Why do rituals matter?

Why do rituals matter?

An opportunity to disrupt habitual behaviour

As researchers, we know to look out for common rituals in the way consumers use products.  These repetitive behaviours like licking the lid of the yogurt tub or snapping a Kit Kat in half and biting into two pieces are easily ignored, yet they can be the key to creating a close connection with consumers or revealing an opportunity to disrupt habitual behaviour owned by a competitor.

Recent scientific research has provided further evidence of the importance of rituals, proving that food actually tastes better when it’s part of a ritual.

Two lucky groups of volunteers were asked to eat some chocolate.  The control group were instructed to relax for a few minutes and eat the chocolate in any way they wanted.  Meanwhile, the experimental group had to break the chocolate bar in half without unwrapping it, then unwrap half and eat it, and then do the same with the other half.

Process increases enjoyment

Analysis of the results showed that those that went through the more elaborate process rated their enjoyment more highly and were willing to pay more.

So there is another reason to keep a close eye on how consumers use products (and services) to identify competitive opportunities.

 

photo credit:♔ Georgie R via photopin cc

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