miércoles, 9 de noviembre de 2011

Why Consumers Rebel Against Slogans

Hace días compartíamos a través de Twitter una artículo muy interesante sobre Logos y Slogans que publicaba el Harvard Business Review (HBR). Aquí se los dejamos completo – es volver a lo básico para rediseñar nuestras actitudes frente a lo que consideramos un must:

Why Consumers Rebel Against Slogans

Brand names, logos, and slogans are integral parts of any company’s marketing message. All have the same aim: to make consumers react positively to a product or a business.
Our research shows, however, that many slogans backfire—for example, causing consumers to spend money when they’re told they can save, or vice versa.

In five studies of several hundred undergraduates each, in which computers were used to simulate shopping behavior, we found that consumers typically follow the prompt of a brand name or a logo. After participants were exposed to brands associated with luxury (such as Tiffany and Neiman Marcus), they decided to spend 26% more, on average, than after they were exposed to neutral brands (such as Publix and Dillard’s). After they were exposed to brands associated with saving money (such as Dollar Store and Kmart), they decided to spend 37% less than after they were exposed to neutral brands. The brands had the intended “priming” effect.

But when it came to slogans, the same participants exhibited the opposite of the desired behavior. After reading a slogan meant to incite spending (“Luxury, you deserve it”), they decided to spend 26% less than after reading a neutral slogan (“Time is what you make of it”). When a slogan invited them to save (“Dress for less”), they decided to spend—an additional 29%, on average. The slogans had a “reverse priming” effect.

In many cases, then, brands and slogans work at cross-purposes. For example, the name Walmart tends to induce thriftiness, but the company’s slogan (“Save money. Live better”) causes indulgence.

What makes slogans so different? Our studies suggest that reverse priming occurs because consumers recognize that slogans deliberately attempt to persuade them, whereas (in their perception) brands do not. The recognition may not be conscious: We found that consumers automatically resisted a slogan’s message.

There’s actually good news here for marketers, who need not simply abandon slogans for fear of adverse reactions. Slogans can exert a positive influence, we believe, if the consumer is led to focus on something other than the effort to persuade. To test this theory, we asked one group of participants to rate a set of slogans on the basis of intent to persuade, while a second group rated them on creativity. The group that evaluated creativity decided to spend 58% more than the other group. Of course, getting consumers to focus on creativity instead of persuasion may be easier in a lab setting than in real-world marketing.

More research is needed to understand why consumers perceive certain tactics as efforts to persuade. In the meantime, marketers should be aware that messages seen even subconsciously as manipulative can cause significant backlash.