Have you ever paid attention to the little marketing gimmicks that different companies use in order to get you to buy certain merchandise? Think about your last trip to the grocery store. While you are standing in line, you are a captive audience. You have to stand in line in order to pay for your merchandise and leave. The store recognizes the fact that they have you right where they want you—standing still and waiting for the person in front of you to move forward and complete the transaction. As you stand there, you will begin to look around at the small area that surrounds you. Does this sound familiar? Soon, you will find yourself throwing in a magazine or self-help book, a package of gum or a Hershey bar. All of these are things we enjoy and would love to have, yet we probably would have left them out of our grocery cart had they not been placed in such close proximity of our “waiting space.” This appeal to impulse buying is marketing at its best!
This past week, my daughter and I made a quick trip into a Bath & Body Works store to purchase a few air freshener refills for our home. Grey clouds were looming overhead, threatening rain. We therefore quickly dashed into the store and made our purchase. Just before we walked out, we realized that the clouds had now turned into a gale-force thunderstorm, which made leaving the store impossible. We stood at the door with our one little shopping bag and joked with the employees about not daring to run out into the storm lest we “melt.” The saleslady, realizing that we were a captive audience, and using all of her sales training that she had learned in the past six months proceeded to show us one tantalizing product after another. Twenty minutes later as the storm subsided, and $215.00 poorer, my daughter and I finally left the store—dry, and laden with several bags of wonderfully scented soaps, sprays, and lotions that we had not intended to buy. I’m sure my sisters will be happy with their birthday presents, but I should remind you that we dashed into the store for only a small purchase. Again, this saleswoman’s tactics represent marketing at its best!
The examples that I just gave you are just a taste of the marketing concept involved in getting people to buy a products. The grocery store and the employees of Bath & Body Works understand the type of people who are most likely to buy their product, and they strive to produce the goods and arrange them in such a way that meets the needs of that market and get the consumer in the buying mood. Often, this is why you see the chocolate bars, gum, and magazines in the checkout lane at the grocery store. Just seeing these things gets you in the mood to add just a couple of more items to your cart; the fact that you tend to like these products doesn’t hurt either!
Small Business Management Instructor