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top of the mind consumer study 1

top of the mind consumer study 1 - The Smart Grid What do...

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The Smart Grid: What do they know and when do they know it (Pt 1) Richard Feinberg, Ph.D. Department of Consumer Sciences and Retailing The Energy Center at Discovery Park Purdue University What do consumers say when asked- “What is the first thing that comes to your mind when I say “Smart grid.” April 15, 2009
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What do consumers say when asked- “What is the first thing that comes to your mind when I say “Smart grid.” Do they say “cereal” or Sudoku”? Or do they say, “a system to help electric companies get electricity to consumers more efficient and consumers a way to make decisions about their electrical use and save money.” The difference turns out to be significant. The issue is really simple. When potential consumers think about the “Smart grid” what do they think about? The desire of consumers to buy or use a product depends in part on how they perceive it. This perception is based on prior beliefs, biases, cognitive associations, experiences, information, education and many other external and internal cognitions. Whatever their beginnings consumer psychologists know that when the cognitions conflict with the “real” trouble ensues. The goal of utilities is to have consumer understand and use the “Smart Grid”. This use depends upon the acceptance and understanding of consumers about the Grid. Conflicting perceptions, inadequate knowledge, cognitive errors all lead to problems in getting consumers to understand and use the Smart grid. Consumer psychologists have used the concept of the top of the mind as a way to look at what consumers know about a product or service. Top of the mind success is when consumers can easily recall your products name and function. Clear and congruent top of mind is very desirable because it is the first things that consumers think about when a product/service is mentioned. It will only take a couple of examples to illustrate this concept. What do you think about when you see “Absolutely positively overnight”- Most of us will say without any thought at all “Federal express” although Fed Ex has not use this expression for over 30 years yet still those of us who grew up with it remember it (and even use it in lieu of Fed Exes current “tag” line…. Federal express use that expression to define itself. They used it much the same way as we use Kleenex, Xeroxing, and band-aid. Words have meaning and Fed ex knew a good thing when they found it. The IPod, no frills, when you have to get away, The helpful hardware man, you can do it we can help, think outside the bun, I’m loving it, snap crackle pop, plop plop fizz fizz oh what a relief it is, melts in your mouth not in your hands, two all beef patties……. Companies have got to stop designing, developing, and marketing products from the inside out but must so it from the outside in. The reason is simply. Product and service acceptance endues is driven buy consumer cognitions and tag lines create and maintain those cognitions. Can a product without any top of the mind reaction gain acceptance and success…o course. Can a
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top of the mind consumer study 1 - The Smart Grid What do...

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