FORGOTTEN BRANDS: WHY MEMORY PREVENTS US FROM BUYING WHAT WE LIKE

Professor of Stockholm School of Economics Jens Nordfalt has studied behavior of buyers for 15 years. He not only teaches students retail marketing but also combines theory with practical work and advises the biggest companies. His book "Retail marketing: Practices and research" will be published in April. This is a detailed analysis of research in the field of retail marketing of the last 40 years.
Nordfalt speaks about the influence of color, sound, tactical feelings in a store, as well as about work of our brain and laws of memory and illustrates all this by examples from life. This is one of the paradoxes of retail: we forget to buy what we wish and that is why we buy what we find. Relative discrepancy between what we like and what we buy is probably especially interested for retail trade. There are many alternative products in a store that are often located near each other. If products that we like are available, logically speaking we should buy exactly then. For example, during a visit to someone a person likes a certain dish and he asks from which ingredients it is made. Is it difficult for him to buy the same products in a store afterwards? All of them lie on shelves of a store and are well noticeably. However, this does not happen. Along with this, such situation is fairly typical. We also know that it is often difficult for people to decide what to buy for dinner when they are in a store.
Eighty percent of the Swedes would wish to eat more fruits. What I the problem? Are there no fruits in your store? Or are they too expensive?
The structure of our memory stands in our way. The brain has a trend of distribution of the information that is stored in memory around separate subcategories. Some of them often contain less than five elements. We memorize some subcategories spontaneously, whereas others need prompts to be activated in memory. Element from one subcategory are usually recalled altogether in a group.
This discovery helps explanation of the secret of bad sales of Sprite. Initially, Coca-Cola presumed that consumers simply did not like its taste. But after vast tasting research it was found out that this was not so in reality. Along with this, research has shown that consumers seldom recall about the subcategory to which Sprite belongs (soda with lemon or lime) when they buy beverages. In other words, people simply forget about it despite that they like this beverage and they would be ready to buy it. It is not important if there is the product on shelves of a store if it does not come to mind of the buyers spontaneously. If you think about your own visits to a store you will definitely agree that such "forgetfulness" towards many brands is also inherent to you.

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