in this case, how it uses a real “social” approach to marketingThanks to  my friend Beverly at SAS for sharing this.

Original Post 1-17-09:

Here’s an excerpt of my interview in today’s Investor’s Business Daily:

E-tailer Zappos has held its own in a sluggish economy. In fact, the online shoe seller’s revenue rose from $840 million in 2007 to $1 billion in 2008, though it fell short of its expected $1.1 billion in sales, noted Tony Hsieh, Zappos’ CEO, who’s based in Las Vegas.

To stay competitive, Zappos laid off 125 people, or about 8% of its 1,460 staffers, in November 2008. Most managers delivered the bad news one-on-one, though some call centers’ managers, who had larger staffs, notified teams in small groups.

Layoffs were determined by performance, and in the case of call center staff, attendance and reliability. Staff was paid through the end of the year, received severance pay of one month for every year they worked, and their health plan was extended for six months. In addition, existing staff were offered counseling to deal with their stress.

After staff members were informed of their dismissals, CEO Hsieh sent an e-mail to staff, explaining why the reduction was done, how financial revenue goals hadn’t been met, and described the staff’s severance packages. He then posted that e-mail on a special Twitter section for Zappos’ employees.

Twitter is a free social messaging service that works in real-time.

Why disclose specifics about the layoffs on Twitter rather than keep it under the radar screen as many companies do? Hsieh said that Zappos’ success depends on its 10 core values including “open and honest communication. We’re open with everything on how we run our business internally. When people don’t know what’s going on, rumors start,” he said.

Aneil Mishra, an associate professor of management at Wake Forest University’s Babcock School who writes about the effects of downsizing, said having the CEO communicate with staff on a social network enables the company to control the message. “It gets the company ahead of other people who will put their own spin on it,” Mishra said.


Why Do Great Products Disappear Without Explanation?

Update 3-10-09:

I continue to use King of Shaves with great success, and I’ve almost forgotten my much-loved Gillette Multiglide Shave Gel.  Meanwhile, S.C. Johnson Company it appears has decided to eliminate the Windex Wipes in the soft plastic packages we’ve been using for quite some time.  I just ordered more from from a reseller, but I can’t find them in the stores any more.  S.C. Johnson now sells the same wipes in a plastic tube that is harder to remove the wipes from, and has to cost more in terms of energy, shipping, and price I would think.

Original Post 6-18-08:

I’ve got a very tough beard, and I hate to shave, so I’m always looking for products to make the chore of shaving less time consuming and arduous. Karen first bought me this product, Gillette Multiglide Shaving Gel, over a year ago, and I’ve loved it. Not only did it make the shaving easier, it also really did leave my skin in better shape. Now Gillette has stopped making it, leaving me and other customers puzzled as to why.

Manufacturers are always trying out new products and removing those that aren’t accepted in the marketplace. I don’t have a problem with that one bit. I do wonder why great products are completely removed from the marketplace without any information as to why they have been discontinued. At a minimum, it causes some irritation. It can also raise suspicion as to why it was removed, perhaps not because of lack of consumer acceptance, but maybe because something was wrong with it.

Have you ever had this experience?


P.S. I recently ordered the following product, on which I’m now conducting “Stage 3 clinical trials” (efficacy):

I’ve almost finished up the tube of the above product, and am pleased with its performance in terms of protecting my skin from nicks, cuts, and razor burn.  Even though it’s unscented, it still has some trace of scent which I can’t identify but seems like a woody scent — not offensive, but the Gillette product was totally unscented, which I would prefer.

For now, I’m sticking the the King of Shaves brand, and will try other versions of its shaving gel.