Category: Consumer Psychology

Packaging: A view through consumer eyes

Supermarkets are inundated with numerous products, brands fight for the shelf space to attract consumers. Brands differentiate their products using colourful and creatively designed packages. By doing this, the brands fight each other silently to win over the consumer who walk across the aisle. However, there is no sales person standing nearby to explain the features of the product. Sonsino (1990) states that the transformation of retail industry demands customers to pick products on their own. Packaging play a huge role in grabbing the attention of the customer when they opt self-servicing. Sonsino (1990) called packaging acts as a “Silent Salesman” in stores. According to Vidales Giovannetti (1995), packaging conveys the benefits and qualities of a product. Additionally, packaging provides the last opportunity to grab the attention of the consumers (Mc Daniel & Baker, 1977).


A package to sell honey – Retrieved from

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Culture – Bonding and Branding

It is Christmas time! Christmas party and songs are alluring me. Bangor University is celebrating Christmas in many ways: the main reception of the university welcomes everyone with a huge “International Christmas Tree” decorated with plastic litter collected from the beach, YoYo application of Bangor Eat – Drink unit has announced multiple offers, and different clubs and societies are running Christmas based events.

Pic 1

Santa and Reindeer – Retrieved from

Christmas means a lot to people – isn’t it?. For me, Christmas means “Sharing”. It will vary with people based on the cues that they have observed during their life time. The ways in which Christmas celebrated is also different in different countries (To check them). Continue reading

Delving into Minimalism

Minimalist are the group of people who defy the term “Consumerism“. Consumerism promotes acquisition and accumulation of goods. On the other hand, minimalism is a lifestyle that embraces “less is more” concept. There are very less documented scientific evidence available about this lifestyle. However, books on minimalism galore in online market place.

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Behavioural insights to tackle food waste

India is known for its diversity and agricultural products. Being an Indian and Tamilian, I have tasted wide variety of food. When I landed in the UK, there was succinct change in my consumption pattern. I have relied on bread and butter, until I found ingredients needed to make Indian food. I could witness marked difference in the products that I bought for my everyday consumption. Vegetables I wanted normally weighed around a kilogram, mushrooms weighed 400 grams, and bread packets are around 400 grams with few days shelf life. Consequently, it led me to dump good and fresh vegetables into trash bins as it passed the expiry. I don’t normally resort myself to buy higher quantities in India and have wasted little. This is a serious concern related to my behaviour, which made me to explore household food waste and consumer behaviour related to it.

It is found that, household food waste has increased from 7.0 tonnes (2012) to 7.3 million tonnes (2015). The estimated value of food that could have eaten instead of throwing is around 13 billion pounds. UK is tackling this issue right from 2007 and has seen some dramatic reduction in food waste. However, due to increased wages and deflation witnessed in the year 2015 has resulted in increase of food waste (WARP, 2017). Tristram Stuart in his TED talk provides mind-boggling evidences related to food waste, watch it. He says supermarkets and restaurants in USA stocks more than twice the amount food needed for the citizens.

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99% pure, 99% fat free, and kills 99.99% of germs are the common advertisement messages given by different brands. Why the same brands does not use 1% impure, 1% fat, and 0.01 % germs survive?. Using the right kind message will induce consumers to buy product. Framing effect is the reason behind using the marketing messages like the ones mentioned above.

Cool mint fragrance toilet cleaner ads. Cleaner bobs kill germs inside toilet bowl. Vector realistic illustration. Horizontal banner.

Kills 99.9% of Bacteria – Source:

In 1979, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky published a paper titled “Prospect Theory:An Analysis of Decision Under Risk”.(Also Tversky A., Kahneman D. (1985),Kahneman D. Tversky A.,(1983)). This paper investigated and questioned “expected utility theory” which is widely used in the area of economic decision making. Expected utility theory uses probabilities of the outcome and does not consider any other irrational factors of humans. To support their claim, authors refers to Allais Paradox which was proposed in the year 1953 by Maurice Allais. Continue reading

Creating an advert with a hidden meaning or image can be joyful for marketers. However, is it meaningful to use them in marketing campaigns?. As a marketer, one has to seek advice from academic think tanks before creating such an advert. Commercials that imbue consumers through hidden meanings may lose the entire plot. This article discuss on the realm of subliminal perception.

To put it simple, subliminal perception are cues (can be an image, sound, or any other object) that are not processed by our brain consciously(see Figure 1). In other words, they are not seen by consumers and it is not perceivable immediately. Have you observed Baskin and Robbins logo, is there anything different? (see Figure 2).


Figure 1: Supraliminal  vs Subliminal. Retrieved from

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Weber’s law in marketing

Ice creams are served in a round tub and juices are served in tall slim glasses. Is there anything fuzzy about it?. Yes, indeed as a consumer we feel we were served more. If you want to test it, go ahead and pour the same amount of juice in standard measuring water bottle – you will get know how much you were actually served. A consumer normally don’t know differences when they are subtle. Though, they identify the differences when they are salient and extreme.


Pic 1: Do we really notice these things during purchase? Source:

Ernst Heinrich Weber a psychologist of 17th century studied how people differentiate between the same stimuli in two different occasions. Imagine you are now lifting  2 pounds of chocolate in your hand and then if you lift a 2.1 pounds of chocolate in the second occasion. Will you feel the difference?. Continue reading

Lionel Robbins in his book, “An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science” has given a definition for economics through the lens of scarcity. The definition is given by him is imperative even now. He defined,

“Economics is the science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses”.

                                                                                                                             – Lionel Robbins

Scarcity of any commodity creates demand for it and that demand leads to higher price ( based on demand curve).

Robert Cialdini in his famous book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” has mentioned “Scarcity principle” can be used in persuasion. His article titled “The Science of Persuasion”  he explains how scarcity can influence people and how marketers use it influence consumers. This article explores about the use of scarcity in marketing context to persuade consumers. Before getting into the literature, let’s have a look at an example of scarcity effect in marketing.

Online platforms like Amazon, Ebay, Flipkart and many other websites mostly creates this scarcity effect to influence consumers to buy product. Take a look at the picture given below to get a good grasp of practical use of scarcity appeal. Continue reading