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  • You're looking to buy a fancy new purse or belt.

  • So you go to a luxury store, walk in, and this happens.

  • Hi, I'm looking for a bag.

  • Uh, shhure.

  • Pause.

  • Because of this interaction, you're going to spend more money than you would have before.

  • It's almost a joke at this point.

  • Employees at stores like Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Gucci

  • are notorious for being standoffish and downright mean to customers who don't look the type.

  • How much is this?

  • I don't think this would fit you.

  • Well, I didn't ask if it would fit, I asked how much it was.

  • How much is this, Marie?

  • It's very expensive.

  • It's very expensive.

  • According to all rules of retail sales, employees are supposed to be polite, helpful, and nice.

  • The customer is always right and all that.

  • But what if the prevailing opinion was wrong?

  • That's the question that Darren Dahl, a professor at the University of British Columbia decided to ask.

  • He conducted a few studies, asking people immediately before, immediately after,

  • and two weeks after an employee was rude to them.

  • They included a variety of stores, ranging from Gap to Gucci.

  • Some of the interactions at the higher end stores went like this:

  • Can I see that one?

  • Um, I don't think you'll be interested in that bag.

  • It's one of our more expensive ones.

  • Dahl found that in less expensive stores, like Gap, J. Crew, and American Eagle, rude employees had the expected effect.

  • It drove away customers and made them less likely to buy the product they came for.

  • But in luxury stores, Dahl found that the opposite was true.

  • When customers went into a luxury store to buy something and the salesperson was exclusionary,

  • they reported a much greater desire to purchase the product in the moment.

  • But in two weeks, their desire had significantly decreased.

  • But why is it that customers, who conventional wisdom says you should cater to, like being treated badly?

  • It's because of something called social exclusion.

  • Basically, being in a group used to be key to survival

  • and it still is essential for our emotional and mental well-being.

  • Humans want to be in a group, especially one that is deemed more desirable.

  • The desire to purchase a product was influenced by the rejection of the group that you identified with.

  • When you walk into a designer store you love and see those slick sales people chatting together,

  • you want to be included.

  • And you'll buy a bag or sunglasses or 800-thread-count linen sheets to do it.

  • Dahl compares it to the popular group in high school: you want in.

  • There are some conditions.

  • This effect only works when the salesperson is a good representation of the brand.

  • So a sloppily dressed employee doesn't quite cut it.

  • They have to be someone you identify with and whose rejection hurts.

  • Ma'am, do you have this in the next size up?

  • Sorry, we only carry sizes 1, 3, and 5.

  • You could try Sears.

  • The brand also has to be aspirational.

  • They have to be what Dahl calls "an ideal self concept."

  • Like Louis Vuitton and Prada, are ideal self concepts of luxury.

  • Tesla would be the ideal self concept of sustainability.

  • If the brand is accessible, people don't care about being a part of it, but when it's inaccessible⁠—

  • I can afford it, don't worry.

  • Look, we need to be ready for real customers, OK?

  • I'll take the bag. I'll take the bag right now.

  • "Our study shows that you've got to be the right kind of snob in the right kind of store

  • for the effect to work," Dahl told Science Daily.

  • Something else that will make you more susceptible: self esteem.

  • The stronger your belief in your own identity,

  • the less likely you'll feel the need to use the brand as your identity, according to Dahl's paper.

  • Um, that'll be $5,000.

  • Do luxury stores do this on purpose?

  • Not that we could tell.

  • We couldn't find any indication that designer brands specifically requested that their employees be snobby.

  • So, we don't know.

  • But since researchers found that improved impressions gained by rude treatment faded over time,

  • we think that having that be your brand strategy would be a bad idea.

  • If you're shopping for a luxury item and are being treated rudely,

  • Dahl suggests leaving and coming back later or avoiding the interaction altogether by shopping online.

  • So basically, give it time. Then you won't spend extra money trying to prove that "yeah, I am popular!"

  • Don't forget to like this video, click subscribe, and ring the bell for post notifications.

  • We'll see you next time.

You're looking to buy a fancy new purse or belt.

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B1 US dahl luxury bag brand rude prada

Snobby Employees May Inadvertently Increase Sales - Cheddar Examines

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    Mackenzie posted on 2019/09/23
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