Last night I went to Cold Stones to get some ice cream. The place feels indulgent - giant color photos of chunky, topping-loaded ice cream all over the walls. It's one of those places, kinda like The Cheesecake Factory, where you feel inclined to splurge. Maybe it's the dessert thing, or the way the menu has far too many options, leaving you feeling like you must come back and try something else next time.
I think the "urge to eat more" might stem from something much simpler: the presentation of the three product sizes. Cold Stone Creamery offers these choices: Like It (small), Love It (medium) and Gotta Have It (large). There are two reasons why I believe this is effective.
First, the styrofoam cups are displayed in left-to-right order, going from large to small. Generally we expect things to get bigger from left-to-right, so that our first choice is a small. Then we consider, hmm, maybe a medium. If we keep "reading," we arrive at a large. In doing it backwards, Cold Stones presents the biggest size first, making it more work for the customer to go down a size. I bet more people order the largest size at Cold Stones than at Ben & Jerry's.
And second, the names themselves. Do you like it? You only just like it? Fine, then, a small's all you get. Oh, but do you LOVE it? Really love it? Good job, you get a medium. But wait, do you GOTTA HAVE IT? Do you crave this ice cream, do you dream about it every night, will you name your first child after it? Excellent. You get a large. By telling the person behind the counter which size we want, we are forced into proclaiming various degrees of affection for their product.
I would bet that this naming scheme has converted a whole bunch of people who would otherwise get a "Small" into ordering a "Love It." I ordered a "Like It" size. I felt slightly like I was telling them their baby was ugly. You want to feel good about your purchase; you want to convince yourself that it's something you really love. Cold Stones offers a tangible and actively verbal way to do just that. Nice job, guys.