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I love to cook and really savor my once a week trip to the grocery store.  My grocery of choice is Trader Joe’s.  There’s so many aspects of Trader Joe’s that I just absolutely love and that make my shopping experience a positive one 99% of the time.  But perhaps my favorite part of Trader Joe’s is how small and quaint it is.  I can go in, shop, and be completely done and out the door in 15 minutes!  Best of all, I never feel overwhelmed by the product display and choices, which makes the shopping experience that much more positive.

Contrast that with the other chain grocery store near me, Safeway.  To be clear, I have nothing against Safeway (except maybe the price), but I almost never shop there unless I have no other choice.  Why?  Because I always associate Safeway with a feeling of dread.  What do I dread?  I dread not being able to find what I am looking for; I dread having to walk up and down the aisles multiple times to look for one ingredient that is missing in my recipe; I dread the feeling brought about by having too many choices once I’ve located the product display. The association is a very strong one because I always feel that way every time I step into a Safeway store.  Consequently, my shopping experience at Safeway is neutral at best, apprehensive at worst.  The feeling isn’t terrible, but it isn’t pleasant either.  As a result, I try to stay away from the store as much as possible because my subconscious tells me so.

What is the moral of this post?  Subconsciousness plays a big role in the way people make decisions.  Whether you are trying to develop relationships with others or sell products to your customer, make sure you are appealing to their subconscious as much if not more than influencing their conscious decisions.  This kind of approach requires time and a lot more thoughtful consideration, but it’s well worth the effort because everybody taps into their subconscious when making decisions whether they know it or not!

September 2009
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