+ORC, the old red cracker... (I'm not finished yet, there's more to come!)
- Why do they start with fresh fruit? (addendum) Fresh fruits are fragile. If you put them in the bottom of your caddy and then lay heavy conserves on it, it will be a mess... So you have to begin with the conserves (near the exit), then have to go back to the fruits, then return once more towards the exit. Result : you cross shelves three times instead of one ! - The entrance is left The "counterclockwise" turning is due to the fact that the right leg is usually stronger... the 90% of the population is right-handed (or "right-legged" in this case ?). So it is normal to turn slightly to the left. Funny, but some shops seem to experiment the opposite: a big european furniture shop (IKEA) has choosen for some of its shops (in France for instance, yet not elsewhere) a "clockwise direction" layout. The idea is probably that in this way you will browse through these shops more slowly, instead of choosing the "optimum" -quicker- trajectory. - "Hypermarket" I don't know if this concept exists in english. In french (my native language, as you probably have already guessed), it means a big supermarket which sells not only food: also clothing, tools, and so on. In these "hypermarkets", things are in part different from the supermarkets: they have plenty of room, so they can mix the food and the non-food (one shelf of food, and one shelf of non-food). So when you have taken -say- your usual vodka and you want to get your peanuts, you *will* pass through the shelf where they sell those magnificents-and-yet-not-so- expensive beer glasses... Moreover at the beginning of the shop there is always a "starter", with all the current "discounts", and usually also clothes, wine and other completely useless gadgets... - Men and women (non P.C. section ;-) Usually, women are going to the supermarket. That's why in the "hypermarkets" (see above), the clothing is always between the entry and the food. But in the last 15 years, with women working more and more, men have begun to go shopping, instead of their wives. Result: in the commercials, on your TV you are now brainwashed about "men taking care of themselves", and instead of the good old "AQUA VELVA" and "Eau de Cologne 4711", which were more or less the only things you would have bought (if ever) in the pre-enslavement old good times you now have an icredible plethora of 'parfums pour homme' (note the form of parfums' bottles, btw, which as usual has a pavlovian meaning); and not only parfums: have a look: shampoo "formule homme", Gilette Sensor-Excel-Plus-Double-..., and so on! They realized they have a lot of new potential gullible slaves, and they found an easy way to get'em... it's easy to foresee: parfums for kids (already started with totthpaste) and for dogs and cats... - Generalization: slave's surroundings These concepts are true for the supermarkets. These last 10 years in Europa, it has generalized (an idea coming from US, as it is older there) to what we call "commercial center": a supermarket is never alone, you always have other shops around: jewelry, hi-fi shop, CD/Video shop, deluxe clothing, fashion clothing, low-price clothing, even cinemas (in english "theaters" ?), *and* the obligatory Quick or McDonald... Ok, that's all. Thanks for reading ;-) Complete informations on the subject must exist somewhere, at least in marketing courses, or perhaps in psychology, I don't know. Anyway, it's always good stuff to know. Bye, Michel
As for small additions i'd like to make to two essays...
1. There is +ORC's essay about supermarkets and how they enslave you, which mentions the counterclockwise effect. I for myself have a small side job in a pathetic attempt to get more money to cover my ever growing expenses, and can add to this.
One time in this sports store, I was told to adjust all the lamps on the floor i was working on. Naturally, when i was told to give them a little tilt to the left while still illuminating the products (make everything look nice and shiny and all that), I had to ask why that would have any effect. The story behind it was the same counterclockwise effect, but added to that the fact that when the lamps are tilted that way, it will invite the customer to keep a certain direction. walking in normally and taking the counterclockwise route, the customer will see light shining on the clothing, walking clockwise, he will have light shining somewhat in his eyes... at least in his view of vision. Therefore, what will happen is that 'the herd' will take the signals in his visual range and most likely amble through the store counterclockwise, and end up in front of the cash register, or at least not disturb other customers as they browse by moving in an opposing direction. To mention another aspect of 'herd behaviour', people like to 'follow the leader', and when they see people in front of them moving through the whole store, instinctively they will follow, thinking 'there must be a reason people look through it'.
Another thing perhaps is the way you are supposed to approach customers. Unlike what's reported by +ORC in his supermarket essay, in a store like mine you are naturally deeply instructed to 'press' the customer on whether you can help him or her. But you don't ask 'can I help you'.
Why not? This immediately implies that you are granting favours, that you are in a 'master' position vis-a-vis the customer. You are supposed to ask the customer 'can I be of service?', or similar questions along the same 'Aladdin's lamp' line, obviously giving the customer a false sense of having the upper hand in the conversation, as well as the customer/seller relationship.
Then the whole verbal selling technique starts, but I guess that is beyond the interest of this topic. There are a lot more things to say about standing in the kind of store I am in, but I am not sure whether this is relevant to the discussion at hand, let alone whether it is of major interest.
I'll quickly mention a few short things I know from other stores, such as the fact that the music you hear in stores is naturally always programmed. In one of the stores where a colleague of mine once worked they even had a rythm added to it, in the sense of numbers being played. There would be four 15 minute parts of music, especially set to be sort of a subliminal inducer for customers entering at the right time. The first part would be sort of a welcoming theme, followed by restful lingering, after which you would get a bit jazzed up by faster music until the last 15 minutes 'invited' you more or less franticly to leave the store again. Most stores work with customer counts in order to program store success, where the more customers that have visited without buying something, the lower the per customer buying amount will be. Another interesting point which clarifies obviously why stores usually try to herd you out after a certain time; every customer around you that doesn't buy anything affects other customers (if they don't buy anything, then why should I? this is obviously crap, and so on). Lastly, I've heard also from another colleague (it's amazing what you can learn if you are willing to infiltrate and search, that's what real social engineering for real Fravias should be about, btw) that in the place she worked in before this one, they worked on 'sniffing posts'!
What they had done was place on several locations a couple of hidden 'deodorisers' (for lack of a better word), which would dispense fragrances that would complement the feeling you should have with certain products. From what I've gathered, back then it wasn't so successful, but they are most probably still working on it; if you smell funny stuff in a huge store, you know where it comes from. So, if you do, don't just sit there and say 'Ah ja': Investigate, find the truth, report it.
Thinking about that, I do remember seeing all kinds of spray cans lately in that line of product enhancement. There are cans that I have held in my hand that have the 'fresh bakery smell', which can make you think you're in a bakery from heaven, and everyone knows by now the 'new car' spraycan that is supposed to add that new smell to your car, the smell that you only get when you first buy it. Needless to say, fooling people means fooling the mind, and fooling the mind is done for a large part by fooling the senses. Basically it is so that consumers are treated like an heard of stupid cows, that must be lured into buying things they don't need in the least for the sake of filling some wallets.
2. An observation on the cigarette ads. In our country (The Netherlands), if I remember correctly, the European Union's directives sort of restrict cigarette companies to blatantly advertise their product. Since I do not either buy cigarettes or search for these ads, I do not know for sure how those restrictions lie, or how much they are enforced. What I do see right now in advertisements shown in cinema's and on billboards is the rather funny shift of 'advertising'.
Suddenly, the art of sponsering is discovered, and all these 'events' pop up with sigarette brands attached to them. This ranges from the 'marlboro flashbacks' (bands covering a favorite group) to 'barclay's fashion awards', and not to forget the 'drum rythm festival' (drum being the stuff that you roll before you smoke). Now that they are not allowed to advertise openly neither with 'cowboy scenes' (see Martine Joly's splendid essay: Rhetoric of advertisement, a "Marlboro Classic" Advertisement analyzed) nor stuff like that, they get name recognition by sponsoring these events, and naturally make connections with the show involved. Of course, the same is being done with beers to some extent, but cigarettes right now are the leading players in this game.
With kindest regards,
The Dark One
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