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Balancing Your Budget… Literally

Insights December 20, 2013


It is now December 20th, which means you’re almost done with the shopping hysteria that is the holiday season. Congratulations guys, you have survived. If there are still some items that aren’t crossed off your gift-giving list, you are in luck! You are about to read some of the best kept secrets to staying in budget while shopping that may be odd but hey, why not?

Research has proven time and time again that influential cognitive processes are at play as individuals journey through life. Here I will give some tips on the journey through the oh-so riveting, holiday shopping experience.


Higher the heels, higher the savings.


Well ladies, here is an excuse to get all dolled up, put on your best stilettos, and strut through the aisles of your favorite store.  Guys, if you feel comfortable with such an idea – the patronizing smiles may be worth the savings! Research has concluded that someone “wearing high-heels when purchasing big-ticket items is more likely to make decisions more sensible and keep you away from over spending.” According to the Journal of Marketing Research, “balance is metaphorically linked in the mind to the concept of parity and our subconscious awareness of common metaphors has the power to influence our actions.” Did you know that exposure to fresh smells encourage ethical behavior? Or, that traveling north is perceived to be harder than traveling south? Well, ok, back to the shoes! Specifically, a new BYU study finds that when your brain is concentrating on physical balancing acts, such as wearing heels, you are more likely to contemplate the options and go with a product that lands in the middle of your budget range. I think it is safe to say, the higher the heel, the more balance required, and the smarter you will be!


O.S.A. Online Shoppers Anonymous (guilty)


This research can help curb your online shopping habits as well! The musical “artist”, Terror Squad, wasn’t only describing an uncomfortable way to dance when singing his one hit wonder, “Lean Back”.  When sitting in your chair, adding items to your wish list online, do the “roc-away” and lean back… but, seriously.  Once the notion of balance is triggered in a shopper’s mind, he or she is more likely to avoid an extreme purchase.


Is this a new marketing sales tactic for the video game industry?


Whether you’re a “newb” or an ultra-gamer, you can participate in this one. Playing a balance focused game, such as Wii Fit, while simultaneously answering questions regarding your future purchasing decisions will help. It is the same way balancing on one foot while picking what dish detergent you want to buy helps. This concept is a developing area of research that observes the relationship between physical sensations and decision-making.


Who doesn’t love the cheese and wine party idea?


This last tip is less balance-focused and more just something I wish I were aware of, especially throughout the college days. Cheers! I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume that you’ll likely find yourself at a wine and cheese party (if not many) this holiday season. Find me someone who doesn’t like cheese and/or wine and I will show you a Chihuahua wearing double cheeseburgers for shoes (whaaat?).  Anyway, did you know “winos” pay more for hard to pronounce names? The same is true with cheese. Studies show that consumers are willing to pay an average of $2.00 more for a bottle with a name they can’t pronounce. Even after sampling the same wine, with different names, consumers perceived the wine with a foreign association to be of higher value!  So folks, if you’re looking to save a few bucks, try giving simple a chance when it comes to wine labels, and the plethora of cheese displays we all know and love.


Subconscious Web Marketing?


It’s clear that a variety of factors, both conscious and subconscious effect the way we make purchasing decisions. As web marketers, we should be asking ourselves how we can use these freudian influences to our advantage.  Just like the notion of balance in purchasing, certain phrasing can resonate more effectively with different communities in outreach.  One line can evoke an entirely different response than another.  Certain pieces of content elicit different emotional responses in a reader based on their own past experiences.  It is our job to mine these idiosyncrasies in each and every relationship we create, and use them to drive value to our clients’ sites.


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