Nudge Clinic with Rory Sutherland & Danny Richman held on Monday 18th October.
Who is Rory Sutherland?
Rory Sutherland is the vice-chairman of Ogilvy UK, one of the world’s largest advertising agencies. Rory is also the technology correspondent for The Spectator and the author of Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don’t Make Sense.
What is a Nudge Clinic?
Nudging is the process of using behavioural psychology to influence behaviour in predictable and positive ways.
In this clinic, Rory looked at the attendees’ websites to suggest ways of using Behavioural Psychology to “nudge” customers into buying their products or services.
Danny: Good morning everybody. I am absolutely delighted to be joined today by Rory Sutherland. For those of you that are not familiar with Rory, Rory is the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy UK. One of the world’s oldest and probably best known advertising agencies. Rory’s also the technology correspondent at The Spectator magazine.
And the author of Alchemy, The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don’t Make Sense, available at all good booksellers everywhere. Good morning, Rory. How are you?
Rory: Good morning. It’s wonderful to be here. Thank you very much, indeed.
Danny: Well, thank you for agreeing to this. So just to let you know, I mean, I’ve been following Rory’s work for quite a very long time now.
But I actually had the immense pleasure of meeting Rory at a conference a few years ago in Brighton where we were both booked to speakers and had a lovely few hours chatting about all sorts of things in the green room at that conference. And you know, one of our shared interests is the application of behavioural science, particularly in the world of business.
Now Rory would normally be working with some of the world’s largest brands and, and organizations. And the idea of running a nudge clinic for smaller businesses was actually your idea. Rory, I heard you mentioned it on another podcast, so perhaps you could just tell us a little bit about what attracted you to that idea.
Rory: It’s simply one of the reasons I founded a behavioural science practice within Ogilvy was because I was frustrated at the fact that actually. If you’re giving advice on how to spend a million dollar ad budgets, you are restricting your value to disproportionately large companies or multinationals or famous brands above all.
Human was the central thing that advertising does, which is to use psychology to add value to business, to add value to the business consumer relationship is actually potentially scalable. If you don’t confine yourself simply today, advertising, but you actually can find yourself to creative problem solving, which I think is the proper remit of the advertising age.
And I increasingly started noticing even with larger companies, by the way, that smaller things that lay outside the, you know, the standard marketing discussion, we’re having material impact on business success and on consumer experience. And they weren’t being given the attention they deserve. I’ll give you a very simple story here, which I think is.
Because the question I’m asking here is who in business is responsible for this? Now there was a John Lewis that opened in Tunbridge Wells. Now, those people who know Tunbridge Wells would probably say that if there were two brands made for one another John Lewis and Tunbridge Wells would be at there.
There aren’t very many John Lewis, by the way, I can’t remember the numbers, but there are something like 25 in the UK or 30 stores. It’s not, not not including Waitrose and that obviously, but actually the number of John Lewis department stores. Isn’t all that huge. Now what’s interesting is that about a year ago, it closed and famous.
All right. And I thought, actually, this is really very strange happened that I knew the store and it struck me. There are a few things which nobody seemed to have corrected with this store. One of which is it was located on the entrance to an industrial estate, which meant that it was possible to turn in.
It was very difficult to actually enter the, the store, which had its own separate carpark. So you couldn’t combine the visit to John Lewis with a visit to PC world or a visit to Asda or a visit to Aldi or anything else had its own separate CAPA, which required a dedicated journey. And it was a car part that was very easy to turn into if you were leaving the industrial estate, but almost impossible to turn into if you’re arriving with the additional problem that the sign was actually placed.
So that by the time you’d seen, there was a John Lewis there and there was an entrance you needed to attorn, you needed to take to go in. It was too late to make the. Okay. Those of you familiar with the M20, by the way, we’ll know that if you’re heading if you’re heading to heading towards the M25 for the M20, there is a sign which tells you which lane to be in, which is only legible after they’ve painted a load of hatching lines in the road to prevent you from changing lanes.
I mean, it’s the most extraordinary piece of of ill-conceived signage. You can imagine, which says, basically you should be in that lane, but you’ve now can’t turn. I mean, it’s more or less taunting you and this John Lewis sign was doing something similar, but there was the additional mistake as well, which struck me as really fascinating misconception, which was it didn’t call itself John Lewis or mini John Lewis or micro John Lewis or everything like that.
It calls itself John Lewis at home. Okay. That both my wife and I assume for the previous two years before we first went there, that at-home meant itself. Yeah. I don’t know why we assume that. Okay. So things with lots of things with home in the title home, HomeSense basically our furniture shops and we basically drove past it and thought, well, we’re not in the market for a sofa at the moment.
So we went by the game. Then I subsequently went then discovered it was sort of televisions, computers, glassware. In fact, it sold everything. John Lewis would have sell except cosmetics and women’s fashion two items, which are of virtually no interest to me. Have I known two years earlier that they sold computers, digital radios, the ship with a plug.
Okay. I would have gone there drawn like a moth to a flame, but I assumed it was just full of. Now it’s perfectly possible. Well, two things perfectly possible. One of which is that these factors significantly contributed to the failure of the store. And yet nobody is really responsible for what we would call in behavioural science, the choice architecture or the store.
It’s also possible. If we’re not careful that John Lewis comes to the conclusion, for example, that small stores don’t work or that Tunbridge Wells is an inappropriate location in which to host a John Lewis. Both of which I think will be erroneous. Now there’s a book I can recommend to anybody who runs a small business.
It’s a really hokey book. And when you first pick it up, or if you buy it second hand on Amazon, you’ll go, God, what was Rory thinking recommending this ridiculously hokey book, but it’s called Obvious Adams. And it’s a kind of 1930s, I think American business book about a guy called obvious Adams who actually works in advertising, bizarre mate, who oversees great wealth and success because all these American books of that period, you know, believe that, you know, a worthwhile activity is, are always rewarded materially, but he owes it to basically spotting obvious things that you know, that there’s a department store that’s failing because the entrance is in the wrong place.
I know a case where Taco Bell launched in the UK and and where they, more or less came to the conclusion. There was one store in London, taco bell, which failed now. That surprised me because there are enough American ex-pats and American tourists in London to keep a brunch for taco bell going.
Even if Brits, I’m going to clear what it is, and it doesn’t require a massive feat of the imagination to work at what taco bell sells I’ve rolled. But ultimately it’s perfectly possible. The reason this store failed is because it was in a dumb location where the entrance was actually kind of run the back of the actual, visible part of the store.
Right. I think there are shops with bars that failed because the windows are too high so that nobody can see it. We feel very discomforted going into a café or going into a restaurant if we can’t see how many people are inside or what’s going on inside, for instance, okay. There are loads and loads of psychological factors like this.
Here’s another tip to a small business. Okay. Really boring. One, if you run a shop. Okay. One of the things you should do is you should not just clear. Lock the door at five o’clock or if you like five to five or 5.25 or five minutes before your normal closing time, Hover by the door. If anyone comes up and tries to get into your shop in the next five to 10 minutes, make a big show of opening the shop up for them.
Again, if you do that, you’ve won a customer for life on the, on the opposite side. If you actually allow people into your store at five o’clock and then say, sorry, we’re closed. Okay. You’ve probably lost a customer for life. And the reason for that is we don’t just judge things by what they are. We judge things by what they think we think they think of us.
And the first action basically makes you feel like an incredibly valued customer. Who’s getting different. Beneficial treatments. And the other one, even though logically it’s simply because you’re closed is simply a rebuff. You, we interpret that as, as a social insult. Yes. We think. Well, I bet if I look richer, more stylish, et cetera, you would have opened the store for me.
And we take it personally, even when we shouldn’t, but there’s nothing you can do about that. There’s a dry cleaner in Sevenoaks that I haven’t used for six years, because basically you know, he he closed three minutes early and I’d come to collect my stuff and he didn’t know he was there, but didn’t open the door.
I’d never been other than collecting the clothes I had to collect. I’ve never been packed. And so understanding these psychological factors, it’s always worth noting. I think it was John Sainsbury. The founder of Sainsbury’s, his dying words were make sure the stores are kept well. The number of shops. I see which don’t look open when they are coffee shops.
If you put chairs on the pavement, even if it’s raining and no one’s going to sit there, it says to the lizard human brain from 300 yards away, there’s a place here. It sells coffee and it’s open. We infer that automatically from chairs being out on the pavement from 300 yards distance or from a fast moving car, we can work that out.
Okay. And the number of businesses, small businesses, I see happen with my local vintage shop, where they put so much blasted postering in the window that the lights no longer streamed out. They’re open till eight o’clock at night on a very nine o’clock at night, actually on a very busy road. But if you were in a car, you would assume the shop was closed.
And the extent to which human behaviour proceeds through unconscious inference and the extent to which businesses don’t cater for this kind of thing is really worrying because I think there’s a huge amount of, I think there are a huge amount of businesses that failed for that John Lewis reason.
Danny: Yes. I’m sure. You’re right. Let’s have a look at some of these websites Rory, so I’m just going to share my screen and get this up here. So yeah, pretty much all of the websites that we’re going to be looking at today are businesses that I work with at the Prince’s Trust. So you know, these are quite small businesses for the most part.
And I’ve tried to include a, kind of a good selection of different types. So hopefully then people can apply some of what you’re saying to their own business, even if we don’t get the time to feature it. So I’m going to start with this one here. So this is a company called zigzag. Yep. And it sells mostly online.
She does also do some you know, some market stalls and fairs but it sells high quality loose leaf tea and teabags various different herbal blends and things like that. I’ll just scroll down here so that you can get a sense, a wide range of different flavours. And you can, you can buy them online.
And they’re also Lucy’s products are also stocked in certain cafes as well. I just wanted, whether you had any thoughts.
Rory: List, the cafes, where your stock, because it’s really good. It’s a really good proof point. There are, there are whole brands which really established that brand attributes. So distribution, I’ll give you a couple of San Pellegrino and Peroni for those of you who are my age, we first encountered them in pizza express or in the case of San Pellegrino generally, and fairly up upscale Italian restaurants.
And a lot of that brand was built by who stopped it. We saw Peroni as authentically Italian because we encountered it in pizza express, rolling rock, which doesn’t seem to be very popular now, but rolling rock first launched in things like Ed’s diner, which were very, very American. Locations. So definitely if you’re sold at you know, in, in other locations, do recall the fact and also go to hide the phone number.
If you’re a small business and you have time to enter the phone to, to answer the phone. Okay. One of the things I’m always conscious of with website design is the website design people are rewarded by the efficiency and effectiveness of the website, not necessarily of the business itself. And there’s a slight tendency to mistake efficiency for effectiveness.
And I’ll tell you a little story about this. A wonderful story, which is that I was working with quite nut market online travel agent. And a lot of people kept using the phrase, the need to maximize online. Now, this is a fairly high margin travel site. I won’t name it. But the typical profit from selling a holiday would be in the high two to three figures.
I would imagine. And the chief executive said, hold on a second. And he said, let’s not forget. It’s not like for like comparison. When someone goes to our website, they convert at naught 0.5%. And when they phone us up, they converted about 35%. Now, as I said, it’s not like flight comparison because people who phone you a hotter prospects and people who are merely browsing, nonetheless, you don’t want to lose a sale because you’re frightened to spending three pounds handling a phone call.
Yeah. And I think a lot of websites are designed for this weird world where everybody does everything online. And actually there will be a large number of potential customers who just want the reassurance of an answer. Yup. Don’t discount that because as I said, it’s better to sell a hundred things at a margin of 50% than it is to sell seven things at a margin of 95%, whatever.
Yeah. I mean, my experience as well is that even for visitors that are only coming online the source of where they came from makes an enormous difference to the likelihood of them buying the product. People that have come to a website having performed a search on. Mm, or generally far more likely to then go and buy something from that website, rather than someone that’s just clicked on an ad that they’ve seen on another website, even if it indicates they have an interest in that product.
I guess the more effort somebody puts in the more the more active they are in that process, which I imagine is something similar to what’s happening with the phone calls there. Someone that can be bothered to pick up the cell phone is, is a better prospect. I mean, if you scroll down, is there a kind of selection pack or a smaller price?
I’m actually some, some of the stuff is, Hey, we are at six pounds. This is one interesting thing is you probably quite a lot of this will be bought as a gift and people want to see the packaging. And so that’s one question I would ask, which is obviously you can’t give as a gift, something, you know, in a polythene bag that looks like you’ve got it from a drug dealer.
So people will want to see the package. There we go. Interesting. That is interesting. That comes to that. That’s how it comes. I believe so. Yeah. Yeah. It’s an interesting thing that a gift purchase you know, what proportion of this stuff is actually bought to give one of the most interesting marketing case studies, I think of the last few years is British sparkling wine, which in a way only became successful when it became expensive.
Now I know this drives economists crazy, but we launched the buy champagne to signify generosity or hospitality, which means that to some extent, it doesn’t matter how good the sparkling wine is. Even if it’s better than vintage Krug. If your guests think you’ve spent £8.95 per bottle, they don’t appreciate.
Yup. And it was interesting. I think it was a marketing guy and who was at Heineken who bought chapel down and he did improve the quality to an extraordinary extent in the British sparkling wine regularly beats major Champagne houses now in both blind tastings and non-blood tastings of sparking wine.
But to some extent, selling it for £25 was the brilliant idea. And so one of the important things is understanding the packaging and how it’s delivered. The one complaint I do make is that very few people described delivery times and speeds until it’s too late for you to discover. So it’s worth telling people, for example, we, you know, next day delivery available or something like that.
On page one, as it were. And what time, how long it will take to arrive. That’s not necessarily because people are in a hurry to actually receive things. It’s partly because they hate the uncertainty of waiting. We don’t like being in the state where we know that something’s due to be delivered, but we’re not sure when it’s going to come.
So it’s very new. You can choose actually, Amazon have slightly broken them as weird mistake was made, but it used to mean that if you chose prime only anything pride was available next day. And that’s become messier now, which is actually slightly annoying because sometimes, sometimes I need something tomorrow.
Sometimes I just, it’s an impulse buy and I just want it tomorrow. Yeah. You know, there are a lot of things I probably would buy if I had to wait a week for them. You know, I grew up in the age when mail order was allowed 28 days for delivery. Well, I mean, forget about doing that now, you know, that would seem actually.
It has become messier, but at least when you go and look up the selection of products on the Amazon website, it says where you’re looking at the product, you know, prime delivery available, you get it by tomorrow. Yeah. And it is worth that not the standard order in which we buy things is choose the thing and then discover how much postage costs.
And then discover when it’s going to arrive is obviously for many people, it’s an appropriate order of decision-making. But for a lot of people, it isn’t because for some people, slower delivery is a deal breaker. If it’s someone’s birthday, for example, it says hand delivery takes two to three working days, but is there, are you offering express delivery?
One of the other things which I would recommend, which almost nobody does is offer people a choice of delivery modes. Yeah. So say, do you want it by Royal mail? Do you want it by ups? Do you want it by somebody else? Now it may be that you have such a spectacular deal with one of the courier companies that it’s expensive.
Allow people to pay a bit extra, to have it by their chosen delivery mode, because some people have a strong preference. And this is by the way, almost nobody does this. There’s a fake company, which does it, which says, okay, do you want this by Royal mail, raw metal, special delivery. There’s a significant group of people who don’t like strangers know where they live.
So they hate having things delivered by other people because you know, they might have a house full of antiques. They live alone. They may feel a bit vulnerable that postman has to know where they live because by definition, he’s going to know. They don’t want that information spread around. So allowing people preferences of how things are delivered, I think might be a significant differentiator.
And yet almost nobody does it. And that’s because in big companies, the mode of delivery doesn’t fall under the marketing person. It falls under the guy who’s in charge of logistics. Who’s probably buying and rewarded on deal and price. So what kind of preferences are you talking about? Oh, just say, would you prefer this delivered Royal mail robot, especially delivery ups, you know, give people a choice of four careers and a they’re more likely to buy, but also they’re much more likely to come back.
If they know they have maybe some of them come on to premium special delivery by raw mail woods specialist, everybody at 9:00 AM would come a pretty huge premium, but the huge premium, by the way, for special delivery by 9:00 AM may make the other modes of delivery seem cheaper by comparison. So I’m always surprised by how few people do this.
Now, obviously very large online players. It tends to be a case that they’re, you know, they want to be able to have control over who delivers for procurement purposes, even then. I think it’s actually a mistake. I think it’s weird that Amazon doesn’t let you pass quid and have it. If I order a USB cable.
Okay. I kind of want it brought by the pain. I didn’t want another van driving up my drive just to, just to drop off a USB cable, the goddamn posts. I don’t know. I’m interested in know how many of the audience feel like this because it seems silly that I know myself better than the provider does. And I know my individual preferences for the delivery of the particular item better than the provider does.
So why impose a courier on, on your customer? Yeah, it makes perfect sense. I’m just referring to something you mentioned earlier about, you know, the price of English, sparkling wine. I wonder if, do you have any thoughts on the price of non-alcoholic gins and spirits there? They’re interesting. So there are lots of things where price is comparative.
It’s also true by the way, interesting of electric cars, which is, if you think about it, electric cars, the electricity is really taxed. So one reason there won’t be much difficulty in the early days, getting more and more electric car charging points installed is that generally people who charge electric cars, aren’t all that price sensitive because it’s cheaper than the petrol equivalent.
Would it be? And now, obviously in the case of in defence, I’ve spoken to Sipsmith about this and they said they’re non alcoholic. Gen does cost considerably more than. Really. Okay. So this idea that you’re just coining it by charging the price of Jen but not paying the duty to the government is a bit true, but it’s not completely true.
Another very interesting category like that is premium cider cost because cider was always taxed at a lower level of bear because a to support the apple growers and B, because it was generally, I mean, without stereotyping it, it was a little bit of a poorer person was rustic drink. And now of course, premium ciders attacks, the lower rates and bear, but often costs more.
And so the margins, you can enjoy that at the margins, you can enjoy on certain premium spirits. Non-alcoholic spirits are very high because our frame of reference is the the alcoholic equivalent. And I talk about this quite a lot. Nespresso is interesting because it is, it is pretty expensive compared to nest café or compared to using filter coffee.
And espresso is pretty expensive, but because we buy the paint for the ponds one at a time, we tend to compare it to Starbucks, not to nest café. Okay. And we tend not to take crikey. This is for, you know, 10 times more expensive than a cup of last café. We tend to think, well, it would have cost me two pounds 40 at Starbucks.
This machine is saving me. And so it’s worth noting that price is often perceived relatively to sometimes fairly arbitrary frame of reference. And the story I was telling about this, which is that rolls Royce and Maserati stopped exhibiting their cars at car shows because at a car show, a 300,000 Euro car looks really expensive, but they exhibited the cars at yachts and aircraft shows.
Now there you’re dealing with an order of magnitude, more of extravagance instead of a 300,000 Euro account. It’s almost like an impulse buy. You know, it’s like putting the chocolate next to the tail. And so it is worth noting that price is much, much more complicated. There are a few books. There’s one called the psychology of value by William Poundstone, or there’s another book by Lee, Coldwell called the psychology of price and they’re worth reading.
Because they explain that actually we interpret price, not entirely in the way that economists do, which is how much am I spending for a given unit of utility, but there’s quite a lot of psychology that’s going on. Yeah. I mean, you know, one, one of the most frequent conversations I have with some of the smaller businesses I work with is around pricing.
Where there is often this kind of idea that your pricing should be based on your costs plus a margin. And, and that’s what you’re going to say, which is, which is something I often have to try and convince people otherwise. I mean, there are a couple of things you can steal. Okay. Which very few businesses do.
One of them is that idea. One of them is for example, by this, and again, Okay, would be an extraordinary thing. One from it was founded by a guy who was with the school with mansion warehouse. Anybody familiar with managing warehouse knows that when you get to the tail, if you spent 15 quid, you can have any one of these 10 items for a discount.
I’m fairly sure that after the discount there is still margin built in. Okay. I usually buy microfiber towel because you can’t have too many microfiber towels, but I feel well, I’ve committed myself with this 20 pound spend. This entitles me to a discount on this thing. I would be throwing away value if I did take it up.
That’s one, the psychological thing. The other one that really interests me, which is copied by very few people is Amazon prime. Now I think it’s, I think that Amazon prime is a cycle. The idea that you pay an amount up front and then you get a recurring discount, which is if you’d like, it’s a loyalty. But actually it’s really important because once you charge a one-off customer and what feels like value to a one-off customer, isn’t the same to a frequent customer.
I’ll give you an example. If I visit a strange town and it costs eight quid to park, I go, there’s a bit of a rip off isn’t it, but I’m only here once, you know, I want to go and have a look at Windsor castle. I’ll pay the eight quid. Okay. If you live in Windsor, that drives you practically insane. Yes.
Because one 800 people paying eight pounds. Once aren’t the same as one person paying eight pounds, a hundred pounds. That’s why we have season tickets and the train. I think it’s a disgrace that local councils don’t offer this arrangement. If you are a local person now with parking apps, you could do it.
You see very easily. If you are a local person, you just pay 20 pounds a year and you can park in seven acres for less. Okay. And therefore the, the very frequent users would pay less than the infrequent users. Now, now I’ll give you a really extreme case of this where I don’t think anybody’s thinking of the fact that cost is very relative hotels.
I didn’t have any, you’ve got any hotel businesses, if you will, or residents businesses. One thing that nobody seems to have noticed is if you have a couple with no kids, either they’re retired or they’re they haven’t had kids yet or their kids or university or whatever, and they’re staying in a hotel.
Okay. Once you’ve probably got is two salaries paying for one room. If you’ve got a family with two kids, School age. You’ve probably got one salary paying for two rooms. Okay. That’s a four to one ratio. So for someone with kids staying at the premiere, ed feels almost as expensive as it is for a dual income.
Couple not to stab the Dorchester maybe, but to stay at a kind of five-star hotel for night. It strikes me as really, really weird that hotels and airlines don’t do kids half price deals. Okay. So what airlines do is they do the standard Leal management thing, which is they make the tickets cheaper for everybody.
But actually a lot of those people probably aren’t that price sensitive. If the two of you dual income, couple going to Budapest for a week, probably don’t care whether it’s 50 Quinn or 17. Okay. But if you’ve got, if there’s one person who’s going to pay for four tickets for a family of four you’re hyper process, And so the extent to which they don’t yield manage on less busy flights flights, they’re unlikely to be full.
The other advantage of that is you get the kids off the business flights, where they annoy people more, but it strikes me as weird. Now the holiday Inn hotel chains started from that premise. I’ll tell you a very funny story about this, by the way, the holiday Inn hotel chain was started by the guy who sold Elvis to kettle Tom Parker.
And you’d normally think poor guy, you know, he normally would have been the, kind of the great, you know, business story of a guy who made a terrible mistake, but he used some of the money he made to co-found the holiday.
But, but the interesting thing there is, that’s how it started half price rooms for kids. And it does strike me as weird that. Economic logic. I’ll give, I’ll give you another, I’ll give you another example of this, which I recommended to airlines. Rages. Why do you always use price to get people to move their preference from, let’s say a 9:00 AM flight to a noon flight.
If you just told me this is the quietest flight of the day, or perhaps with some people you said this is the eco flight. Okay. In other words, since this flight is usually not full. You are imposing net less economic damage because there are some flights which if you think about it, they’re flying out to Frankfurt.
You probably go on holiday to Frankfurt, but you got my point. Okay. They’re flying out to Frankfurt to collect people, coming from those flights tend to be disproportionately empty. Now, why don’t you instead of dropping the price and using the price mechanism, only as the way of nudging behavior, why don’t you say this is the quietest flight of the day, or this is the greenest flight because it generally isn’t full.
So you’re sitting on a plane that would have been flying anyway, and you’re not really contributing much as much to, you know, incremental travel or incremental carbon emissions. Yeah. I mean, I don’t know if you’ve seen Ocado actually used this quite well. The green van is genius. Now, interestingly, an economist would say, no, no, no, you need to use the price mechanism.
You need to discount the green delivery slots. I never quite understand how they work, but my assumption is, for example, if you’re near to the Depot, you’ll tend to get green vans earlier in the day when the van is just leaving or later in the day when the van was daring a return home. And also I imagine if someone books a delivery near you, that becomes a green van slot to encourage consolidation of deliveries in a local area and to reduce distance travelled.
But I asked someone at Ocado , I said, how effective is that as a behavioural nudge? And they said kind of, if I told you I’d have to kill you. And I said, okay, well, how effective is it? They said, I can’t tell you, but let me just put it like this. They said you wouldn’t believe it. If I showed you the data, you wouldn’t be.
That’s so interesting. Interesting Rory, let me get up and other websites. So this is a company called Caribbean elective. They run elective. So the student experiences for, you know young people going off doing a gap year where it’s not really a gap year, they’re going to go and do a kind of a working type activity out in the Caribbean life-changing experiences hands-on work working with the communities the idea being that it gives them a chance to actually meet and integrate with the people in these communities and do something worthwhile that they can add to their CV.
And they run a number of different programs. Any thoughts? Partly you just I mean, it’s a very compelling proposition because if you like it two birds with one stone, you have to be a bit careful about these things. Because sometimes when something has both CV value and enjoyment value, they can clash because the feeling that I’m being altruistic is slightly damaged by the, you know, the suspicion of self-interest.
But it is interesting in that one thing I would suggest with something like this is that you offer people the chance to go in groups with a friend and you highlight that, you know, you can go individually to meet new people, but you can also go with people you already know. There are a few, a few things are there are.
There probably is I, if you scroll down people that would have a lot of questions, which is where, how much, you know, now I, one question I do need to ask you, is there a kind of few frequently asked questions that prices is down at the bottom? You know, I can’t say, I cannot say confident, you should make the price more explicit, but you should probably test it.
That’s one thing. The second thing is you know, questions like how long you know, w what dates do you operate? Which, which islands you go to is entire again, when you get down to the actual program level, that’s where they’re then starting to reveal some of this pricing. So it’s actually pretty expensive.
Yeah. I mean, one of the conversations I’ve had with Harry who runs this business is about the degree to which he’s communicating with the student that’s actually going on this elective communication to a parent daughter who’s paying for it, you know, and how the messaging might be different for both policies.
Yeah. Just wondering if you have any thoughts on that, where you’ve got, well, the parents will be possibly more nervous about questions like security and safety and accommodation and so forth than young people might be. But you’re absolutely right. And the medical elective thing is very interesting because
COVID guarantee is, is intelligent because one of the things that’s obviously changed with travel is not, it’s not only fair of getting ill overseas, all fair. It’s fair that, you know, borders close people get stranded, people get trapped. You know, we aren’t traveling with the same confidence of easy return that we might’ve been about two years ago.
One thing that’s really good there is particularly if you have the medical ones is encouraging. Obviously this is irrelevant to the website and the website’s mostly talking to new recruits, but encouraging referrals. I imagine they do a lot of that. Do they? I believe so. Yeah. Yeah, because you have, if you think about it, you have a homogeneous customer group in the case of the medical electives and recommendation trumps anything, you can sound a websites, generally recommendation from a friend.
If you trust that friend, big question. Let’s do what’s your thoughts on is kind of, you know, this sort of social proof, like trip, you know, trust, bind, it reviews those kinds of things, you know, had any and it links to trust pilots. Does it? It’s done. No, no. Interesting. Okay. I mean, I’m, I’m slightly, I’m not, I’m very mixed on reviews in one sentence.
They do immense favours to businesses, which otherwise great great businesses that otherwise may remain in the shadows for years. They accelerate the discovery of just fortunately good businesses. The hatred I have is that they’re also wildly unfair and that one of the things I noticed about TripAdvisor, which is worth noting is that most of the reviews about TripAdvisor, TripAdvisor of restaurants, aren’t about.
You know, they’re all to do with, you know, I, you know, I had booked a table for my mother-in-law’s birthday. Imagine our surprise when, or, you know, it was difficult to park or we weren’t made to feel welcome or the table next to us. And you realized, which is a very useful lesson, how unbelievably, socially sensitive people are to their own stages.
Right? There’s a great model, which I recommend everybody use. It comes from a guy called David rock. Who’s a New Zealand neuroscientist and he calls it the scarf model. And it’s five things we really care about that market research tends not to tell you, cause people don’t talk about these things. Nobody ever says I’m a very status conscious person.
Me, nobody ever says that in public, but people are scarf. The, it stands for status certainty, autonomy, relatedness. Which is a slightly complicated thing, which I won’t try and explain now, but it’s the idea that we’re in a relationship and therefore, if we’re a regular customer, we expect differentially better, better treatment.
We don’t look at business as if it’s a one shot game and then F is for fairness. And all of them are five things that economists tend not to understand very well.
Because fairness is, you know, theoretically and economic models. If we, if we’re happy with the price we’ve paid, we shouldn’t be all that bothered that someone else pays a different price. And if we’ve bought five times before, we shouldn’t expect slightly different treatment for someone who’s a new customer, all those things, however, instinctively embedded in us because for most of our evolutionary history, we, you know, we did repeat business with the same people, people who we knew.
Yeah. I don’t know, just on the subject of reviews, I don’t know if you saw there was. There was some stuff dealing a little while ago where they came to the conclusion that actually it’s not necessarily a great idea to have five stars. No, I’ve heard this weird one. That 4.9 is actually better. Uber, Uber drivers, interestingly prefer 4.9.
And one reason for that is that if you’re a 4.9 on Uber, you’ve basically taken quite a lot of trips and you’ve been a tiny bit of an asshole once. Whereas someone with a five could just be a new customer or someone who’s a total asshole who just continually opens a new accounts to get rid of his appalling rating.
So they regard 4.9 or 4.8 as a more reliable guide to passenger quality that.
And of course, one of the things we do notice is how many reviews there are. It doesn’t seem to make much difference above some figure. And I can’t remember whether it’s like 500 or a thousand or whatever, but once you’ve had a certain number of ratings whereas if you’ve only had three ratings, people don’t really, they think you could have gained the system.
You could’ve gained the system with a thousand. Yeah. I mean, one thing I noticed from my own behaviour is a bit, a bit embarrassing confession, but particularly when I’m looking at things like restaurants or hotels, if I have a look at TripAdvisor and I’m looking at the reviews if I see there are quite a few negative reviews, I’m looking at whether the person leaving the review is someone like me.
That extent is fascinating. So we probably discount certain forms, you know, certain writing styles and we signal kind of social class, particularly British English people. I think with the kind of way they write this is one of the most extraordinary things by the way, in the property industry, which is, is this a product for people like me?
Why in many cases, do people have to decorate a home before they sell it? Only for the person coming in to redecorate that home. And the reason there’s what people are really looking for is clues in the estate agent, the online estate agents, websites that the previous occupant on the of the property with someone with very similar tastes to the, to the prospective purchaser, because it’s a kind of heuristic.
If someone like me is happy to live there, that I’d be happy to live. Yup. A hundred cents. And so the extraordinary, it’s an extraordinarily wasteful economic process because it involves people doing up homes to sell them only for the buyer to trash the kitchen and replace it with a slightly different kitchen of their own, but a huge amount of that instantly you can game the system.
If you’re looking for good value property, if your kids buy a place where the interior decor is kind of naff, okay. Or hideous, but he’s in a good area and you’ll be saving yourself a fortune. But that is absolutely true that we, and we do that with reviews as well. We tend to discount reviews, which are written by, you know, I mean, I mean, some reviews actually earn some bad reviews, actually caused me to side with the institution or the organization, not the complainant, the guy, the guy, who’s the guy who checked into a hotel where he found a condom in the loop.
Okay. Now I slightly sympathize with the person tending to the rub because condoms do have the mysterious tendency to float back around the aspect, apparently. Okay. But I thought, yeah, that is really quite a bad experience. And then it turned out the hotel had offered him his one night, stay for free. As a result of this distressing experience, he thought that was inadequate.
He wanted actual material compensation, laptop, and I’m kind of going, this guy is ridiculous. You know, if you’ve got a free night stay that basically covers you for the distress, you’ve experienced more than enough, 99% of people. And if you’re demanding compensation for lying on your back with smelling salts for this thing that it’s you, who are being ridiculous, not the hotel.
I often think small businesses underestimate the power of the response to a negative review and how much impact that has, you know, sometimes they get so emotionally involved in the negative comments that the person has said that they, then they then respond with a counter attack. Oh no, no, no, no. I mean sometimes their rights to do that because the review is, is simply bogus.
We have no record of your booking or whatever, you know, I guess there are malicious attacks, but it’s very difficult. One really important thing which is worth knowing is sometimes a complaint. Well, humbled results in a customer who is more loyal than have the of dollar isn’t in the first place.
A hundred percent. Yeah. Now that’s, that’s really interesting. Now it seems illogical that having a bad experience where the problem’s handled well, ultimately makes us more inclined to use a business than having no bad experience at all. But to some extent, what it means is that the business’s reserves of Goodwill have been tested and not found wanting.
And so it now means I can, this is, I know that things sometimes go wrong. If I own a car, things will sometimes go wrong with it. Okay. No one regards to that as necessarily a ridiculous, if you own the same car for eight years, it would be weird if nothing was. Okay. And so knowing that complaints well handled leads, it’s like it’s David rocks certainty.
I’m now confident that okay. In the event that my car goes wrong in future, or problem emerges in future, it will be well taken care of, or that the person, in other words, there are also two kinds of capitalism. Isn’t that there’s, long-term capitalism, relational capitalism, where once you’re in the business of is creating customer lifetime value.
And then there’s one shop transactional capitalism, where you try and make as much money out of every individual exchange and not being willing to deal with a problem or complaint suggests you’re playing the one shot game. And you’re therefore less trustworthy than someone who actually cares about reputation and cares about your propensity to return.
It’s why actually tourist restaurants, restaurants, and tourist hotspots often not very good because they depend very little on repeat business. Now TripAdvisor has changed that to some extent, but you know, a restaurant with a great view of the path will be more likely to rip you off and disappoint you that a restaurant in a remote area where you have to make a conscious effort to visit.
Yes. Because the latter person depends on it’s why sometimes actually very good restaurants have found it in very weird places because you have to be very good to survive that. Yeah. I just, I wanted to ask you actually, just something more generally when it comes to website, in terms of the quality of the design and the signalling that that offers, or have you got any thoughts on that?
Yeah, be careful because sometimes we preserve good perceived good designers, meeting expense. There are some web design websites, which you want them to be slightly more cheap and cheerful. If you want to convey a value message. It’s interesting. The money saving expert is actually a slightly chaotic website because if you’ve got the same people to design money, saving expert as Harrods it wouldn’t really be congruent.
Jeremy Bullmore writes a wonderful piece about this, about how businesses communicate. He’s a wonderful advertising guru chairman of J Walter Thompson for many years. And he, he says that he shows a sign, which is just a Blackboard with written on chalk correctly, spelled and reasonably elegantly written.
And he writes the words, fresh eggs. Okay. And it’s a completely consistent message, which you would expect from a farm, which is selling its own eggs, direct to the passing consumer. And then he takes the same Blackboard and the same chalk and he writes flying lessons and suddenly it does not work. Okay.
So the mode of communication, regardless of the actual words, they’re both just descriptions of what something is, but we would expect a higher degree of sort of anal attention to detail. From a someone providing flying lessons, then we went from someone selling farm fresh air, right? So essentially your recommendation would be that, you know, it may be worth investing in more expensive professional web designers, where if you’re selling a premium product premium product quality product, or trying to convey a very professional image you know, highly professional preparation.
If it’s something that’s more homely craft, the you know, it’s more about that kind of that personal interaction, then those things become not only less important, but could actually have the opposite. There’s a very strange thing going on in food retail at the moment, which is that if you look at what Morrison did they created a thing called market street, which creates the idea that there’s kind of a farmer’s market going on within the store.
And weirdly, you know, there is this weird thing which you could call artists and. Which is the idea that actually this is produced in small batches or smaller quantities by a small business and therefore is better. So this is a slightly complicated thing in psychology, which is often the opposite of a good idea is another good idea.
And so if you were selling pre you know, premium, small batch roasted coffee, you might want to give the impression that it’s a little bit of a farm shop. And so it’s a huge problem. I mean, those of you who remember the 1970s and eighties know that you tried to sell food in a kind of high-tech clinical environment, a bit like a branch of boots, and now we’re not exactly going to strong the floor, but actually we would probably pay more for vegetables which were priced in chalk that vegetables that were priced on an L led display.
Yup. So it’s, it is complicated because we employ different heuristics. We may say that scarcity and small batch production of local supply is now actually a luxury good worth paying a premium for, whereas I don’t think we thought like that in the 1970s. Yeah. And that’s a strange one in if you think about it.
Okay. This is what I mean by the opposite of a good idea is another good idea. I might take someone a bottle of squarely as wide, which comes from a vineyard, which is two miles down the road for me, because it’s local to me and my local Y now, if we go back to America in the 1960s, everything up market was imported from a long way away.
And now we have this peculiar thing of upmarket, but local. Yes. Which I think is, you know, I mean, I don’t, I mean, I’ll, I’ll give you a lovely example of how we’re to consumer psychology and say, okay, it used to be back in the 1950s, that cheddar Cape with a Rhine dog, because she has had a ride of that.
Okay. And then someone cut the rind off and charged a premium this cheddar, and they charge more for it because you chopped off the ride. And then the sort of 15 years later, people left the rind back on as a mark of authenticity and having a rind on your cheddar commanded a premium slice spread.
Occasionally came with a premium now on the sliced bread, arguably commands a premium. Okay. And so one of the weird things about the human brain is it it’s affected by normal chain. And so sometimes during the opposite of what everybody else does, it is actually a good idea. Yes, it’s a mess. I know. I really apologize to people, but it’s you, this is how humans think and feel.
There’s nothing we can do. Great tip for a small business. You know, looking at me the norms within the industry they’re in and then say, well, you know, how would you go about that and do the opposite? And how would that be perceived by the consumers? Does it give you an example, which is you could have a very slick website and it says they’ve employed a professional web designer.
Therefore they’re a serious operation who is investing in their reputational capital. And therefore I can trust them because someone who is trying to rip me off probably wouldn’t have bought it, but bought the expense of commission and expensive website. But you can also have. This person has obviously designed the website themselves.
So they’re an authentic human being who is trying to con me by making the website look nice. I know it’s annoying, but it varies from category to category, but sometimes the thing to test is the opposite of what you think makes sense.
Danny: Rory, are you familiar with a company called Ling Cars?
Rory: I know, but tell me more because I’m fascinated by cars.
Danny: So this is a car leasing website. I’m going to bring it up on this.
Rory: Yes. It’s a Chinese lady in the Northeast. That’s right. Yes. So operating in history where everyone has slipped professional websites showing lots of pictures of cars, an absolutely fascinating business. Whereas the website itself is utterly chaotic, but that has almost, it’s kind of like the authenticity. She essentially Britain’s biggest individual seller of new cars. And she wasn’t dragging us down in fairness, which gave her a form of advertising credibility. Okay. So being on Dragon’s Den is an interesting thing, but it’s very, very interesting. There’s some fantastic data bits of data here.
You can text chat and it says there are 77 customers Ling replies in two minutes, 39 seconds link replies in nine minutes 20. Now, one of the things that’s worth knowing about, because this is something I’ll just say as a simplification, but you won’t go far wrong by the way, it has a fantastic Paisley background.
And the thing is, if you showed this to an art director, they’d actually have connections. You know, they’d probably need to take swelling salts to recover. But it, it, it, I hate to phrase it. It does exactly what it says about. And it’s, you know, it’s cheap car leasing and you know, it’s for people who are bargain, hunting, these people that, you know, but actually, you know, Ryan air and British airways are both successful airlines for entirely different reasons.
So just because you’re an airline doesn’t mean people are buying the same thing from you. Okay. We, I always ramped on about this, that marketing people are NY business people. And I appreciate this by, you know, by saying it isn’t, this it’s that, you know, it’s not, so it’s a total cleansing solution, right?
But there are elements where I was joked about this, the same talent pool picked it up. And one of his books, you know, we don’t buy a dishwasher because it cleans our plates. We bought because it provides us with a place to put dirty plates out of sight. And we don’t buy a swimming pool because we want to swim in it.
The great thing about owning a swimming pool or a hot tub is it allows you to walk around your garden in hot weather, in a bathing costume without feeling like an idiot. Okay. And actually showmanship is a sort of trust because if you’re famous, okay. As Liggins in the Northeast, particularly okay. Being famous is something you’ve invested time and money and.
Reputational capital. And therefore you do have skin in the game just to being famous because Lynn can’t afford to have people slagging off leg because that information is going to be much more viral and much more. I have much more currency to slagging off an, a relevant person. No one’s ever heard of.
So there is a way in which mare indiscriminate fame actually does contribute to trustworthiness. Yeah. There’s a similar story from Canada who, a guy who became, I’m just trying to remember where it was. It’s not Newfoundland, it might’ve been Labrador, Manitoba. I can’t remember Manitoba’s huggable car dealer.
And his great shtick was filling the car dealership with soft toys, plush tires, but it was a kind of crazy promise which made him kind of disproportionately famous. It earned him the ridicule of other car dealers, but he’s now the largest independent car dealer in Canada through exactly this kind of what I can only refer to as a.
And so this thing that sometimes the opposite of a good idea is another good idea. It was Ogilvy by the way, who told birded Matthews to appear in his own ads? You know, he came around and saying, I want to sell Turkey direct to the consumer under my own brand. And he had a strong door for the action that wasn’t put on.
That was her blooded Matthews. The late bird Matthews was an Ogilvy, said, you want to talk about this yourself, pedis, beautiful with QMS and putting your own personal reputation on the line. That’s why family companies in some ways are more trustworthy than PLCs because this, the chief executive of a PLC can move somewhere else in three years.
If it’s your, if it’s your name above the door, you don’t have quite that. Yeah, well, we we’ve got time to look at one more site. Okay. I have now just to let everyone know, I have now opened the chat text chats. So if you have got any quick questions for Rory, pop them in there we might have a minute or two to go through those.
So yeah, I wanted to show you this one. I think this one’s of interest as well, because you were talking about local produce. And so this is a gin distillery based in Shoreham by C Westlock Luxleaks and Tom who runs this business by the way, congratulations to Tom who just won a great taste award last night.
So many congratulate can you campaign by the way, this would really help. I don’t understand why on Ocado and Satan’s breeze websites, you can’t search for great taste award with. And I think they should make that possible because the great taste awards are a brilliant mechanism for discovering niche scuff.
The C stood for certainty status, certainty, autonomy. So the certainty in scarf is that business. I always think that Uber’s brilliant idea was the map, which is we, not that bothered whether the cabaret arrives in five minutes or 15, but we want to know when it’s going to arrive. We’d rather wait 10 minutes for a train with a dot matrix display saying next train in 10 minutes, then wait five minutes for a train in a state of not knowing the human brain hates, hates lack of certainty.
It hates lack of autonomy. That’s why I think that business of allowing people to choose how they get something delivered, by the way, I think that’ll also work for another reason, which is that when you, when you’re now thinking, do I want this delivered by Royal mail? Or do I want to deliver by ups?
You’re no longer thinking. Do I want this thing? And so creating one someone’s filled the baskets, creating a secondary level of choice. Okay. Actually probably improves conversion as well for multiple reasons.
But, but one of the things I would campaign for is I don’t understand why a car Cardo, because it would be an, a car those interests. Because if I find niche product only available from Mercado, I’m going to have to go back to a condo to buy them again.
And I don’t know why they didn’t do this because it strikes me as particularly if you’re a cardio where you have a very, you know, more scope to have brought inventory than your competitors. Do you should encourage niche purchasing?
I don’t know if you’ve seen that they didn’t have the chops of lots of repeat business. W what was that? Steve marks put there, have you loved it? The government yet to hire supermodels for HS to make is it’s partly a whimsical thought experiment, but it’s also true that the assumption was that you had to create, you competed with the airlines by making the trains faster.
The truth of the matter is that the brief you should set yourself is how can I make people prefer to travel by train the travel by plane? Okay. Now, yes, they will. Reasons of actual embarrassment. It was slightly embarrassing that you welded up to Kelly at 180 miles an hour, and then the train Wednesday, he miles down from focused on London.
I get that. I, it also, I was unfair, not factoring in the benefits of high speed one, but he’s at the time I was unfair in 2009, but my point that you should’ve put Wi-Fi on the trains before you spent 6 billion speeding up the journey was I think in our. But my supermodel is probably just not totally relevant because I think people were traveling anyway on the Eurostar rather than by plane.
Partly because they just preferred it. They preferred it. Okay. Yeah. The boarding procedures. And I said, but you also get three hours of uninterrupted time to get on with work. Whereas if you fly to Paris, it’s pillar to post it’s. Check in, go through security, go to the lounge, go to the shop, go to the gate, ball, the plane, turn off your laptop at the time, you know, fly 40 minutes to use your laptop on the flight.
Turn your laptop off, get ready to land and go to security. Get a taxi into Paris. Okay. The Eurostar was already better in hedonic terms and experienced quality terms of the quality of time matters. Just as much as the quantity of time, a hundred percent. I mean, I’m actually going up to Scotland next week and I booked a train ticket to go up just over seven hours.
That’s to Perthshire. I hope that explains it. I’ve got family in case Nashville. It would take a day basically to get that we know that that seven hours is actually part of the appeal. Of course, for me to have seven uninterrupted hours on the train, relaxing and reading and you know, and you can walk.
I mean, that’s a vital point, the most annoying thing in the new Tim’s Nick trades. They spent, I can’t remember how much trading costs, but it’s about 15 million or something or 20 billion for a trade. But apparently seatback tables were just an expense too far. Now that is so mindlessly stupid and annoying that you have a train that goes from, say Maidstone to Cambridge or whatever the plan is.
Okay. But you do not provide people with a basic facility in which to perform work on the journey is just almost maddeningly. And I mean, it’s worth noting. Okay. If you run a café, quite a few people are using your café to rent a table. Okay. They’re renting a table through the medium of coffee there.
Wasn’t experimental coffee shop that launched in London, which charged you by the minute. And the coffee was. Interestingly, they just rented tables by the minute. And then you can have coffee or tea, or I think some, a certain amount of food in proportion to how long you spent there. But what people are buying is not always what you think you’re selling.
And I know marketers irritate people by coming up with these ludicrous things, you know, I mean, okay. I checked the other day, we were talking about your own channel and I said, people don’t go over your tunnel because they want to get a frogs it’s because people really like driving cars onto ramp. Okay.
Okay. That is a joke, but it’s, it’s 90% joke. 10% true. If you say to me. You know, everybody will say I’m always a bit disappointed if I’m in one of the carriages where you don’t drive onto the upper level, I feel slightly cheated, you know, that kind of thing. Okay. Rory, I’m just going to throw in just to finish up one question here from Harry who actually runs Caribbean elective, that website that we looked at before.
It’s just quite nice question when entering a competitive market with successful companies. And do you think that there is a distinct advantage as a small business by showing how small you are, for example, using language such as all I, instead of us on the website and actually scarcity will cause people to pray to, to pay a premium, it will also get people off the pot.
So if you say only 30 spaces left for 2022, that will overcome another. And a lot of marketing is overcoming inertia. You know, it’s just, it’s not that people are, you know, it’s simply that, you know, and I, and, and actually also being small, maybe a virtue because you can reframe yourself as boutique. Okay.
This is one of the big threats that I think big brands face, which is this business of local luxury. You know, the, you know, I, you know, I, in, in 1970, I would have bought someone, a bottle of Ballinger, and now I buy a bottle of the local sparkling money. It has to be really good by the way, I’m going to buy the medical shed, but there is undoubtedly a change in the grammar of, of luxury, but there’s also a change in the grammar of small.
And I think the internet has brought that about because you don’t necessarily signal that you know about it used to be that you bought brands that everybody else knew about. But there’s also a corresponding thing that you buy brands that you know about the less informed you know less knowledgeable so you can signal the, not only the fact, you know, you can signal that there’s brand as kind of social imprint, which is if I want to BMW to be prestigious, I need other people to know that other people know that BMW is a prestigious brand, but there are cases where it works the opposite around.
You’ve heard of this, but I have, we got time for one more. Yes, of course. Thank you. So this is a question from summer who asks one of the products I sell is personalized cushions. I run Google adverts, but the adverts cost more than the product. So I changed the page and changed the price strategy from print a double site for 20 pounds.
I changed it to print a personalized cushion for 9 99, but then when they select the second side, it charges extra to make it roughly 20 pounds. This gave a little improvement, but what can I do to nudge customers, to buy these cushions and improve conversions? Okay. That’s a very interesting approach, which is called chunking, which is you get people in at the lowest price and they’re interested.
And then having decided to spend nine pounds, they decided to spend 20, you know, there are brands like American express, which if you like built a whole business on effectively moving people through 10. And you know, if you’re already spending it’s, you know, sky, if you’re already spending 20 pounds on the sky, it’s relatively easy to up it to 25.
Whereas going from north to 25 fields, fundamentally different. So that, that has worked, but it hasn’t worked as well as you’d like one thing is, I don’t know the cost of this, but multi-buyer offers are interesting. So we kind of expect if we order three cushions and other things are free delivery.
If you spend more than X, you’ve got to be careful about that because people who don’t want to spend that sometimes feel disproportionately cheek. These things are often trade-offs. I hate to say this, but there aren’t that many kind of silver bullets in this game. There is a trade off. Well, I’m definitely multi-buyers let me have a think about this.
If you sent me, actually, if you send me the link to the site afterwards that day I’ll I’ll have a look at it and have a deeper thing because you know, there might be a really interesting, you know, color matching promise you can make that’s really decisive or something of that kind. Okay. So told me, I need to know what, what someone, if you don’t have access to the site, you’d only want, but I’d be intrigued by that because there probably are things you could do.
Reedley Caldwell’s book, the psychology of price as well. Because it’s an interesting question. And then of course you have the disadvantage on Google that you don’t have a picture I’m assuming. Okay. Which is, I think it could be a product tag. There’s a question here from crystal, which I I’d like to ask you because it comes up so often with businesses I work with at the trust around, by the way, be careful about what you assume.
Does it mean personalized as it we’ve got a great factory in China or does it mean handmade? Because just as I mentioned at the very beginning of my talk with John Lewis at home, people can misread things surprisingly easily. I remember talking to the very same online hotelier I’d made, which is that there’s a big difference between a child-free hotel and an adults only hotel.
And I just asked the question of the audience, how many people, when they read adults own me next to the hotel, assume that, you know, but it’s for swingers or devotees of the lifestyle. Now, unconsciously, we process the word adult in a particular way. Yeah. And we process the word personalized in a particular way.
And, and as a result, be careful, you know, be careful of the use of language testing, different linguistic approaches in your Google search and also testing things that don’t necessarily make sense, like a higher price. Okay. Personally, maybe the personalized Cushing is from 9 99 to 75 pounds means that the, because nobody who’s got a 70 pound cushion budget wants to spend 10 pounds on a cushion because there, there are many things where the amount we spend marks the significance of the purchase more than it actually brings us utility.
Now, I always use this example. It’s not really relevant to blokes, but if you have your best friend’s wedding, you could get away with buying dress from Zara or a SaaS, but most people who can afford something more expensive, go and spend a few hundred quid to mark the significance of the. There’s a kind of mental congruency to price as well as just, we try and pay as little as possible.
And so, you know, there may be other ways in which you can phrase, phrase it, but test hell of a lot. Secondly, if you notice something that works disproportionately well, investigate and use behavioural science to ask what might the magic be here, because then you can replicate it or possibly even build on it.
So we quite often look at data through the lens of an average, but to some extent w what w what we should be interested in is the outliers. The exceptions. There were, I think, gambling websites, which could never understand this, but there were certain websites, including shirt, websites, I think, which were incredibly valuable in getting new people into.
Now it’s pausing that, you know, the old joke about losing your shuts, that heavy gamblers might need to buy shirts in bulk because they’ve lost the ball. I don’t think that really happens anymore. Okay. The probable explanation is who buys shirts, white shirts in bulk city workers, city traders are probably disproportionately predator gambling.
It’s Sunday evening, they’re buying a letter or Friday evening. So they’re buying a load of new shirts for next year. ’cause they got a laundry crisis, bang, you know, I mean, there are certain, there are certain things you can only sell in certain places and in certain contexts. Okay. I will say an awful lot of luxury goods are basically L’Oreal purchases because I’m worth it.
And people tend to buy them on a Thursday or Friday. People buy them at airports. One tip don’t buy things at airports. Okay. As a consumer, because if you’ve been on a business trip and it’s pretty gruelling, you have a very strong sense of self entitlement to a treat. And you’ll end up with a Wi-Fi enabled weather station for 130 pounds.
And two days later you’re looking at you go, why the hell did I buy that? Okay. Or you’ll buy a pair of sunglasses that you don’t need for 150 quid. And that’s, that’s what I call Loreal economics, which is people buying things because I’m worth it. Yup. Okay. Just one last one. There’s this from crystal? Just around the whole environmental sending a product on its environmental content credentials.
Yes. Particularly in fashion and food and all these kinds of different areas. Any thoughts there, once you may be signalling an organic is similar in that it’s a complicated all phrase, which means more than you’d think so. The way I, the way I’d explain that is that or the way I’d explained that would be you may be signalling the type of person you are, but I didn’t have selling environmental products rather than something else.
It, it, it’s, it’s kind of strange, but it’s worth knowing. Rory. Thank you so much just to let everyone know this has been recorded, so it will be available to people afterwards. So just check out, check out my profile on social and I’ll post it up on there. Or if you know me just drop me an email. Here’s an interesting story if I’m right, which is, it’s kind of, again, that sold partly on an environmental premise, which is that it’s solar powered.
Danny: Yes. I think also Tom talks about foraging for ingredients, like under the, you know so yeah, but do, do do campaign for a, to, to make the great taste award winners, a searchable category, because it strikes me as very weird that they don’t do. Very good idea. And it would benefit the great taste awards where we thank you so much.
I really appreciate your time today. I know how busy you are and yeah, this has just been wonderful and so helpful to so many of these businesses. So thank you again and yeah, hopefully I’ll bump into you again, quite soon.
Rory: I have a look, get a few random people to test your UX. You don’t need huge numbers of people and getting to notice things about your business that you don’t, because you’re surprisingly blind just as John Lewis was surprisingly blind.
So the location of the car park, I think people are surprisingly blinds to where their own business, maybe projecting negative signals, which they themselves don’t notice. You know, the person who closes at five 30 thinks we close at five 30 is an exchange of information. Whereas actually it’s interpreted as an insult.
Thank you so much. All right, bye.