Your Marketing Should Stress Time, Not Money

In her blog today, Kelly Spors, entrepreneurship columnist for the Wall Street Journal discussed a study by Stanford Business School which suggests that marketers who emphasize time as opposed to money when promoting their products and services tend to have better sales.

One experiment the researchers did was to have two six-year old girls set up a lemonade stand, and tested three signs: “Spend a little time and enjoy C&D’s lemonade.”; “Spend a little money and enjoy C&D’s lemonade.”; and simply “Enjoy C&D’s lemonade.”  According to Spors’ post, the researchers were asked to pay between $1 and $3 for a glass of lemonade and were then asked questions about their impressions about the lemonade. 

The experiment found that the “Spend a little time…” sign attracted twice as many passersby than the sign emphasizing money, and those who were attracted by the “time” sign paid almost twice as much for the lemonade and said they were more likely to enjoy it than those who saw the “money” sign.  

Despite the recession, time still seems to be more precious than money to most people.  And it also seems that people are more judicious with their time and will pay more for something that either makes the best use of their time, or – as suggested in the blog post – helps them achieve a great experience with a product or brand.

Marketers might be better advised to try building engagement with their brands rather than promote it as a money saver. 

Kelly Spors’ blog post can be seen here.

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