Influence of Environmental cues on Product evaluation & choice
If this is what faces marketers armed with stimuli that would in most probability be ignored (its time to dump those Admen!), what can they do?
the answer lies in Jonah A. Berger and Grainne Fitsimons' research work titled, 'How Environmental Cues Influence Product Evaluation and Choice'. The recommendation of their work is to urge marketers to ensure that their products are more in consonance with the environment within which they are traded. That is because cues in the environment influence product evaluation and choice. In fact their study suggests that environmental cues, even ones consumers may not be consciously aware of, can influence what they like and buy.
That point was illustrated in the Puma brand study. The researchers drew from a previous research showing that “cats and dogs have a strong cognitive association in memory because of their many feature similarities as domestic pets.” Study participants were shown a series of 20 pictures. Some were shown only images unrelated to Puma (such as a picture of a stapler), while others saw either five or 10 images of dogs. When the participants were then shown pictures of different brands of sneakers, those who had seen a lot of dog pictures were 30% faster to recognise the Puma brand.
The authors inferred; 'Our findings show that environmental cue exposure can affect attitudes not only toward the exposed object but also toward any object that shares a conceptual relationship. In addition to relying on existing conceptual relationships , the data indicate that marketers can create novel links between their product and a commonly encountered feature in the consumer environment.'
It would be good for marketers to remember that environmental cues are accepted by the consumer unlike marketing cues. Its smart then to link the former with the latter leading to greater acceptance of the latter. If the marketing cues had not been linked, had been exposed directly to the consumer, chances are that they would be ignored.