Achieving a state of relaxation is a key justifier for consumers in our hectic, overscheduled world. Just as with other justifiers that stimulate purchases, relaxation is not just inherent in the product bought but in the whole shopping experience. Stores that are sensitive to the need for relaxation invite consumers to spend more time in them. Moreover, as Paco Underhill, in his book Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, says, the longer shoppers spend in the store, the more they spend. Marketing relaxation products in a relaxing setting is the ticket for success.
Products that offer relaxation span a wide range including candles, home fragrance and aromatherapy products, nature and outdoor gardening, art, music, and bath lotions and potions. They tend to appeal to multiple senses just as candles illuminate, scent the room, and provide warmth. Shopping experiences that encourage relaxation also tend to be multisensory, offering an environment where scents, sounds, and lighting wrap the consumer in luxurious surroundings.
Stores that are sensitive to the need for relaxation invite consumers to spend more time in them.
Relaxation is a closely related justifier to stress relief, which I will discuss later in this chapter. Relaxation is more multidimensional than stress relief and implies a broader, more life-transforming value than the stress relief justifier, which focuses on results. More than 80 percent of consumers rate relaxation an important motivator for discretionary purchases, whereas stress relief is important to only about two-thirds. While both genders are equally motivated by relaxation, women are more highly motivated by stress relief, suggesting that women need more of both relaxation and stress relief in their lives. Relaxation is more highly motivating to the middle-aged and older consumers; the prime age range for relaxation buying is 35 to 64. Blacks tend to view relaxation as a very important motivator, while whites are more likely to consider relaxation only somewhat important. Two-or-more-person households place a premium on relaxation in their discretionary purchases.
Education builds loyalty.
As shoppers become more highly involved with a brand, a product, or a company, they seek out more information. Involved, passionate consumers want to learn and be educated, which results in better, more loyal consumers. The Longaberger Company, known for its handmade baskets sold exclusively through home parties hosted by the company's sales consultants, sponsors the Longaberger Homestead, near its headquarters in Newark, Ohio, dedicated to enhancing the consumers' experience of the brand.
Company founder Dave Longaberger envisioned the company facilities, which include a forest, golf course, and acres and acres of farm-land, becoming an educational and entertainment destination for visitors from around the world. The Longaberger Homestead combines down-home, country-style shopping, entertainment, and dining opportunities with a tour of the manufacturing plant where people can experience, firsthand, the handcrafted traditions on which the company is founded. Visitors can even take a class where they make a basket themselves. Guests are also invited to tour the company's unique seven-story office building designed to look like one of its baskets, handles and all. Thus, Longaberger becomes far more than a company that sells baskets:
It involves and educates potential consumers.
It invites the consumer to become part of the Longaberger experience for a few hours or a day.
It presents the consumer with information about why their baskets are the absolute best.
It builds loyalty, passion, and excitement for the brand.
Longaberger has made the quantum leap from a company trying to sell products to one that becomes part of the consumer's life. Educating the consumer with its Longaberger Homestead factory tours, sales consultants' presentations, and home parties is the foundation of the company's entire marketing and brand-building program. And it has worked spectacularly.