Revenue Snobs make more money – that’s conclusion I drew according to a recently published article “The Science of Snobbery”
There have been many studies published on how so called neighborhood “wine snobs”, when confronted in blind tastings, still often choose very inexpensive wines over very expensive wines. The author thought it would be interesting to see if the same was true for classical music, another area where greatness is subject to the limitations of perception.
The researchers took the actual audition recordings of the top 3 finalists from 10 prestigious international classical music competitions and asked both professional classical musicians and people untrained in classical music to select the winners. One group of each watched a video audition, the second group of each listened to an audio recording of the same audition, and a final group of each watched the video audition with the sound actually turned off so they could not hear the performance.
Wouldn’t you know it – the group that watched the silent video picked the ultimate winner of the best classical recording over 50% more often than those who saw the video with sound, and 100% more often than the group that heard the sound only. And the results were exactly the same for both professionals and those who were never trained in classical music. How could that be possible?
As Malcolm Gladwell made popular in his book Blink, as part of our adaptive unconscious, we often ‘judge a book by its cover’ in a series of quick intuitive judgments. We size up desirability or quality or want in seconds, but we can rarely articulate the true, real basis of our judgments.
And that is where the learning is for revenue generation.
While most who read these studies offer them as a referendum on whether people are truly experts, I look at them more as an analysis on the effectiveness of snobbery. Snobs look to cues and context for their indication of what to like – an expensive price tag, a well-known label, or an established or storied history.
Similarly, those who watched the classical music video without sound, looked to cues and context for indications of quality – visual signs of relevant characteristics like passion, creativity, and uniqueness. They never heard the music, ultimately selected on cues and context only, and were right most of the time.
What are the cues and context that lead to more purchases and ultimately revenue generation? Understanding what the end user truly needs, and then consistently presenting just that in everything a company says, does and produces. It’s the company’s core value proposition consistently and repeatedly communicated as the only answer to an end user’s needs. The end user, who just wants their need fulfilled, uses the company’s cues and context in conjunction with the content of the company’s product or service, and selects the company.
A snob understands the importance of cues and context. A revenue snob understands how to apply cues and context to make their company more money. Are you a revenue snob?