Everything You Need To Know In Less Than 50 Words
Xiaojing Yang and her team of researchers at the University of South Carolina conducted several studies to understand the effects of pet ownership on consumer behavior. The studies suggested that dog owners tend to be more promotion-focused, while cat owners tend to be more prevention-focused.
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Pet owners were exposed to different advertising and marketing material and then asked to choose which product they would buy and how much money they would invest in the product. Dog owners were found to be more likely to invest in stocks, while cat owners were more likely to invest in mutual funds. This difference was attributed to the stereotypical traits associated with the two pets. Yang suggests that dogs are associated with promotion focus, while cats are associated with prevention focus.
The researchers conducted several experiments on different products, including pet toothpaste and sneakers, to see the impact of pet exposure on consumer behavior. Participants who were primed with dog-related stimuli were more willing to take risks, invest in high-risk stocks, and opt for products that promised gains. Participants who were primed with cat-related stimuli were more risk-averse, preferring low-risk options and products that prevented problems.
Yang explains that socialization plays a significant role in shaping our decision-making process. Since pets are such an integral part of our daily lives, they can significantly impact our cognitive style and mindset. Yang believes that even people who do not own pets but have observed others interacting with them can be affected by them.
The studies were conducted on US consumers, and Yang believes that the results may vary in different cultures. In many Western countries, pets are treated as family members, which would likely produce similar results. In other countries where pets are viewed as possessions, consumption choices may not be influenced in the same way.
The findings of the study can help companies craft their marketing messages accordingly. Yang suggests that companies should consider the features of their products and decide whether they are promotion-focused or prevention-focused. If the product is promotion-focused, featuring dogs in the marketing material may help. If it is prevention-focused, featuring cats may be more effective. Companies can use big data to gather information about consumer pet ownership and tailor their advertising messages accordingly.
The study suggests that pet ownership affects consumer behavior, with dog owners being more promotion-focused and cat owners being more prevention-focused. The findings have implications for marketers in designing their advertising campaigns and for product development. While the study was conducted on US consumers, the results may not be generalizable to other cultures where pets are viewed differently.
Source: Harverd Business Review
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