top of page

How to Speak to Shoppers #1

This is the first in a series of five blogs we are sharing on How to Speak to Shoppers.

If you want help developing shopper communication based on the principles we are talking about please get in touch.

Right, onto the blog…

Having a Shopper First Mentality?

Imagine you’re a goalkeeper.

It’s the FA Cup Final at Wembley. In front of 90,000 fans. It’s the last minute. The score is 1-1. You’re facing a penalty.

The penalty taker starts his run up. What do you do? Do you dive left? Or dive right? Or do you do nothing and stand still?

Well, if you’re like most goalkeepers, you will do something.

Analysis shows that for 93% of penalties, a goalkeeper dives. 49% dive left. 44% dive right. They only stay in the centre of the goal for 7% of penalties.

You must have a better chance of saving it if you dive, right?


The analysis shows that 17% of penalties are saved by goalkeepers who dive to the left or right. But that if they hadn’t dived, they would have saved 33% of penalties.

Your best chance of saving a penalty is to stand still.

So, why do most goalkeepers dive? They know the statistics.

Because the crowd expects them to. Dive and you might save it. If you don’t, at least you look like you’ve tried to save it.

Stand still and you’re more likely to save it. But if you do and the penalty taker rolls the ball into the corner you look like you haven’t tried to save it.

Goalkeepers end up diving for show. Even when the less showy thing is more likely to lead to success.

Why are we talking about this? In our industry we do a lot of things for show.

The spectacular fixturisation solution. Dripping with originality. An award winner. But too complex and expensive to roll out.

The brilliantly creative POS communication. Oozing subtle sophistication. Another award winner. But shoppers don’t even know what the product is for.

The beautifully crafted messaging. An exquisite play on words. Another award winner. But most shoppers read it three times and still don’t get it.

Too many things are done for show. Where creativity is prioritised.

Instead more things need to be done for dough. Where sales are prioritised.

That’s why each year (well, we are onto our fourth year now…) we award our alternative year-end awards. The Insight Traction Lions.

They are a set of awards that are firmly anchored in the real world.

A world that understands that shoppers spend much less time thinking about our categories and brands than we do. A world in which shoppers get bored much less quickly than we do. A world in which shoppers buy your product not your purpose.

Awards that honour simple, clear and effective shopper communication.

Simple. Communication that says less. That uses few words. Short words. Everyday language.

Clear. Communication that is very easy to process. That tells a shopper what a product is. What it does. Why it’s good.

Effective. Communication that frames choices effectively. That makes a brand the most obvious choice for shoppers.

They are awards for brands that have the courage to stand still when other brands are diving.

We will start sharing the Insight Traction Lions winners from Monday 13th November on Linked In.

They will run over 4 weeks.

Just follow Insight Traction to see them.

Look out for the second blog of the “How to Speak to Shoppers” series next Friday.

bottom of page