The way your customers choose a product indicates their level of consumer interest.
Have you ever noticed the difference between buying a bottle of wine for yourself and buying one as a present for somebody else? Yes?
When buying a bottle of wine for yourself, you most likely go to the supermarket, cast a fleeting glance on the wine shelf where bottles are categorised into price, type, taste, region and /or country because there is so much to choose from, and then you quickly pick a bottle for your shopping basket or trolley, based on your personal preferences. When selecting a bottle of wine for a present, you are more likely to go to a wine shop and ask someone in the store for advice, your purpose being to secure the best possible bottle for your friend or family member. In general, you will invest more time in this and do more research.
In the supermarket, you show a low level of involvement in the purchasing process and this is the most common buying behaviour; products bought on a daily or weekly basis generate low consumer interest. A high consumer interest, as in the wine shop, is a less frequent occurrence. A consumer is much more conscious about the purchase being made and the considerations involved and shows a higher degree of brand loyalty.
The higher the level of consumer interest, the more room for brands and companies to influence this by use of advertising and communication, given that the consumer invests considerable time and shows genuine interest in the purchase. This explains the difference in communication means for low and high consumer interest. For low interest, the communication used is generally much louder and more compelling, while a high consumer interest tends towards a story-telling line of communication and message, such as for instance the introductory film for a new car model.
It is also worth noticing that any differences between the products and brands have different effects on each interest level. When there is a very slight difference between certain brands or products and the level of consumer interest is low or average, consumers tend to make a random choice. The presence of obvious and significant differences however, induces a desire for variety and experimentation with various products. This reactive buying behaviour gives companies the opportunity to develop and launch new products and varieties, such as new soda flavours or shampoo types.
At a high level of consumer interest, slight differences between products and brands make the selection process more complex. This explains, for instance, why car types and brands are so different in appearance, design, handling, use, story and message.
In this case, differentiation has a positive effect; it leads to a consistent selection process, giving consumers the motivation and more reasons to become actively involved in the purchase process. All possibilities are examined and when the choice is finally made, this often leads to brand loyalty.
Ask yourself what level of consumer interest your clients have and how you communicate with them. Would you like to change or influence their selection process by means of communication and with which objective? Or does this realisation give you new ideas about product differentiation? Send us a mail, we are happy to participate in your thinking process!