CCI fellows are constantly adding to the knowledge about customer behavior and trends. The CCI Insights Review synthesizes their research and makes it accessible to the broader marketing community for real-world application.
Common sense would suggest the following: if you take two objects and differentiate one from the other, then, by definition, they will appear to be more different than they were before, not more similar. Common sense, of course, also once suggested that the sun orbited earth. A fascinating series of experiments out of the Yale Center for Customer Insights found that our perceptions of similarity are more complicated than common sense—and decades-old academic modeling—suggests.
When Joshua Dorfman coined the phrase “lazy environmentalist,” he wasn’t just being comic or cynical. He was being realistic.
He was American. He realized that, like him, many Americans wanted or had grown accustomed to rather comfortable lifestyles. They identified themselves as consumers. So if American consumers were to become environmentalists, Josh wondered, how might they be convinced? He arrived at an unconventional answer: they wouldn’t be convinced, because they shouldn’t need to be convinced.
How much would you pay for a mostly blue canvas with a white line painted down the middle? For an art collector at a Sotheby’s auction in May, the answer was $43.8 million. For the collector on a budget, a similar piece can be had for a few hundred dollars (plus shipping and tax). What’s the difference? The canvas on the auction block was “Onement VI”, by American abstract impressionist Barnett Newman, while the discount option is an approximate copy painted by an anonymous artist from an art reproduction website.
You go to a casino. You find an open table. You pick up the six-sided die. Before placing a bet, you consider which will give you better odds: rolling an even number, or rolling a two, four, or six?
Statistically the same, of course, but we perceive these odds differently.
Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt producer, never started with the goal of profitability. “I just thought that this was the only hope for the future,” said Gary Hirshberg, co-Founder and CE-Yo until stepping down two years ago, in 2012.
Few industries are as quiet as eyewear, and for precisely this reason Warby Parker is causing a minor revolution, disrupting the manufacture and retail of eyeglasses, just as Amazon did for books and Zappo’s for shoes. The Yale Center for Customer Insights talks to Anjali Kumar, Warby Parker’s Head of Social Innovation and General Counsel.
This is the story of a customer who purchases a more expensive airline ticket to collect miles for his future vacation. It is the story of the 30-percent-off coupon that arrives in the mailbox of a well-shod fashionista, sent by the nearby boutique she frequents. It is the story of that free cup of coffee offered in response to the ten you’ve already purchased.
So often, our New Year’s resolutions start with a bang, a kind of forceful reinvention that loses momentum month by month. Better diet, more exercise, greater economy—these drift from reality to something more wishful. So it goes. Consistently making the right choices is hard work, and research out of Yale’s Center for Customer Insights helps to explain why.