Capping IT Off

Capping IT Off

Opinions expressed on this blog reflect the writer’s views and not the position of the Capgemini Group

Gaining competitive advantage through targeting customers’ cognitive and behavioural response – Part 2

Does having great product and advertising always help? Perhaps not. Decision making is said to be a psychological construct. This means that although we can never "see" a decision, we can infer from observable behaviour that a decision has been made.

 

Shopper Decision Making

What is it that triggers consumers to be motivated to select a certain product or service? What influences them to choose one product over another when both deliver the same benefits, or to choose one brand over another almost identical brand? What causes a long-time user of one brand to suddenly switch to another? And what keeps other brand users loyal, despite competitive propositions from other brands?

Shopper Decision Making is best understood and influenced by market segmentation which will reflect pre-existing knowledge, market research findings and the demands of computational efficiency.

Segment Type

Example

Demographics

Age, gender, education, income, marital status, occupation

Psychographics

Interests, opinions, values, and lifestyles

Psychological influence

Personality and self-image, perception of risk, involvement, attitudes and beliefs

Social influence

Culture, subculture, social class and reference groups, household/ Family

Marketplace behaviour

Recognition of needs, responses to marketing communications, responses to price, product acceptance

Consumption behaviour

Consumption situation, usage rate, satisfaction, and loyalty


The objective is to divide the addressable market into segments such that each has a unique combination of three to five key identifiers. Once analysed, the results could help to segment the customer base in a way that is a good predictor of product/ brand attractiveness to a customer. The final step will be to identify the behavioural similarities to combine them into a manageable number of customer segments.

Customer experiences: taste, touch, tone, time—they’re all part of the product experience. Discover key points of engagement as consumers interact with your product. One size does not fit all, so when it comes to the decisions shoppers are making between channels, brands must differentiate or they will demise. The role of demographics, purchase histories, and shopper decision-making styles play key roles in predicting consumer loyalty.

Branding

A brand results from a set of associations and perceptions in customers’ minds. Branding, then, is a challenge to harness, generate, influence and control these associations to help the business perform better. In most cases customers are generally willing to pay more for a branded product than they are for something which is largely unbranded. And a brand can be extended through a whole range of offers too. For instance, Apple’s original launch of the iPod catapulted the company from a computer business to a mass-market entertainment brand, with iPod marketing drawing heavily on people’s emotional relationship with their music. By moving into music and film, Apple redefined what the company did and shifted its brand association to something that connects with larger numbers of people outside computing or creative community. They continued this shift with introduction of the iPhone, iPad and App Store bringing portable computing and its software into mainstream consumer culture.

Image credits: Brand Logos (Wikipedia.org)

How, therefore, do customers associate with your brand? Semiotics (a field of play) attempts to answer the hugely ambitious question: how is meaning created and interpreted? The goal of semiotic enquiry has since been to study the production and reception of meaning. HSBC’s long-running marketing campaign – ‘Your Point of View’ – gives us great insight into how semiotics actually work. The campaign started in 2002 and in 2008 it was renamed as ‘Different Values’, yet it exudes the same philosophy. Instead of seeing forced façades of sympathetic assurances that are rampant in today’s banking and financial ads, HSBC uses the minimalist, yet hugely provocative ad designs that evoke a broad range of emotions – emotions that, in contrast to the ads’ content, ring true the same way world-over. It is built around the idea that to interpret a piece of communication, we need a framework. Signs become meaningful only insofar as they are read (‘decoded’) within a specific context (a ‘code’). HSBC has accomplished what I believe very few financial and banking firms have done, other than perhaps MasterCard’s long-running and oft-parodied ‘Priceless’ campaign.

Conclusion: Building strong relationships through interactive, visual goodness

Consumers can usually define what they want, how much they will pay, and maybe even what promotional activities appeal to them. All of this information is useful to marketers, but equally important is why. Where do these values come from? How does packaging play a role in their purchase decision? What is going on deep in their brain when evaluating a product or promotion? So today, leveraging customers’ cognitive and behavioural response is an important source of competitive advantage.

About the author

Hitesh Chawla

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.