Marketing & New Year’s Resolutions with Veronika Ilyuk-Morace
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Marketing & New Year’s Resolutions with Veronika Ilyuk-Morace

My research focuses broadly on consumer
health and well-being and I look at marketing stimuli whether it be
advertisements or packages, how that affects our intake of food, our
over-consumption, so it broadly fits into this domain of consumer health and
well-being. Every year we make New Year’s Resolutions we want to eat healthy, we
want to exercise, and in theory that’s great but in reality we’re not likely to
stick to our resolutions and in fact if we were to line up ten people,
statistically speaking, at best one of them will stick to their New Year’s
resolutions. When we think about things in the future we think of them
abstractly so we think about the outcome. We think about how great we’re gonna
look, how healthy we’re gonna feel, but when we get closer in time to January
first, we start thinking about the process. So, when we start thinking
concretely it becomes anxiety provoking. So in January, Google searches for gyms
spiked and gym memberships tend to increase forty to fifty percent and
that’s in part due to attractive offers, attractive deals, but then traffic tapers
off so it’s really a business model built on the consumer never stepping
foot in the door. In terms of healthy eating, one of the resolutions that we
make is to dine out less, to order in less, and to cook more and what’s
interesting is that post-holiday, so during January, research shows that sales
of healthy food does increase sometimes twenty to thirty percent but what’s also
interesting is that sales of non healthy foods tends to stay the same.
So, we’re buying more healthy foods thinking that we’re on a journey to a
new healthy lifestyle but in fact we’re consuming more calories overall. There’s
research in marketing and in psychology about vicarious goal fulfillment so by
simply becoming a member, signing up for a gym or simply looking up a healthy
recipe or downloading an app that you plan to use for cooking, we kind of
signal to ourselves that we have made goal progress, we’re working
towards that goal and that might not actually be a very good thing because
once we feel like we’ve made progress, we kind of give ourselves a little
license to indulge so we might actually eat that extra cookie after signing up
for a gym membership. So, we have to be really careful to monitor as consumers
what exactly it is that we’re doing.

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