Growth5 Blog

Monday, September 19, 2011

Whole Foods is "Priming" You, Are You "Priming" Anyone?

This piece from Fast Company discusses several ways that Whole Foods is "priming" you the minute you enter their store. Their goal is to get you to do more shopping than you may have intended, and  solidify their brand in your mind while you're there.

The article mentions a couple examples of how they do this using "symbolics"- unconscious suggestions:
-fresh cut flowers as you enter the store implying everything in the place is as fresh as what you're seeing there at the front door;
- prices appear as chalk on black slate implying the farmer pulled up in front of the store moments ago, set out the produce and scrawled a price for the day on the black slate;
-ice is everywhere, that's how fresh this stuff is, it's fresher than the life cycle of ice; and
-"Sales records show that bananas with Pantone color 13-0858 (otherwise known as Vibrant Yellow) are less likely to sell than bananas with Pantone color 12-0752 (also called Buttercup), which is one grade warmer, visually, and seems to imply a riper, fresher fruit."

What are some of the "symbolics" you're putting out there for your business? Are you proactively "priming" your customers? You're certainly giving off brand signals whether you're proactively doing it or not, so might as well think about it and plan accordingly.

You can give off positive brand signals in all sorts of ways, whether you're a one-person shop or have hundreds of people in your firm...
-How quickly do you get back to people?
-What value do you add to the client relationship in all of your interactions with them?
-Do your emails reflect a tone of 13-0858 or are they a little warmer like 12-0752? You might sell more bananas if you go with the latter.

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