Sunday, September 21, 2008

Predators "R" Us

Writing Prompt: Why are you loyal to certain brands/stores? What keeps you coming back?

I read somewhere that if a bird of prey finds a mouse under a certain bush, it will revisit that bush regularly for a while to see if it can find more mice there. We as predators are hard wired to return to the scene of success. (Oh, yes, we are, too, predators.) So if we have made successful "kills" at a certain store, we are more likely, statistically, to return to it. But if our success is not repeated, then the behavior will taper off.

If on the other hand, we are not successful, then we will seek other places for our hunt. We may pass the unsuccessful site and give it a try, but we won't go out of our way to revisit it.

Think now, if the hawk or owl has an unpleasant experience at a certain bush-- say a fight with another predator or a narrow escape from a trap or even just a loud noise, the predator is most likely to avoid the site. I doubt if any one has studied this idea in terms of birds of prey, but entire theories of psychology are built on this proposition.

So for all you marketing execs out there, it is better not to lose the customer in the first place than to overcome a bad experience.

I know you can't have merchandize that appeals to everyone, but you can carry a good selection in your niche and keep in mind what your niche market really wants.

You can also give good customer service so the predator, I mean, shopper won't avoid you.

Is it really that simple?

Yes, it really is.