Sunday 2 November 2014

Timing, Reason, Understanding ; Using a chart to change someone's mind, Letting someone else decide and Emotional shopping

Over the countless dinners, brunches, lunches and drinks I've had recently, once the how are you's and hugs are out of the way, there usually tends to be some topic of debate thrown in to the mix. I like a bit of heavy duty banter over dessert, or even midway during the chompathon, so to speak. It gives the phrase 'food for thought' a new meaning, and it very rarely descends into petty squabbling and feather-ruffled madness.

What tends to happen, is that some newsworthy item of the day or week is brought up to dissect and 'yay or nay' over, as I like to call it. At some point during the conversation, someone will throw in some quoted facts and figures, almost like a rhetorical graph or histogram.

The validity of using this as a construct for putting your point across with conviction, is age old, and hence this caught my eyes immediately :- 

Want to Change Someone's Mind? Just Show Them a Random Chart

I loved reading this and found the correlatory theories hilarious because I could relate to the whole thing on a personal level. Ironically, I'm loathe to quote figures such as percentages myself, cause they tend to sway and vary a great deal from source to source. Unless I'm pretty sure the quoted figures and graphology implemented are from a trusted source, then I tend to go on the rest of the information presented, as a whole.

Otherwise re-iterating information that itself is easily questioned, can make you look like a self indulgent nitwit, which isn't a good idea at any time of the day. Who want's to look bad, over dinner and drinks? Or lunch?

Speaking of bad :-

Forced to be bad: Consumers happier when someone else decides they can indulge

It could be argued that this is hardly surprising, and that a whole slew of things could be wrapped around this premise. As the article states, children tend to use this sort of scenario a lot , to get out of punishment, but the general concept is pretty solid. So does this mean that man ( in the generic sense), is ultimately a naughty child who has to be trained to do the right thing? Of course not. It's an opinion ( although carefully measured and thought out) formulated on analysing and assessing a set of data, which has been interpolated by a collective or team of human beings.

Just like :-

Feeling guilty or ashamed? Think about your emotions before you shop

I admit being occasionally burdened by one or the other; on a very rare moment, even both. I can exemplify via a recent slew of online purchases, where I bought some designer branded shirts and t shirts. It was complete coincidence that during  one of my usual brief ad-hoc browsing sessions online, I suddenly remembered the brand in question and noticed on their site that they had a sale on. Having not bought anything from there in a very long time, I took the plunge. And took it again. And again. And finally one more time. I don't think the last one was really necessary in hindsight, but I'll know for sure when the final batch of stuff arrives.

In my mind, there is no perfect condition when shopping or even browsing. It boils down to brand loyalty, which is a complex cornucopia of things including happiness, value and utlity. Then of course, there's marginal utility, when each successive purchase beyond a point of satisfaction can mean you start to enjoy the experience less than you would have before the tipping point. 

And it's that particular point which everyone strives for, wether it's buying goods, services, or even reading an article online ( like this one), or a book. That's what the alchemy of marketing and advertising is all about, to a greater extent. As far as I can see, it's cyclical, too. Which brings us into the realms of 'the product life cycle', but that's for another time.

And right now, I can also see that it's time to hit the road. The leaves have fallen all around, and it's.. hang on, this isn't a led zeppelin song?

Time out.

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