Thursday, June 26, 2014

Olive Safari Explained

In reference to my posting from last week about trying to find olives in a grocery store, the error of my shopping expectations was pointed out to me.

While shopping for olives, I found three widely separated places in the store where olives were displayed--and of course it was in the third place that the specific type of olive for which I was searching was available. 

It turns out, as was postulated to me, that 3 persons in 100 probably are searching for olives on any given day. And these 3 people have different expectations for where the olives will be found. By placing olives in each of the 3 probable locations, these 3 shoppers will be happy and continue to shop at that store. The other 97 don't care and will buy olives wherever they are.

My problem, it turns out, was that I am a novice shopper and did not have the proper expectation with respect to the marketing scheme. Also, I was searching for a specific olive without fully understanding the marketing behind olives. No one actually goes shopping for olives! I, therefore, had two strikes against me. My third strike, as everyone knows, is that I am a guy and grocery stores are definitely not organized for guys. By placing olives in three unique and separate locations, they are more likely to satisfy the impulse shopper who sees them and thinks--I need olives, but really can't remember for what. 

To summarize,  I needed olives, a specific olive, and well, I'm a guy which is why my results were less than satisfactory.

Note to self--stay out of grocery stores unless accompanied by a competent woman.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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