Dollars and Jens
Friday, August 06, 2004
Competition and survival of the fittest
The article is about men shopping for groceries, but what I pick up on is this:
"Manufacturers and distributors and grocery stores do a lot of things to maximize their profit per square inch of shelf and, hopefully, to increase customer satisfaction," Mick says. "They are not idiots. They do a lot of research. They track a lot of data. They know who their loyal customers are. They use this information to set up the store to be competitive."And fair enough to say that they aren't perfect, but I'd like to offer that they may be doing things to "maximize their profit per square inch" that "psychologists don't even know", but that the grocers also don't even know. Each company or store will have its own idiosyncrasies, and one that does the right things will have an advantage — will be more likely to stay in business — whether it does those things intentionally, knowingly, or completely unwittingly.
But even the best marketers and consumer psychologists that money can buy don't ensure that you'll buy everything a supermarket has to sell.
"Do they have this down to a science so that they push everybody's button all the time? No," Mick says. "It is easy to go to an extreme thinking that marketers and grocers know things the psychologists don't even know about getting us to buy things. I don't think they have figured out things quite that much."