The processing of information begins when energy as the idea of irritant reaches one or more of five senses of the human being. This contact takes place while physical approach to the irritant, which stirs to activity one or several senses. This idea demands from side, which executes communication, to choose those means of information transfer, personal or mass, which are able to embrace the target market. So, when a person contacts with quite strong stimulus, his sensory perceptions become more active, and coded information transfers to his brains via nerve fibers.
This effect is called sensation, which is influenced by the following three threshold determinations: 1. The lower (or absolute) threshold: it means the minimum quantity of stimulating energy or intensity, which is necessary to form the sensation. 2. The Extreme threshold: the point, in which additional increasing of stimulus intensity doesn’t affect the sensation. 3. Differential threshold: the minimum change of irritant intensity, which can be noticed by human being (Dictionary of Marketing and Advertising, p. 74).
Some researchers of buyer behavior think that intensity of the irritant should be at least at minimum (absolute) threshold in order to make some influence on a buyer. The other think that irritants which are below the absolute threshold can influence the buyer as well – so-called conception of subconscious persuasion. We know that our sensory detection abilities go into a decline when we are getting older, so it is interesting to find out a way marketers appeal to the elderly people.
The other thing we need to take into consideration is that during the life we are getting used to different sensation, so we have to increase the level of absolute threshold to attract attention. So, what is attention, particularly? It can be determined as direction of cognitive resources to process the irritant. One of the main difficulties for commercial company is to make a consumer to focus attention on some definite information, which has to be reported. Due to some sources, average consumer looks through three hundred advertisements per day.
Average TW viewer looks through more then one hundred TV ads. It is pity, but a lot of such materials cannot attract attention, which is necessary to make some influence. The same situation you can see in trading as well. There are from 18 till 20 thousand different types of consumer goods in assortment of typical supermarket. The main problem there is marking out of one item from plenty of analogs at the market shelf and attracting of consumer’s attention as well.
The factors which influence distribution of consumer’s limited resources can be divided into two main groups: personal (individual) and factors which have concern to stimulus. Besides, some emotional conditions of personality are used in publicity, such as feeling of self-confidence, reliability, self-satisfaction, creative abilities of human being, objects of love, strength, family traditions, immortality, etc. The second group of factors is called determinants, which relay to stimulus, it means these are characteristics of stimulus.
The can be controlled, it means somebody can manipulate by them in order to increase or decrease the attention. So, it means that they are used quite often by companies in their struggle for buyer attention (Consumer Behavior, pp. 103-105). Let’s examine some factors used in order to attract the buyer’s attention by the example of elderly people, taking into consideration their peculiarities we spoke about a page before. Size: To tell the truth, the stronger irritant is, the higher is a probability that it will attract attention.
In case you enlarge the size of printed advertisement, you’ll increase chances to attract buyer’s attention. Probability that the object will be seen in the shop, depends on size or quantity of trade space for this definite item. This is mostly important for impulse shopping, where sale depends partially from the fact how many place is given for the item. As elderly people often have poor eyesight, it is important to take into account size of type – it should better be bigger, then letters, typed on the items which are aimed for younger people.
Some pharmaceutical companies make medicines which mostly are used by elderly people and write information for these medicines by big letters, in order to see description clearly. Color is also one of important factors. Color advertisements can increase sale for 41% more, than their black and white analogs. Moreover, some colors can attract attention more, then the other. We can examine some meanings of colors here. Red color – color of determination, can arouse strong desire to make some deed, for example to buy some item.
Orange color can add activity, but at the same time will give the feeling if internal balance and spiritual harmony. Yellow color inclines to communication. It is the color of open mind and communication, at the same time it is able to provide the thing with intellect, so this is the reason that a lot of Hi-tech companies make their advertising in yellow color. Green is good in publicity of medicines, health centers. Pink increases the feelings, so it can be used in perfumery, goods for women and children, family centers etc.
Blue is a color of peace and harmony, dark-blue – helps to concentrate at the very necessary. In 1959 Ris made a test (color Lusher test) in medical clinics of Leipzig University and tested 1000 people of different age, from children till elderly. He found that young people, especially in the age before 25, prefer red color. The elder people are, the more they like dark colors (Journal of Advertising, p. 15). Still, it is very difficult to influence attention of elderly people also because they due to their life experience can resist the publicity and advertising more then young people or children.
LG Company made a mobile phone, which is specialized for elderly people. Marketers understand that it is quite difficult for elderly people to see small letters, press small buttons as well as learn new technologies. Still, the majority of elderly people prefer a basic number of functions – it means the idea “A telephone should be used to make calls only”, so LG made this telephone with elementary functions only. Big buttons and low price – are two factors by opinion of LG, which should satisfy demands of elderly. This model (LG NS1000) allows only making calls and receiving/sending SMS.
Japan manufacturers of automobiles intend to start a new line of special automobiles for elderly people. As local Mass Media informs, such new and clever auto will help the driver to brake and to turn the wheel. They plan assembly-line production of such cars from the beginning of 2006. Auto will have numerous sensors and cameras, which can read all movements of hands, legs and eyes of driver and will determine mistakes in driving. At present time specialists analyze influence of age changes for physical reaction of driver and his ability to estimate situation on the road.
In accordance with results a special computer program will be created to help elderly drivers. A prototype of new car is already developed, which will have speed till 60 km/h. The creators of new auto consider that this novelty will be of great success because of increasing quantity of elderly drivers in Japanese society. The cost of such a novelty will be approx. 9-13 thousand dollars. Now, let’s make the excursion to Austria, where one of the trading concerns makes an interesting experiment: this concern opened two supermarkets especially for elderly people.
This experiment is interesting before all because representatives of the elder generation traditionally aren’t attractive group for retail trade: seems that they don’t have much money, and their demands are quite modest… Still, almost in all European countries fast ageing of society takes place, and quantity of elderly people is increasing more and more… So this supermarket in Vienna is a kind of test place, where technologies of servicing of quite specific client sphere, which is constantly increasing and becomes more important, take place.
At the first sight, this is a very ordinary supermarket: long rows of shelves, relaxing music from dynamics… But if you be attentive, you can notice some differences. For example, figures at the price-list: they are bigger, then usual. Some of shelves have magnifying glasses, in order the client will be able to see inscription at the goods, which are usually typed by small font. Besides, you can ask the cashier to give you glasses for reading.
Just near the exit you can see a comfortable bench to have a rest, near it – the device to measure blood pressure. The cart for shopping has special hanger in order to put there a walking stick. The gangway between shelves is bigger then in usual supermarkets, and floor in the shop is made of special material, so legs don’t slide. Moreover, the shelves are made in such a special manner that elder person doesn’t have to bend down or stretch for goods he needs. All those novelties were highly appreciated by the clients.
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