Thursday, February 28, 2013

Five Fresh Trend Predictions for 2013


Nike´s interactive window


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Do Thin Models and Celebrities Really Help Sell to Women?

Advertisers who put images of female celebrities and models next to their products spark scorn rather than shopping, according to new research.A new study from Warwick Business School has found women are turned off products placed next to ‘attractive’ images of female models, but they are likely to buy the product if the images are used subtly instead.
Previous studies on how using attractive models affects women’s perception of the product have been contradictory, but a new look at the subject has found that only adverts using images of perfectly shaped models subtly actually lead to consumers liking the product.
Dr Tamara Ansons, Assistant Professor at Warwick Business School, said: “To successfully use idealised images in marketing communications, they should be presented subtly. “We found that the way the picture of the perfectly shaped model was used was very important in determining a positive or negative effect on women’s self-perception.
“We showed that when exposure to these images of beautiful models is subtle, a sub-conscious automatic process of upward social comparison takes place leading to a negative self-perception. But that led to a more positive attitude towards the brand. “Yet when the exposure to the idealised image of a woman is blatant, a conscious process is activated and consumers employ defensive coping strategies, ie they belittle the model or celebrity to restore a positive perception of themselves. So the product in the advert becomes associated with negative reactions.”
The women were put through various experiments including being shown magazine pages that contained different adverts, one of which was for a vodka. Some women received adverts that did not feature an attractive model, other women received adverts that had a bikini-clad model on the opposite page to a picture of the vodka – meaning they were subtly exposed to the idealised female image - and the third had the attractive model on a whole page next to the vodka – meaning they were blatantly exposed to the idealised female image.
Through a series of tests the team of researchers found different responses to the adverts from the women. Dr Ansons said: “Attractive female models and celebrities are routinely used in advertisements and yet previous research has shown mixed reactions, some have found the effect to be positive, while others have found it to be negative.
“We wanted to find out why this was. We found that a woman’s self-perception and consequent effects on product evaluation depend on the degree of attention paid to the idealised image of a woman in advertisements.”
This study in a paper entitled ‘Defensive reactions to slim female images in advertising: The moderating role of mode of exposure’ published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes could have far reaching implications for the marketing industry and how they use models and celebrities to sell their products. “It is important to understand when we might expect positive effects by using idealised body images in marketing on customers’ self-perception and how that influences purchase decisions,” said Dr Ansons. “We showed that when consumers are blatantly exposed to idealised images of thin and beautiful women they are more likely to use a defensive coping strategy to boost self-evaluation by denigrating the pictured woman. This can negatively affect the products these models endorse through the transfer of the negative evaluation of the model to the endorsed product.
“However when subtly exposed to these perfectly shaped models consumers do not engage in defensive coping by disparaging the model. Instead it leads to negative self-evaluation but does not interfere with their evaluation of the pictured model. Thus, the generally positive evaluation of the model leads to a favourable reaction to the product she is endorsing.”

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Demystifying the online shopper


Monday, February 25, 2013

All Earned Media Is Not Created Equal


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rock-paper-scissors a parable for cycles in finance, fashion, politics and more

Using a grown-up version of the rock-paper-scissors game, Indiana University cognitive scientists offer a new theory of the group dynamics that arise in situations as varied as cycles of fashion, fluctuations of financial markets, eBay bidding wars and political campaign strategies.
In a study written about this week in PLOS ONE, the researchers analyzed situations in which each person's decision depends on what they think other people will decide, looking at the riddle of "what you think I think you think I think."
What they found, said Seth Frey, doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the IU College of Arts and Sciences, is that "people playing this kind of game subtly influence each other, converging on similar ways of reasoning over time. The natural analogy for the process is to a flock of birds veering in concert."
"Anticipation," he said, "may be the motor that keeps fads running in circles. It could be a source of the violent swings that we see in financial markets. Anyone in a bidding war on eBay may have been caught in this dynamic. If the bidders are tweaking their increasing bids based on the tweaks of others, then the whole group may converge in price and determine how those prices rise. The process isn't governed by the intrinsic value of that mint-condition Star Wars lunch box, but on the collective dynamics of people trying to reason through each other's thoughts."
Robert Goldstone, professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, said they wanted "an elegant parable in a laboratory context" of the kind of real-world situations when people are trying to assess what other people are deciding. The researchers are interested in what the entire group looks like when everybody is trying to second guess everybody else.
"At a core level," he said, "people's guesses do converge, and that's interesting because dominant models suggest otherwise."

Nash equilibrium, for example -- the influential theory of John Nash, a mathematician portrayed in several films and the book "A Beautiful Mind" -- would predict that everyone will end up at random places with equal probability for each round. It's a theory, Goldstone said, "that assumes full rationality, full ability to reason about what you know I know you know I know."
Instead, "we are getting this systematic behavior, which is not random," he said. "Even though people are trying to beat each other out, they end up in synchrony."
Whether looking at benign social habits or mass panics, Frey and Goldstone conclude, social theorists have always treated group behavior as though it resulted from a kind of mindlessness. But this lesson from rock-paper-scissors suggests that the most sophisticated reasoning can be caught up in the subtleties of social interaction.

Rock-paper-scissors revisited
In the experiment, Frey and Goldstone introduce a version of rock-paper-scissors they call "the mod game." In each round, they gave small groups of five or six IU psychology undergraduates a choice of numbers from 1 and 24. Participants earned money for picking a number exactly one greater than a number chosen by someone else, with the choices wrapped around in a circle so that 1 beat 24.
Each student had to anticipate what others were going to pick, and pick the next number up, keeping in mind that everyone else was thinking the same thing. In this game of one-upmanship, the best performers aren't the ones who think the most steps ahead, but the ones who think just the right number of steps ahead -- about two, as it turned out in the experiment.

Experimental economists predict that sufficiently experienced people will continually increase the number of steps by which they think ahead. But this did not happen in the mod game. Instead, when participants were shown each previous round's results, they tended to cluster in one part of the circle of choices and start bounding around it in sync. Groups produced a compelling periodic orbit around the choices, reminiscent of the cultural pendulum swinging back and forth, bringing, say, mustaches in and out of fashion.
The cycling behavior consistently got faster with time. With more experience, people learned to think further ahead, so the economic prediction was partly correct. But the increase was much less dramatic than economists might have thought: After 200 rounds of the mod game, the average number of thinking steps increased by only half a step, from 2 to 2.5. Moreover, the synchronicity that occurs in this game turned out to benefit everyone; a tighter grouping of choices meant a higher density of money to be earned in each round.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Retail Innovation Trends


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Accenture Consumer Tech Trends

The world of multifunction devices, cloud, and apps on the rise. Download the 27 p report by clicking here.o

Retail Ecommerce Trends for 2013 And Beyond