Why do people drive for Uber? An obvious, surface-level answer is “for the money.” However, as this NPR story suggests, People’s Uber, which operates in China, attracts drivers for other reasons.
The correspondent says his interviews with Uber drivers have revealed that many drive to ameliorate the impersonal feelings of living in a huge, sprawling city like Shanghai. One driver tells a poignant story of how her passengers helped get her through a divorce and a diagnosis of breast cancer. “Sometimes customers help us,” she said, “other times we help customers.”
Another driver quit his job as an engineer because he worried that his work was numbing him to the thrill of living. “Our jobs are like tepid water. After a while we don’t want to jump out.”
What a great insight for Uber (and other ride-sharing services) to have as they seek to recruit drivers – and passengers.
The article discussed in this video was named the best article published in 2014 in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.
Kathryn LaTour (professor at Cornell) and Lou Carbone (of Experience Engineering) discuss their memory distortion research for Pizza Hut in the UK.
They asked customers to describe their experiences at Pizza Hut, and then a week later asked them to recall their description. Not only did important memories fade, but consumers added negative attributes (long lines, dirty tables) that were not a part of their original experience.
The outcome was to design some pilot stores filled with cues to make the experience more “sticky” and memorable. (See image above.) Within a few months, these pilot locations reported a 40% increase in sales and a 20% jump in customer satisfaction – along with increases in employee motivation and job satisfaction.
The full article is here. Very novel approach to research and some courageous thinking by the client to implement some important changes.
Lord knows whether this new research may or may not mean anything but it was weird and counter-intuitive, and thus a good Z-Files candidate.
Researchers at Stanford have published an article in the journal Psychological Science that suggests people are more likely to engage in risky behavior if they are first primed – even in a subtle way – with the idea of God or the divine. This runs counter to previous research that suggests that religious people are more risk-averse.
Apparently the idea of God “makes people feel safe or protected,” according to one of the study authors. And this probably has little to do with whether the person actually believes in God or not.
For example, the phrase “God only knows what you’re missing!” apparently prompted increased interest in a fictitious ad for skydiving classes.
So if you are a brand that is whose product or service involves some element of risk, for all that is good and holy, please take this into consideration. The results could be miraculous.
Could you draw the Apple logo from memory? Could you even identify it if you saw it? A new study suggests the answer to those questions probably is “no.”
Eight-five UCLA undergraduates – most of whom were Apple users — were asked to draw the Apple logo. Most people were very confident they could do it. But 84 of them got it wrong. Most of them even identified the logo incorrectly when they were asked to pick it out from a group of similar logos (as depicted above.)
The man who led this research also authored a 2012 study that showed most people couldn’t describe the location of a fire extinguisher in their office building, even though they passed the extinguishers every day for, in many cases, years. (Interestingly, these people could find a fire extinguisher very easily when asked to do so – but most of them couldn’t describe its location).
So in market research, it can very tricky to ask people to recall details– especially when it comes to things like product attributes. Our memory is limited; it screens out things that seem to be irrelevant.
(By the way…none of the logos above is correct. The actual logo looks like one at the bottom-center, but with the leaf facing the other way)
Thanks to Jessica Ames for sending along this article about humor as a social lubricant.
A study from the University College London suggests that people who have been laughing are more likely to share intimate, even embarrassing details about their lives.
Three experimental groups each were shown a different video – one to induce laughter, another to induce a pleasant mood, and a third to induce no particular feelings at all. After watching the video, participants were asked to write a biography that introduced them to other members of the group.
Those who saw the funny video were significantly more likely to share secrets in their bio (e.g. “In January I broke my collarbone falling off a pole while dancing.”)
Maybe there are implications here for consumer research, especially when dealing with sensitive or embarrassing topics. Perhaps laughter can be a bit like a truth serum.
This won’t be surprising to most people reading this blog, but…
P&G just completed an internal study of 300 TV ads, 85 online videos, 100 Facebook posts and 50 in-store displays. They found that communication that generated an emotional response was nine times more likely to be successful.
Positive emotions were most likely to lead to success…but even negative emotions made a significant impact. As a P&G exec says, “The real killer is indifference.”
As for those straightforward, factual, “rational” appeals…don’t waste your time. They’re probably not going to work.