Friday, 8 August 2014

Friday Research: Sooo Cute I Want To Bite Your Product

When Will You Use This?  

Developing your products and marketing promotions.

What’s The Red-Letter Bite Today? 

Cuteness is everywhere. Brands come up with new cute products every week and they are popular not only among kids but adults as well.

Current research* examines the extent to which consumers engage in more indulgent consumption when they are exposed to whimsically cute (associated with capricious humor and playful disposition) products and explores the process by which such products affect indulgence.

It is revealed that the whimsical nature of cute products triggers indulgent behavior in adult consumers. Researchers say that exposure to whimsically cute products primes mental representations of fun, increasing consumers’ focus on approaching self-rewards and making consumers more likely to choose indulgent options.

Neutral vs Cute: Isn't the Winner oh-so-obvious?
(these products were used as stimuli in this research)

Addition To Your Bag of Tricks    

This research shares a few insights to help you with developing products and marketign campaigns for them. As authors suggest, "..there are times when adults may not consume beneficial products to the extent that they should (e.g., health-related products), and our findings could be leveraged to suggest that a cute version of such products can increase their consumption, leading to a potentially positive outcome. For example, cute adult “gummy bear” multivitamins are a popular product that may have downstream benefits insofar as their cuteness creates mental representations of fun, causing consumers to indulge in a beneficial way and consume the vitamins more often. Recent reports have indicated increased use of cute anthropomorphized brand characters by companies employing mascots and characters to interact with consumers on social media (Vranica 2012). Because these brand characters are part of the extended product, our findings provide some insights into their potential downstream effects on the brand. That is, the use of cute characters to personify corporate brands could be advantageous for some companies, for which indulgent choices on the part of consumers are beneficial (e.g., Kellogg’s talking granola bar Mel promoting the MilkBite line) but could backfire for others, for which indulgence could result in spending on some pleasurable consumption alternative, rather than on theintended, utilitarian consumption choice (e.g., Aflac’s whimsical duck selling insurance)."

*Nenkov G.Y., Scott M.L.,"'So Cute I Could Eat It Up’: Priming Effects of Cute Products on Indulgent Consumption." Journal of Consumer Research, August 2014 {Thanks for the material}

P.S. When you’re done reading, I’d love for you to share your experience with cuteness and marketing? Leave a comment or Tweet me, let's chat!

P.P.S. Need some help on crafting your marketing message? Let's do this together.

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