4 is bigger than 3!

Here’s a quick lesson in stupidity! No matter how good your marketing plan, you have to consider that you’re selling to the masses; therefore, never have the consumer do math in their head!

So, in the early 1980s, the A&W restaurant chain released a new hamburger to rival the McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. With a third-pound of beef, the A&W burger had more meat than the Quarter Pounder; in taste tests, customers preferred A&W’s burger. And it was less expensive. A lavish A&W television and radio marketing campaign cited these benefits. Yet instead of leaping at the great value, customers snubbed it.

“Only when the company held customer focus groups did it become clear why. The Third Pounder presented the American public with a test in fractions. And we failed. Misunderstanding the value of one-third, customers believed they were being overcharged. Why, they asked the researchers, should they pay the same amount for a third of a pound of meat as they did for a quarter-pound of meat at McDonald’s.

The “4” in “¼,” larger than the “3” in “?,” led them astray.



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