What do a diamond ring and a brand new car have in common? They’re both shiny and they’re both expensive. Those things are not coincidental, and retailers know it. Research has shown humans have a physical response to shiny surfaces or objects. Simply put, we can’t resist shiny things. Furthermore, objects that sparkle often convey a sense of quality and value. Next time you visit a high-end shopping mall, look around and you will notice every surface is gleaming. Envirosell Inc., a marketing firm for top fortune 500 companies, including Walmart & The Gap, conducted a study that found pedestrians automatically slow down when passing shiny store fronts. It seems we just can’t help ourselves!
So why does this work? For starters, it’s not just a human behavior; many animals are attracted to shiny stuff too. In fact, gophers, groundhogs and other ground dwelling animals have been known to collect shiny objects in their burrows. No one knows for sure why this is, but researchers have theorized this attraction evolved from the necessity to find clean, drinkable water in the wild. In other words, our obsession for glossy, shiny, glittery and sparkly things might be rooted in a very basic instinct and primitive desire for water!
In 1990, a study was conducted that showed volunteers four pictures of water of varying shininess. The shiniest was selected as best in terms of quality, especially by women. The study went on to test the response of infants to shiny objects. Not surprisingly, the infants too showed an innate attraction. Given a choice between a regular white plate and a reflective plate, most infants chose the reflective plate. And when the reflective plate was placed on the ground, many of the infants would get down and lick the center of the plate, almost as if they were drinking from a pond or pool of water. None of the infants did this with the white plate. It is fascinating to realize that despite all of our evolutionary progress, the decisions we make in our daily life may still be influenced by our basic need for water.
So what does any of this have to do with lighting? It’s quite simple actually. Surfaces can’t shine without light. And bright, high quality light can make many surfaces glisten and sparkle, attracting interest from potential customers and increasing a product's perceived value. Let’s face it, most things just look better when properly illuminated. This is especially true for surfaces that are naturally reflective (e.g. gold, silver, steel, gemstones, glass & crystal, glossy paintings & prints, etc.). So if you’re looking to draw more people into your booth or tent and convert those people into paying customers, investing in good quality lighting is a sure fire way to accomplish this goal. At the end of the day, it’s about generating more sales…and having a good quality lighting system will do just that!