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More Than Eye-Catching

Research from the University of Minnesota¹ suggests that wood display fixtures in golf and resort shops compliment consumers’ perception of products better than glass display fixtures. You’re sold, right? We’ll just go ahead and place your order for our Hampstead fixtures–you can recycle your glass fixtures and call it a day!

…It was a nice thought. If you’re anything close to a normal human being, you would think suspiciously of that kind of information coming from a business that sells wood displays. “Glass displays are so modern, so chic and attractive!” you say. Well, to confess all, we did make some assumptions here and yes, we do want to sell our fixtures. Let’s take a deeper look into the research, shall we? (you can also read the article for yourself here)

Basically, the article strives to make the point that a consumer’s impression of a display fixture and its ability to influence their perception of the product on display depends on the consumer’s mindset. “Independent” thinkers, as the research suggests, tend to see displays and their products as independent and distinct objects. Therefore, if they think wood is traditional, they will see the product on it as trendy. Alternatively, if they think glass is trendy, they will see the product as traditional. “Interdependent” thinkers, on the other hand, tend to morph displays and their products as one unit and see them as either trendy or traditional.

glass displays-vs-wood displays

In a research experiment, independent thinkers labeled products on glass displays as “traditional” and labeled products on wood displays as “trendy”.

To conjure the claim in paragraph one, we made the assumption that, because we serve the shops in the golf and resort industry, our clients’ customers usually come from discussing business deals on the golf course or from working for weeks on end and now finally on vacation. We then assumed that because of these situations, they would generally have an “independent” state of mind when shopping: “thinking more of themselves as a separate distinctive person who is unlike others,” and therefore would think of the products as trendy when displayed on wood fixtures.

In conclusion, we hope these findings are helpful for you–even if that means just having a better understanding of your customers. They don’t suggest that all shops are suited for wood fixtures, but that display fixtures do have an affect on people, and in a way we may not have realized before. If you’ve discovered anything interesting about your customers as they’ve gone through your shop, share it in the comment box below!

Source:

  1. Rui (Juliet) Zhu and Joan Meyers-Levy. The Influence of Self-View on Context Effects: How Display Fixtures Can Affect Product Evaluations. Journal of Marketing Research, February 2009 Print Edition

The Test of Time

I love shopping in antique stores. I love learning about a different place in time. When I walk into an antique store, I feel almost like I’ve gained a free museum pass or a free ride in a time machine–and if  buy something–almost as if I’ve purchased a small piece of time. As I observe the decor from earlier years, I find it very difficult to figure out why things were the way they were and always find it amazing how much things have changed.

Though I do not have first-hand experience of daily life in previous centuries, I do believe that the pace of life has increased. You can pick up any item in an antique store–whether it’s dinnerware, an appliance, clothing, or even a piece of furniture–and notice ways that our lives have changed. Many of the items that wouldn’t last us more than a year in today’s world still show up in antique stores, in decent and functional shape, from decades ago!

I believe the diminishing of lifetime product value comes from increasing consumer demand on manufacturers. We as consumers need more things but we want to spend as little money as possible. Thus it becomes difficult to purchase something handmade for $50 when we have the option of a manufactured version for $10.

When we prefer practicality, I wonder, what exactly do we forfeit? Perhaps the personal touch… 

Traditional craftsman carving wood with Thai floral motifs

Traditional craftsman carving wood with Thai floral motifs

Years ago, when craftsman didn’t have the demand to serve millions at a time, they focused their energies on ensuring that the one who received their item would really enjoy it. They felt personal responsibility for their craft–a customer’s satisfaction and pleasure with their purchase directly reflected on the craftsman, as a person. Since they crafted most items by hand, each had a personal touch, which made them unique. I appreciate that craftsman, such as those at Bauer International, still exist today that choose to create products by hand and then finish them using traditional materials and methods (such as stain and shellac) rather than the faster and more automated way.

I also love the idea that furniture can do more than just serve a function in a physical space. Something about artistic expression and attention to detail cause people to pause more and feel free to enjoy a moment in time. Perhaps human nature needs moments where they feel inspired to just be–to enjoy beautiful things without evaluating their usefulness. It may be a big jump, but could you say that your furniture does that for you?

I Can go Anywhere

The song from the kids reading show, “Reading Rainbow”, comes to mind today. The lyrics, “I can go anywhere…I can be anything…Take a look, it’s in a book” made for a very inspiring and catchy introduction to each episode.

After many Saturday mornings of watching the show as a child,  the core message of this jingle stuck with me. Now, whenever I think of travel, I have to consider not only physical travel, but also imaginative travel: where my mind goes.  Travel, by definition, means “the coming and going of persons or conveyances along a way of passage” (Thank you dictionary.com). To my point, a book can make for a very quick passage to distant lands, through the vehicle of the mind. 

Now, what does that have to do with furniture? At Bauer International, we stake our success on the belief that our furnishings bring a certain transformational value to a physical space.  “Where does this value come from?” you may ask. Similar to books, we like to think of our furnishings as individual ways of passages–a means for travel, but without physical movement.

planters-cupboard-bauer-international

When we add this Planter’s Cupboard, for instance, to a room, our minds immediately make an attempt to categorize, describe, and/or make opinions about the item. Depending on how long we study the object, we might begin to draw out images from our memory–like a movie we saw once that had furniture in room with similar style, or of a time period that we’ve seen in pictures, or of a friend or relative who has a similar piece. Now, I might be dramatizing the effect slightly here, but to stick with the point, the decor of a room can really take you places–if you allow your mind to go.

To conclude this post, as the show’s star, LeVar Burton would conclude each episode of his show, “Don’t take my word for it!”  We encourage you to discover for yourself where and how you can travel today. Oh the possibilities!

Welcome! You have now arrived at your destination.

Welcome! This is the first of many posts from the crew here at Bauer International Purveyors. We’re so glad you could join us as we take a journey–a safari, if you will–into the mysteries of the industry, the nuances of the trade, and the intrigues of the cultures that have inspired our most popular designs.

If you’re not familiar with us, let me just start with an introduction. We’re a 22-year-old furnishings importer company focused on providing luxury furnishings to the golf, hospitality and residential industries. What first began as a passion for high-quality living and a taste of exotic culture, soon birthed a design portfolio full of furnishings, fixtures, and accessories, that would later turn into the enterprise that Bauer International Purveyors represents today.

During his twenty years with the company, our founder, Ken Bauer, deposited a vat of passion into the company for exploration as a way of life, and design as a means to inspire. He traveled the world, studied the world, and adopted the world into his world.

Today, we have the opportunity and privilege to carry on this passion, doing business with the finest golf clubs, resorts and residences from all over the world. If you haven’t already, we invite you to explore our collections for yourself, and to rediscover your taste for the world outside of your own.

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