When it comes to attracting customer attention sometimes a little information goes a long way. Feelings have a critical role in the way customers are influenced and few are stronger than the pull of curiosity.
Curiosity occurs when there is a gap between what we know and what we want to know. For brands, this offers significant power when influencing customers because the drive for knowledge is not only a key motivation in the decision making process, it’s also instinctual.
Excite Curiosity to Grow Your Brand and Drive Sales
Utilizing emotions constructively can be key to increasing sales. California Pizza Kitchen created a campaign that engaged the customer by tapping into their natural curiosity. The “Don’t Open It” Thank you card was a coupon campaign with an interesting twist.
Customer’s received the card with their receipt. The card contained what they would receive on their next visit. It could be a free desert or $50 voucher for example. However they could not find out what exactly they would receive until they brought the card unopened with them on their next visit. If the card was opened before they returned to the store for their next purchase the prize inside became null and void.
The intrigue is built around the promise of something of value. Teasing with the list of possibilities is critical to arousing curiosity. The success of the campaign was built around building curiosity but guaranteeing something worthwhile as the reward.
Use the Unexpected to Gain Attention
Red Square Agency did a test campaign using Facebook Ads to examine the pull of curiosity on customer behavior. They created four Facebook advertisements. Three were real advertisements, the fourth was a picture of a large grey-haired cat called Cous Cous with the tag “This ad features a cat: it has nothing to do with Red Square Agency but we hope you will click on it anyway”.
After a month, Cous Cous had received twice as many clicks as the other real advertisements. The success of Cous Cous was credited to the advertisement exciting curiosity with the audience. Whether those click throughs translated into meaningful sales or merely attracted attention is not clear. What the campaign did highlight was that sometimes it is the unexpected that can trigger the desired response with customers.
Invoke the Pull of the Unknown
All marketing communication strategies involve a certain level of intrigue; just enough information to make it interesting. When customers are teased with a hint of what is on offer the draw of curiosity can be irresistible.
During his time at Apple, Steve Jobs became the master of exploiting natural curiosity to the company’s advantage. Jobs would hint at a product demo, would leak a product proto type and then Apple would embargo all official information between the demo and the release.
By the time the product was released the world would be a buzz with bloggers and Apple loyalists interpreting and speculating as to the latest features and design. This practice consistently sees Apple receiving expressions to buy reaching far into the millions before their products are even released.
In October 2012 Sony released a series of mysterious advertisements called “The Arrival”. With no information or hint as to whether the ‘arrival’ referred to a game or to a new Sony product, the internet became awash with speculation.
Customers and critics alike generated an unprecedented level of attention sparked by curiosity and driven by expectation. It’s not clear what Sony were releasing but either way, they certainly had people’s attention.
Pushing information at the customer gives them the tools they need to make an informed decision during the purchasing process. However sometimes withholding critical information can invoke the pull of the unknown, and draws the customer to actively seek information putting the power back in the hands of the brand.
Use curiosity to your advantage, as part of your brand strategy, by limiting information and leaving something to the imagination.
• Can you invoke the pull of the unknown with your customers?
• Have you leveraged the irresistible pull of ‘curiosity’ to underpin some of your marketing campaigns?