Consuming Flow

When you are about to buy a new smartphone, you end up comparing different models against each other. They have basically the same technology. They look the same. It won’t really matter which you choose. So, you trust your gut feeling and make your decision.

Why did the first one feel better than the second one? Probably, you picked the phone that felt the easiest to choose. Your thoughts and feelings flowed in a comfortable manner when you looked at it and heard yourself say the name of the brand. It felt simple. You felt a kind of a flow.

If you have read my previous texts about conceptual consumption, you know it’s importance. Mental flow is one kind of conceptual consumption. The easier it is to think about, the easies it is to like it. And, the easier it is to consume it.

Smartphones is one example, another is shares on the stock market. All shares gets an abbreviation. Some are easier to pronounce, others are harder. The funny thing is, that the shares that are easier to pronounce, are generally valued higher. Make yourself a little experiment. What is easiest to say: “let’s buy two hundred of KAR” or “let’s buy two hundred of XTP”. The first one, right?
The easier it is to say, the easier it is to consume.

The phone example have been tested in a controlled experiment. The researchers offered the participants to buy two identical phones. The only thing that differed between them, was the description. Some had a simple description, others had a turtous one. Most of the participants picked the easier one.

The researchers come to the conclusion that the peopel who read the turtous description felt a resistance. But, while reading the simple description, they felt a flow.

How do you present, describe and name your products and services?



References: Alter, Adam, L., Oppenheimer, Daniel, M. (2006) Predicting short-term stock fluctuations by using processing fluency. PNAS. Vol. 103. 9369-9372.

Dhar, Ravi, Novemsky, Nathan, Schwartz, Norbert, Simonson, Itamar. (2007) Preference Fluency in Choice. Journal of Marketing Research. Vol. 44. 347-356.