Feeding Your Narcissistic Customers?

It’s still first quarter so technically all of us should still be on the health-kick, and your last few trips to the gym are just ahead this week before you quit entirely by mid-February. (So say the “experts” on all things resolution for the New Year.)

However, if you are sticking with it and starting to see results, chances are you might just be a wee bit in love with yourself. Perhaps you are driven by the “look” but just not by the price? Is that true?

A recent Facebook A/B Split Test thinks so.

A niche boutique brand with all of its external efforts in social media wanted to see if fitness-minded consumers are more driven by visuals and less by price. Its products are motivational and “attitude” shirts aimed at women who work out (or who, at least want to look like they do) exude all the sass, snark and “girl power” you would expect.

The test was conducted over six weeks with promotion and images alternating between two scenarios:

  1. Just a product image of a shirt with “25% off with promo code GO2013” in the copy.

  2. Very fit, muscular woman wearing the shirt, form fitted, showing abs and/or arms/legs with no promo code and no discount.



Surprisingly the price-point-driven promotion of 25% off had significantly fewer clicks and less conversion than the image-driven shirt with the fitness model on it at full price. In fact, the image-driven promo had an astonishing 14% conversion rate over the six weeks and the price-point promo had only a 3.1% conversion rate.

Now before you scoff, thinking it was men doing all the clicking and the buying, the analytics clearly showed that an overwhelming 84% of the purchasers were women. Need more proof? The bulk of the conversion happened between the hours of 9 am and 1 pm with another spike after 9 pm; highly indicative of a time-pressed female shopper. The purchases from the promo-related image came in the morning typically, and the image-related purchases came chiefly in the evening. Again, this is highly indicative of two distinct shoppers; the cost-conscious consumer in the morning and the ego/reward consumer in the evening. The image-related purchasers were clearly motivated by the type of body and fitness represented by the model in the ad; the shirt is likely a “reward” or “boast” that they are working hard. 

So, are your health consumers totally in love with their own image of who they are or at least what they want to be? Probably.

Are you marketing to them in a subtle way in social media feeding that budding narcissism? If not, maybe you should be. A well-known lingerie retailer recently concluded in a study that showing the products displayed out on a table, or flat surface in social media suffered far less conversion activity than being shown on a pretty model. Okay, no surprise there. But did you know that the same theory could possibly work for supplements, health food/diet food and even equipment? 

Your social consumers are more likely to share, like and comment on images that are closest in representing themselves, or the image of what they want to be via affinity. Fueling the oft-rumored tendency for social consumers to create a fallacy about themselves to friends and others could be a cause of this behavior. Adding motivational statements, quotes and other content also has shown to have high viral quality.

If you can position yourself to “feed” your customer’s wants and needs via self-image, ego and even aspiration, you can likely set aside those purely price-point promos and POS discounts for a little while…

Or, at least until next January when they want to go back to the gym!

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