Showing posts with label product engagement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label product engagement. Show all posts

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Can hugging products make you feel like buying them?

As more of us shop online, new research by Saïd Business School, University of Oxford University, underlines the importance of physical interaction with products and shows how making an affectionate gesture towards a product can increase our attachment for it, and our propensity to purchase.

The authors suggest that the mere execution of an affectionate gesture towards an object can generate an emotional attachment. This attachment is most clearly seen for those products with humanlike characteristics and is strongest in those people who feel lonely....

Some product manufacturers and marketers are already putting some of these ideas into practice, to encourage a greater emotional and sensory connection with their products and services.  For example Nokia has developed technology in its mobile phones that allow users to squeeze the phone to send ‘virtual hugs’, increasing the user’s bond with the product each time they do this. Even those smart phones which encourage swiping rather than tapping are building valuable bonds between the consumer and product.

Application for enhancement of the buyer-seller relationship
For those NAMs that like to build on good marketing ideas, and given the humanlike characteristics of most buyers, we have researched how the same hug-approach might be applied to improving buyer-seller relationships.

A recent article in The Observer points out that the male-on-male embrace is becoming increasingly common among politicians, and men in general. But for many it’s tricky to get right. The article gives intimate detail ref political applications but we felt that this hugger’s list might best suit our readership:

A hugger’s guide for NAMs

1. The classic 
Clearly signposted, mutual, pleasant. The hug of a friend you’ve just winched from a crevasse, or someone you met six pints ago who has laughed at your jokes.

2. Touching distance
Half-consensual, the archetypal political clinch. It says: ‘I’m fine with this in principle, but let’s be clear that nothing surprising’s going to happen after pudding.’

3. Red-carpet bromance
‘Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward in the same direction,’ according to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

4. ‘Wassup bro’
With legs well set you vertically clasp hands and lean in for a manly rub. Warmly informal without being too intimate, but not one for grandfathers.

5. ‘Oh, right’
Innocuous handshake develops into an unwonted yank ’n’ pat. The most likely to occur in a buyer-seller environment, yet also the most likely to turn into a kiss.

Given this last reference to kissing, and wishing to generalise this kamtip in terms of gender, our additional research revealed the hidden complexities involved in kissing the buyer

Kissing the buyer: X, XXX or XXXXX?
Given the increasingly cross-cultural mix, even in buying offices, it is obviously important to try to comply with local ‘norms’ when deciding to add ‘puckering-up’ to your selling repertoire.

A great article in the Economist gives the detail (and 91 hilarious comments). For instance, at this stage it might be wise to avoid all invitations to transfer to your French affiliate given that social kissing in France is a cultural labyrinth.

This map, created by Radical Cartography, on the Jaunted website, shows how many times French people in different regions typically kiss one another when they greet.

When it comes to buying and selling, offering a cheek can become most fraught with danger.
Some rules of engagement are obvious: one would never peck on first introduction, for example, no matter where in the world you were. But it is also best not to appear too stuffy or aloof. So with continental contacts, you can probably relax into the informal greeting pretty quickly. On the other hand, Americans, apparently, would much prefer to go unkissed. 

British buyers and sellers, as ever, straddle the awkward transatlantic space, probably only think of kissing once they had been to lunch a few times, and then only if they had managed to talk about something other than work…

All in all, the Americans probably have the right idea. Everyone knows where they stand with a firm handshake, or even a hug?

Hat-tip to Anette R. for the pointer to The Economist