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Write Captivating Copy with Behavioral Science-Inspired Tips

In-Store Messaging Tips from Shopper Behavioral Scientists

In the noisy environment of retail, delivering stand out messaging is paramount to capture the shoppers’ attention, get them thinking, and motivate them towards taking a desired action. In a typical grocery or convenience store, the shopper is bombarded with thousands of pieces of stimuli the moment they step foot through the door. Cutting through that clutter and gaining the considered and meaningful attention of the shopper is both an art and a science – and the most impactful messaging is usually the result of trial and error.

VideoMining's Behavior Labs™️ is an excellent tool for brand and shopper marketing teams to analyze the impact of specific messaging on shoppers in-store. By using A/B copy testing, teams can measure the direct responsiveness of shoppers to different types of messaging, whether it is on the packaging, display, shelf tacker, or other mediums. The methodical reasoning and precision that this tool offers gives teams valuable insights into what messaging resonates with their target audience, allowing them to make data-driven decisions to improve their marketing strategies. By leveraging the power of AI technology, brands can deliver more meaningful solutions meet their target audience and drive impact.

With the power of AI technology and shopper behavioral science at our fingertips, here are some tried and true principles to bring to your copywriting on in-store POS materials:

  • Remember the power words can have on motivating behavior. Here, it is not just about being factual, although that is of course essential. But words can be arranged to deliver much more than simple cold hard facts – rather, they are the gateway of human processing that can captivate, inspire, empower, and impact. Words hold powerful connotations all their own that can make or break the perception of the reader, and there are two sides to every coin. For example, a new product launch in skincare could be supported by words that denote “contemporary”, “modern” or “state-of-the-art”, however, without proper perceptive considerations, could denote attributes of being “unfamiliar”, “untested” or “inexperienced”.
  • Play around stylistically to drive readability and resonance. The Eaton-Rosen Phenomenon, also known as "Rhyme as Reason Effect”, is a form of cognitive bias through which a saying is judged as more accurate or truthful when it is rewritten to rhyme. Building copy to trigger Rhyme as Reason Effect can lead your audience to perceive it as more memorable, more accurate, and lead to stronger confidence in their ability to make decisions about it. Behavioral scientists McGlone and Tofighbakhsh found that rhyming phrases were the ones that readers judged to be more accurate and truthful. They concluded that “this effect is a product of the enhanced processing fluency rhyme affords. When the brain has an easier time processing something, it feels right. And when something feels right, it’s not a big leap to assume that it is right.” (McGlone and Tofighbakhsh, Psychology Today 2000). Need a CPG example as a reference point? Look no further than the iconic “A nose in need deserves Puffs Plus indeed”.
  • Localization, dialect, and proper translation reign supreme. In the world of consumer packaged goods (CPG), proper translation of marketing copy is crucial for success, especially when it comes to showing consideration for regional dialect and cultural norms. Many marketers have learned the hard way that idioms, slang, and cultural references don't always translate well. For instance, the iconic and successful "Got Milk?" campaign of the 90s was translated literally to "Are You Lactating?" in Spanish. This highlights the importance of taking the time to be brilliant at the basics. Regional variations and dialects are vital to get right, as there are significant differences in translations across various regions. For instance, the word "torta" means "cake" in Venezuelan and Colombian Spanish, but "sandwich" in Mexican Spanish. In-depth knowledge of the nuanced behaviors, beliefs, and demographics of your target audience can help establish a strong foundation for successful copywriting. This serves as a potent reminder to marketers that representation unfolds in the details, and getting it right is paramount.
  • Lean into the power of copy visualization to ensure cognitive fluency and resonance. Cluttered layouts that don’t hold enough white space can exhibit dramatically reduced cognitive fluency, and copy that is difficult to read or process is unlikely to have stopping power with shoppers. Marketers must resist the urge to cram as much messaging in as possible, and ensure their copy is concise and has breathing room. This also means avoiding unusual typefaces or color combinations, both of which can decease readability and shopper engagement.

Sometimes, the smallest tweak in copywriting makes a world of difference in campaign performance, and that is why shopper and brand marketing teams for CPG companies routinely call on VideoMining to help them run scientifically sound studies to find meaningful copywriting best practices that are rooted in shopper behavior.

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