Quantification: Its impact on perception by a consumer

 “He got very good marks in 10th exam!”
“He got 90% marks in 10th exam!”

Both of the above sentences have some impact on the listener. If heard in the sequence as above, the excitement increases, feeling of pride enhances, feeling of jealousy doubles (as the case may be). What is the factor which is contributing to this change (positive or negative)? The factor is the numerical value which replaces the adjective describing the result. This quantification of the result plays an important role in building the perception of the object.

Now see this line! “He got 6% more marks than the topper of last year”

This sentence gives the listener an added parameter not only to judge an object on absolute basis but on relative basis also.

The quantification method had been used in promotion of many products. “Mileage” of a bike and recently its “engine size in cc” is the yardstick for any lay man before selecting a bike.  No one can forget the “2 minutes” Maggi noodle. Though it seems like a simple word for a promotional jingle, but this “2 minutes” reflects the convenience which is the basis of the existence and success of the Maggi brand.  Another breakthrough product which entered the market with the similar “quantification” was “Ujala – do bundon wala”.  This liquid indigo by the Jyoti Laboratories was first of its kind and today changed entire indigo market. The “do bundon wala” punch line left similar impression on the consumer’s mind as Maggi’s “do minute ruk sakte hain....” did. Time has changed, market has changed but the “quantification” approach is still a success formula.

Complan had already made a strong position in the category of growth aid. Since long we know Complan for its 23 vital nutrients which help in the growth of child. Last year, Heinz India quantified the effect of Complan by “two times faster growth claim”. I wonder, why all of them have taken “TWO” as their representative value J! Important thing to note is that Complan was already quantifying its USP – “23 Vital nutrients”, this time their quantification was comparative and impact was huge. Boost, known for giving stamina, now claims  “3 times” more stamina.  Lifebuoy , known for its antimicrobial effect, now claims “Lifebuoy kills 99.9% of germs in just 10 seconds”. Eno claims that its starts working in “6 seconds”.   All these quantification of the result has great impact on the consumer’s mind. But, some consumers think that these numerical values are false claims and without any research.  Here, being a product developer, I would like to say that these numerical values are finalized after thorough studies. The presentation of the values in terms of sentences and words are carefully crafted to avoid any legal issues pertaining to false claim. Sometime, because of improper interpretation of the claim consumers conclude that claims are baseless.

Lets take the example of “2 minutes noodle”.  I am sure that everyone takes more than 2 minutes to prepare a bowl of magi for them. Then it means claim is false! It’s not the truth, Maggi noodles are cooked to eat in 2 minutes. Rest time which you spend is in developing a customized maggi noodles.  Eno’s claim of “starts working in 6 seconds” may be based on the time taken by Eno to travel the gastrointestinal tract before hitting the target zone.

To summarize my article, I would like to say that, quantification has already been an important tool for enhancing the impact on consumer mind. Consumers some time take it as an “exaggerated statement / claim”.  During these types of claims playing with words are generally done, which needs to correctly interpreted. Consumers need to be careful about what they interpret and what the claim is made. Any kind of misunderstanding can lead to over-expectation and finally disappointment.

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Comment by Anusha Ramani on April 5, 2011 at 10:45pm
excellent one, really this jingle do create misunderstanding in consumer's mind even they support it with proof from higher authority, resulting in cunsumer complaining and filing cases over the company. interpretation if given fully by th ecompany may avoid such issues and can increase sales, as explined by u above for maggi&eno!!!!!! 
Comment by Sanjeev Sharma on March 13, 2011 at 4:51pm
Thanks all that you liked the blog..
Comment by Manoj Arumugam on March 13, 2011 at 1:35pm
Sanjeev you are amazing yar....Nice one.......
Comment by Nitin Rana on March 13, 2011 at 10:58am
nice blog..I appreciate ur branding concept & consumer behavior study.....
Comment by Vaishali Pant Sharma on March 12, 2011 at 9:16am
Good one Sanjeev!

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