May 4, 2014

Boost Your Sales with Sidekick Merchandising

I’ve always marveled at fictional sidekicks. A good sidekick lends perspective to enigmatic heroes and helps us to know them better. How well could we understand the complexities of Sherlock Holmes’ mind without having Dr. Watson to ask the questions we are thinking? How much more dignified is Andy Griffith when compared to simple-minded Barney Fife? How much cooler is Ferris Bueller when compared to his uptight best friend Cameron?

Sidekicks give us a point of comparison, and the drive to compare is inborn in humans. There is a branch of behavioral economics titled “Social Comparison Theory” [], which postulates that humans have a basic drive to compare the various elements of their environment. Sidekicks provide us an easy way to compare A with B.

Antique dealers can use a consumers’ basic drive to compare to improve their merchandising. Dealers love to fill their shelves with unique, one-of-a-kind items. Perhaps these treasures would sell faster (and for more money) if we provided a “sidekick” item as a point of comparison for our shoppers. Big-name retailers have been using the “sidekick” marketing method for decades, with good results. Back in the early 1990s, Williams & Sonoma introduced the first bread-making machine to America. Their research had shown that the item would be well-received by consumers: Pour the ingredients into a machine, turn it on and a few hours later one has fresh baked bread. No kneading and no floury mess to clean up. Read More >>