Categoría: Anthropology

jul 05

EL ÚLTIMO HIELERO, by Gourmandisèe

Escrito por // Editor-in-Chief


Impresionante documental sobre Baltazar, El Último Hielero de Chimborazo. Producción y fotografía fantásticas a la vez que una historia muy humana…

Impressive documentary about Baltazar, The Last Ice Merchant from Chimborazo. Fantastic producction and photorgraphy for a “very human” story…


el ultimo hielero 2 450x319 EL ÚLTIMO HIELERO   THE LAST ICE MERCHANT

(Via gourmandisèe -)

nov 07

La compra como religión

Escrito por // Enrique Clarós


Los amigos de Anthrostrategy nos ofrecen una reflexión sobre el comportamiento de compra interpretado en términos de ritual y experiencia religiosa.

Ciertamente existen innumerables aspectos de los procesos vinculados a la compra que tienen un claro paralelismo con conceptos del ámbito de la religión: devoción por las marcas, peregrinación a las tiendas, logotipo como señal de inclusión o pertenencia, plenitud al satisfacer una necesidad, conversión de amigos a las marcas/tiendas que admiramos, la tienda como espacio de rito, …

“Loyalty is the focal point of many, if not most, brands. Understandably, getting repeat customers who will also serve as advocates is a smart move in a world where, due to the ease of online transactions, volume simply isn’t enough. But is loyalty enough or should we strive for something more? Should we strive for developing a shopping experience or brand that is largely impervious to economic conditions and the small mistakes and hiccups that all brands have to deal with during their lifetimes, no matter how good they may be at avoiding missteps? Of course. The question is how. The answer lies not just in how we execute the experience, but in how we conceive of the shopping experience. Shopping is a practice that has ritual structure and involves the creation of value and relationships. Loyalty stems from the development of these relationships but loyalty, though a strong influence on the power of a brand, has limitations and is subject to cultural shifts, a weak economy, etc. The goal is to move shoppers and consumers to the level of the truly devoted. In other words, we need to think of shopping in the context of sacred devotion.

Devotion is an ardent, often selfless dedication to a person or belief, but it can be extended to a brand and retail setting. Loyalty, in this sense, goes from feelings of strong but limited dedication to a state that borders on the divine. Like religious experience, it might even begin to manifest elements of cosmology. From my point of view, this is a far more powerful position for a brand to be in, but it requires more work. And to those who would question whether or not it’s worth the effort I would point to the growth of Apple stock in the last five years and the near fanatical nature of its devotees.

Devotion in the religious sense means paying homage and this carries over to brands and retail in that the devotee-shopper ritualizes the experience and treats the brand and retail space with a higher degree of engagement and devotion. In this case the nature of devotion is consumerism and the forging of identity through shopping. There is a public expression of respect to someone or something to whom or to which one feels indebted, as through an honor, tribute or reference. In the case of a brand, the devotee makes “pilgrimages” to its retail outlets and uses both logo and products as badges to signal inclusion for fellow believers, to recruit new believers and to keep non-believers away. After all, the goal is not in bring the half-hearted into the fold, but to draw in those who will embrace brand with the same degree of devotion and come to see the retail space as a manifestation of identity. When a consumer/shopper transitions from loyalty to devotion justifications of function and costs are set aside because they lose meaning to the devoted. All that really matters is the object of the devotion and the losing of one’s sense of self in the shared experience.

But it is not as if the devotee doesn’t get something in return. The devotee gets something back – a sense of fulfillment, a sense of greater meaning, a sense of belonging to a “special” group of people, a sense of ownership in the belief system. This leads to a sense of love that goes beyond romanticism and takes on an element of duty and personal involvement – and devotion. Rational interest becomes an expression of love which is not just an externally-focused love, but one that is co-authored. It is not the love of eros (passionate love, or the love of sensual desire) but the love of agape, or the notion that love is based on adulation, which being transcendent is not based on appraisal but rather the totalizing of otherness. It is not love subject to reason or explanation and is therefore unqualified. The aim of this sort of love is the loss of self through the merging with the beloved other. It is a creative act.

Devotional space leads to long-term repeat behavior on the part of the shopper. Even if they don’t make a purchase every time, they come to see the retail environment as a place of worship and the brand as a focal point in their own sense of identity. This leads to two centrally important points. First, when they do make a purchase cost is of minimal issue, though they may say otherwise. New product releases will garner immediate attention and devotees will wait an almost unimaginable amount of time to buy the product in the retail space. It is not enough to buy it online or at another venue – communion with the retail space is a rite. Second, devotees will bring others with them or advocate wherever they can, going from advocates to apostles.

So how does a brand achieve this level of devotion? There are several key points that lead to transforming the retail space to devotional space, all of which work together. It is an all-or-nothing proposition, but the payoff is worth the effort.” Saber más

Fuente: Anthrostrategist

oct 16

“Cruzar el umbral”, paso sagrado en retail

Escrito por // Enrique Clarós


El siguiente artículo muestra un punto de vista antropológico sobre el comportamiento asociado a la entrada en una tienda y los elementos simbólicos que le rodean. Sin duda un enfoque interesante y fresco.

The Sacred Passage: Liminality and Shopping as Transformation

You will not find the term “liminality” in many dictionaries. For instance, at last check it is not in the Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. The Oxford English Dictionary does, however, have an entry for “liminal,” the adjectival form, which it lists as a rare usage: “Of or pertaining to the threshold or initial stage of a process.” Both liminal and liminality are derived from the Latin “limen,” which means “threshold”—that is, the bottom part of a doorway that must be crossed when entering a building.  And it is this notion of a doorway, or passage from one space to another, and the consequences of doing so, that matters to consumption and shopping, because in a world where the procurement of goods is increasingly simple the act of transforming a person from one state of being to another is more and more important.  We no longer sell just goods, we sell something much more profound – or we hope to, at least.

As a brief refresher, it was not until the second half of the 20th century, that the terms “liminal” and “liminality” gained popularity through the writings of Victor Turner. Turner borrowed and expanded upon Van Gennep’s concept of liminality, ensuring widespread usage of the concept in anthropology.

In 1967, Turner noted that “the subject of passage ritual is, in the liminal period, structurally, if not physically, ‘invisible’” (1967: 95). That is, the status of liminal individuals is socially and structurally ambiguous. From this he further developed the idea.  “Liminality may perhaps be regarded as the Nay to all positive structural assertions, but as in some sense the source of them all, and, more than that, as a realm of pure possibility whence novel configurations of ideas and relations may arise” (1967: 97).

Fundamentally, the idea is relatively simple.  When a person is in a liminal state, she or he is betwixt and between the positions assigned and arrayed by law, custom, convention, and ceremony.  Their roles in the cosmic order are ambiguous. He then goes on to name this state of non-structure or anti-structure through such concepts as the “realm of pure possibility” and structural invisibility. He chooses the Latin term “communitas” to express this idea of anti-structure, and refers to social structure and communitas as two major models for human interrelatedness.”

The first model is of society as a structured, differentiated, and often hierarchical system of politico-legal-economic positions with many types of evaluation, separating men in terms of “more” or “less.” The second, which emerges recognizably in the liminal period, is of society as an unstructured or rudimentarily structured and relatively undifferentiated comitatus, community, or even communion of equal individuals who submit together to the general authority of the ritual elders.

Yes, yes.  All very interesting, but what does it have to do with consumption and shopping?  Shopping is, at a functional level, about getting things we need – food, clothing, shelter, etc.  But if it were as simple as that we wouldn’t have specialty stores.  We wouldn’t spend hours rummaging around a bookstore when we could simply order the product online.  As the outlets for acquisition have expanded with the growth of broadband, the nature of shopping has changed.  It is as much about fulfilling social, cultural and psychological needs and desires as it is anything else, perhaps more so. Which means it is often a transformational act of a transitory nature that takes us from one state of being to another, if only for a short while. And it is at the gateway that we find the symbols that successfully transition of from one state to another.  Retailers who do this well (Abercrombe, Anthropologie, Swatch) become points of destination and alter the nature of interaction, both with the store and with fellow shoppers, at the point of entry into their space.  They set the stage where shopping becomes akin to a rite of passage.  It signals that we have entered a special place and while we’re there, we are not the same person we were on the street.

The idea that the passage of the magical threshold is a transit into a new sphere of reconfigurement of who and what we are is symbolized by the gateway and harkens back to the worldwide womb image of myth.  It is the hero entering the belly of the whale and emerging transformed, carrying special knowledge or objects that can only be found by going through the passage.  This is why the approaches to temples are flanked by guardian symbols – dragons, angles, sword-wielding demon slayers.  These are the threshold guardians used to ward off those incapable of encountering the higher silences within. They illustrate the fact that the devotee at the moment of entry into the temple undergoes a metamorphosis.  Similarly, in a cultural construct where shopping and consumption have taken on the role of defining personal meaning, the threshold at the store signals a metamorphosis into the stylistically elite.  Those entering the space understand that they are unlike those outside the space and have entered a place that is beyond the confines of the mundane, daily life.  And like the hero, once having crossed the threshold, the postmodern shopper moves into a dream landscape of often curiously fluid, ambiguous forms.  It is here that shopping becomes something bigger than consumption.  It is here that the trial, the hunt, the act of self-becoming takes place, turning shopping into an expression of self-worth and of profound worth to the tribe (the family, the peer group, etc.).

Thinking about a shopping space and the symbolic cues to which we respond at the outset of the shopping journey means taking a more subtle view of how we promote our wares. Rather than screaming “low, low prices,” it means thinking about shopping and spatial design as promoting a change in the people to whom we would sell.  And it means putting as much though into the store front as it does the size of type on an end cap.  It means thinking of both the entry and the space as transitional, transformational structures that compel the shopper to alter his or her sense of being.  And this is where loyalty comes from.  Just as most people do not hop from one house of worship every week, let alone from faith to faith, so too should they feel compelled to return to your space again and again.

Liminality is almost always a temporary phenomenon. That is not to say that the temporal nature of liminality should be one of its defining characteristics. Rather, human nature being the way it is means that liminality cannot be permanent. Either we are absorbed into the social structure or we shun it all together—we cannot remain betwixt and between.  But liminality can be something that draws people back to a retailer time and again.  It turns shopping beyond the ordinary and signals that your space is beyond the daily grind.  It signals a place of rebirth.

Fuente: Anthrostrategist

sep 20

Porqué la generación X es más cool que la Y?

Escrito por // Editor-in-Chief


Who’s the first to know?
Dr Lida Hujić

How Generation X became cooler than the next

A recent interview with the co-author of the book How Cool Brands Stay Hot, Joeri Van den Bergh, prompted me to write this article. I’d like to provide an alternative perspective on coolness and the generational debate (specifically the dynamic between Generation X and Generation Y). This, in turn, can serve to discuss methodological issues as well as give some food for thought for researchers and brand managers alike interested in gathering future looking intelligence.

My own research started from the hypothesis that what came to be known as ‘cool brands’ are not cool or, to be more precise, no longer cool. I picked up on a number of other observations from the interview in question, namely that parents of Generation Y follow what their kids are doing; that the ecological agenda is high for this new generation, which parents copy. I am not in any way questioning the legitimacy of these claims in relation to the sample but it becomes problematic when those are used to make a general statement about consumption trends – essentially dubbing Generation Y as trend leaders.

My own findings reveal that perhaps for the first time in marketing history we have a case of parents being cooler than their kids – or Generation X being cooler than the next (Generation Y). (Just so that we’re clear, Generation X, those born 1965 – 1978; Generation Y, those born 1979 – 1995). Firstly, let’s address a couple of issues: the definition of coolness and the research approach used to unearth insights and substantiate findings. SABER MÁS

Fuente: RW Connect – ESOMAR

sep 10

Cómo el diseño influye en el comportamiento

Escrito por // Enrique Clarós


Influencia, persuasión, vinculación social, empatía, “ensoulment”, son los conceptos que integran las nuevas aproximaciones del diseño centrado en el usuario. Influir en nuestro comportamiento es lo que persigue este enfoque creativo.

Robert Fabricant, nos ofrece en este informe su enfoque e implicaciones

Design With Intent

How designers can influence behavior

Over the past several months, I’ve been fortunate to meet and talk to a number of people — among them Jan Chipchase of Nokia, Peter Whybrow of UCLA, and Caroline Hummels of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands — about the role of the designer in behavior change. Our conversations echoed the pent-up ambitions I’ve often heard from the young designers I teach and work with. They also reinforced my belief that we’re experiencing a sea change in the way designers engage with the world. Instead of aspiring to influence user behavior from a distance, we increasingly want the products we design to have more immediate impact through direct social engagement. Institutions that drive the global social innovation agenda, such as the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have shown an interest in this new approach, but many designers hesitate to pursue it. Committing to direct behavior design would mean stepping outside the traditional frame of user-centered design (UCD), which provides the basis of most professional design today. Saber más

Fuente: Design Mind

sep 09

La compra por impulso según David R. Bell

Escrito por // Enrique Clarós

2b DSPcorrected impulse response

El estudio de Bell cuestiona la influencia del punto de venta en las decisiones de compra. ¿El paradigma de Underhill en entredicho?. Pensamos que no. Lo que se pone de relieve es la necesidad, en cualquier metodología de investigación, de relacionar correctamente los comportamientos con las características del comprador y con las del punto de venta.

La verdad de la compra por impulso

Durante años, los minoristas y fabricantes de bienes de consumo han dado por sentado que una presentación atractiva y una cierta extravagancia influían profundamente en la mayor parte de las decisiones de compra de los consumidores. En su libro de 1999, Por qué compramos: la ciencia de la compra [Why we buy: the science of Shopping], Paco Underhill describió los supermercados como “lugares donde las compras se hacen por impulso [...] Aproximadamente de un 60% a un 70% de las compras realizadas en esos locales no fueron planeadas, según muestran los estudios realizados acerca de la industria de supermercados”.

El libro de Underhill y otros estudios posteriores han llevado a los minoristas a dedicar cada vez más recursos a las promociones realizadas en el interior de la tienda, como, por ejemplo, la colocación de ciertos productos al final de los pasillos y a lo largo de la fila de las cajas para incentivar la compra por impulso.

Esto no es lo que piensan, sin embargo, David R. Bell, profesor de Marketing de Wharton, y otros dos compañeros, que sostienen que la idea de que la mayor parte de las compras que se hacen en los supermercados no obedece a criterios preestablecidos no es más que una leyenda urbana. En un nuevo trabajo de investigación, Incidencia de compras no planeadas: quién compra, cómo y por qué, Bell y sus compañeros defienden que el volumen de compras no planeadas gira en torno a un 20%.

La investigación no prueba que el marketing hecho en el interior de la tienda sea irrelevante, pero que los minoristas tal vez deberían volver a pensar sus estrategias. Los investigadores constataron que ciertas características de los consumidores como, por ejemplo, la edad, ejercen una influencia más profunda sobre las compras no planeadas que la tienda propiamente dicha o su entorno. Saber más

Fuente: Wharton