As a kid my sister and I learned to cook early because—well, my mother couldn’t cook. My grandmother was a phenomenal cook but on the days when we were at home, my sister and I had to cook.
We weren’t bold chefs. If we made sushi it was really just undercooked fish. Flambé? No, it was burned. Our meals were not spectacular or even memorable (except one raw chicken concoction). They sustained us—at least until we could get to Gran’s.
As an adult I began to dabble with spices—well, spice. My addiction to Cinnamon began mostly accidentally. I had run out of Season All so I figured Cinnamon being a seasoning, would do. And it did, on just about everything. Cinnamon pork chops, Cinnamon ham, there was very little that didn’t taste better with Cinnamon.
Over the years I have found other spices but nothing spices a meal up quite like Cinnamon—unless it’s Cilantro (another spice I over indulge in). I would like to say that since I have been cooking for over 15 years now I no longer sprinkle everything with my spice du jour—and I could if I didn’t just dust Cinnamon and BBQ sauce over those ribs in the oven. But when I find something that works, I stick with it—even when it stops working for everyone else.
Of course my children have grown used to my spice indulgences and they know that the quickest way to get me to stop is not to complain, but to ask if my ‘secret ingredient’ is Cinnamon or Cilantro and then for some reason I move on to another spice.
What would work best is a collection of spice, after all, variety is the spice of life—so they say.
When I read Martin Lindstrom’s “Why the Smell of Cinnamon Makes You Spend Money” on Time.com it reminds me of something I already know: As good as it can be Cinnamon can be used against us. Still, according to Lindstrom, the scent of cinnamon makes shoppers nostalgic and retailers rely on the scent along with other ‘holiday smells’ to get shoppers into the festive and festivity purchasing mood.
Perhaps if my grandmother cooked with cinnamon or if the holidays smelled like cinnamon, this trigger would work to make me purchase items that reminded me of home. Since I don’t have cinnamon-induced memories, the only thing the scent of cinnamon makes me want to buy is cinnamon.
Whether you rely on memories of the past or gadgets of the future to encourage your customers to spend, provide your customers with reasons to keep buying from you year round.