According to a new study, consumer spending differs between exposure to a brand and a slogan.
“Exposure to the retailer brand name Walmart, typically associated with saving money, reduces subsequent spending, whereas exposure to the Walmart slogan, (Save money. Live better.) increases spending,” write authors Juliano Laran (University of Miami), Amy N. Dalton (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), and Eduardo B. Andrade (University of California, Berkeley).
This phenomenon repeated with other big name box stores associated with savings. No explanation was offered for this exposure-dependent difference in the Science Daily article on the study, but I found the closing paragraph interesting:
“Companies may be trying to attract customers with slogans associated with saving money, but in fact, this strategy may make consumers spend more money than they would if they had not been exposed to the slogans,” the authors conclude.
I haven’t been hanging out with the head honchos of any of the “money-saving” big box stores, but I’m pretty sure their goal is NOT for consumers to spend less money, but rather to attract the dollars the consumer will spend to their stores where their dollar, in theory, goes farther.
This interpretation by the authors that the slogans were causing a backfire from the point of view of marketing is a gross error. This isn’t a backfiring at all! When consumers are exposed to the message of saving money, they become primed to spend more at the store where they think they are saving money. Hardly a marketing message gone wrong. That’s the “gold” of marketing.
So if you have a business where prices are your primary selling point, coming up with a money-saving slogan will bring more spending to your door.
From the point of view of the consumer…that’s another story. A case of “buyer beware”. You’re not really “saving” money if you spend more. Not rocket science, but yet another illustration of how easily our minds can play tricks on us.