Have you been pooping wrong all your life?
I know you are a bit perplexed and thinking why this question.
Be forewarned— you’ll be thrown in piles of laughter (pun intended).
It has sold 10,000 toilet footstools in past 6 months across the world and has users from six continents and in all 50 states in the United States.
That is quite a wide market for a product as elementary as a stool. But how did it manage to become so popular in such a little time?
Pooping unicorn, it turns out, can produce more than a laugh. It addresses the subject of going to the bathroom which people barely talk about with their friends and family, let alone hear it from a company. By telling the customers that they were doing something wrong, they created awareness amongst the masses that they had a “need” for the correct way.
A need is an elementary biological objective; a want denotes a way taught by the society to satisfy our need. Thus, need is already there, but marketers basically propose a way to fulfil it. A fundamental objective of marketing is to build awareness that need exists and not create a need (Solomon, 2006).
Maslow proposed that human needs can be apprehended in a hierarchical configuration. The model is a pyramid with the physiological needs for life, such as, food, water, sleep, excretion etc. at the bottom, and the need for the most abstract desires at the peak like that of self-actualization. Humans are driven by motivations to achieve these in order, starting from the lowest (Gherasim and Gherasim, 2013).
Marketers use this hierarchy to identify the instincts of customers in decision making
Squatty potty targets the audience to think of it as a basic need to acquire. It makes one believe that it can work as a simple and effective remedy for their health problems. And for some it has worked beyond being just a practical utility by providing a hope for transformation and healthy lifestyle.
How did they go “smooth and easy”?
Classical conditioning is fundamental in learning consumer behavior. It is about using various unconditional stimuli (e.g.; humor) with a neutral stimulus (e.g.; a product) and evoking consumer learning about the product even in absence of the unconditional stimulus through repeated advertisements (Smith et al., 1998).
Squatty potty cleverly uses an adorable unicorn and soft serve poops to create an image in consumer’s mind regarding ease of passing stools with their product.
The ad uses “pooping will never be the same and neither will ice cream” and surplus other elements of humor. The application of humor makes the advertisement more notable and promotes the brand name (Solomon, 2006, Cline et al., 2003). Brand names conveying information and meaning escalate awareness and create favorable perceptions (Klink, 2001).
The company is creatively smart to put forward a catchy name “squatty potty” for their product that enables squatting with going to the loo and thus, conditioning the consumer to think of it every time they sat down for bathroom business.
With the audiences being exposed to multiple information channels, it is important to assimilate the senses into the brand experience to deliver a more persuasive offer. The most important is sight, followed in importance by smell, sound, taste and touch. Creative visuals that are readily grasped enhance good mood which further tricks the customer into buying a product (Hill, 2003).
Let’s dig deeper….
Classical conditioning doesn’t answer the why of complex human behavior. Skinner proposed the best way to comprehend the psychology by looking at the causes of an action and its consequences. This approach was called operant conditioning. It implies that changing of behavior depends upon reinforcements which are given after the desired response of behavior. Consequences are the reinforcements and target behavior is the response we are looking for (Iacobucci, 2014) .
Negative reinforcement-A behavioral response is said to be a negative enforcement which is strengthened to operate on the environment to prevent the consequence.
From the message sent out from the commercial, if you don’t use squatting position (squatty potty), then you struggle emptying your belly.
Have the best poop of your life or money back guarantee
The concept of risk is significant to understand the grounds of consumer decision making.
Because consumers can be risk averse for several reasons, including caring less about the product category or avoiding errors, rather than just capitalizing their utility. Perceived risk often inhibits purchasing. Therefore, it is essential to provide information that lessens their perceived risk (Suwelack et al., 2011).
To wrap up, you can sell almost anything if you delve well into the consumer’s psychology.
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GHERASIM, A. & GHERASIM, D. 2013. Modelling the Consumer Behaviour. Economy Transdisciplinarity Cognition, 16, 57-62.
HILL, D. 2003. Why They Buy. Across the Board, 40, 27-32.
IACOBUCCI, D. 2014. Marketing Management, Cengage Learning.
KLINK, R. R. 2001. Creating meaningful new brand names: A study of semantics and sound symbolism. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 9, 27-34.
SMITH, P. W., FEINBERG, R. A. & BURNS, D. J. 1998. An examination of classical conditioning principles in an ecologically valid advertising context. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 6, 63-72.
SOLOMON, M. R. 2006. Consumer Behaviour: A European Perspective, Financial Times/Prentice Hall.
SUWELACK, T., HOGREVE, J. & HOYER, W. D. 2011. Understanding Money-Back Guarantees: Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Outcomes. Journal of Retailing, 87, 462-478.
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