At a nice restaurant last week, my husband and I ordered the same entrée—exactly the way we are stereotyped to do it. He asked for the manly full serving of the dish and I requested the smaller, healthier portion. His meal filled the plate, with entrée and surrounding sauce almost spilling over the edge. My dinner was neatly centered with plenty of empty plate showing around the food.
Most notably, the two entrees were prepared differently: His was cooked with a heavier sauce while mine was simply grilled. But when we compared our two meals in more detail we noticed two things:
1. My plate was much bigger than his
2. When placed side-by-side, the two portions appeared to be about the same size
Were the portions the same size? Was it the presentations that made them look so much different?
In his blog Neuromarketing, Roger Dooley notes how the Ebbinghaus Illusion is used by chefs to make portion size fit the reputation of the restaurant without actually changing portion sizes. In general, the Ebbinghaus Illusion makes filled-in circles of the same size appear bigger when a circle surrounding it is closer to the same size of the original circle, but appear smaller if the circle surrounding it is much bigger and further from the edges of the original circle.
Marketers can use this same principle at trade shows and product displays to highlight the size-based features of a product.
If compact, easy-to-carry, lightweight or organized are primary benefits of the product, place it with a significant amount of white space surrounding it. The farther the edge of the white space is from the mass of the product, the smaller it will appear. In a situation where bigger, roomier, heavier, spacious or more substantial is the goal, place the product in a tighter space with little empty space surrounding it.
PCT returns tomorrow with more tips for your business success.
Source: Neuromarketing is published and authored by Roger Dooley, president of Dooley Direct, LLC. Dooley is a consultant and entrepreneur who combines knowledge of emerging phenomena like neuromarketing and social networking with decades of hands-on marketing experience. He helps companies understand the implications of new technologies and techniques, and guides them in the implementation of practical strategies to adapt to them.