Throughout life, people have about 25 places they tend to frequent.

We all have certain “go to” places, such as favorite restaurants, bars, movie theaters, coffee shops, car repair facilities, etc. I have a theory that this is because we simply cannot attend to everything in our environment. We would go crazy if we took every advertisement we saw as a serious inducement. That is why we delete most emails and throw most advertisements in the recycling bin. Most of us settle on a few places, businesses and even friends we are comfortable with.

Some recent research is shedding more light on our preferences. A study by Alessandretti, Baronchelli et al. in Nature Human Behavior (June 2018) examines 4 datasets covering 40,000 persons from all over the world. It found that typically humans have a maximum of 25 places they frequent and this number is relatively stable. More social people tend to have a few more, but the number consistently tops out around 25. The interesting thing is that the places do vary over time. Some are added while others are weeded out.

 

What then causes someone to add a new place or activity to their repertoire? Some activities rarely change such as the daily commute to work or university. Only in the event a person loses their job, graduates or moves, etc. is this routine likely to be affected. The number of preferences is reasonably consistent across age groups. There seem to be two types of people; Explorers and Returners. Explorers test more new places. Returners tend to frequent the same places. Both groups test new places, but explorers do so with higher frequency. In both cases, the likelihood of returning is related to how many previous visits the person has had to the “place.” It is also the case that more social people tend to test more places.

Students starting college or others in new environments may surge for awhile exploring a bit more. For people in new environments inducements offered by businesses provide a chance to develop a new business relationship such establishing a relationship with a car repair facility, finding a new grocery store, pub or bookstore. Businesses where people congregate (bars, restaurants, etc.) also play a role in creating a sense of community within a community by providing a chance to meet and hang out with potential new friends.

However, businesses must make it easy to identify places that meet their needs. Advertising only works when the person searching has access to it. What better way than an app that works for you where ever you are. What if you could devise a search engine devoted to creating easy access to your business and the specials you already offer? LocalAnyDay is a cool smartphone application that is available now. This application provides immediate access to food, drink, local specials, car repairs, clothing, etc. It is quick, and you can quickly narrow your search geographically. It provides a list of providers, contact information and a map of how to get there. This is a cool search instrument. Businesses pay a nominal fee, and the app is free to consumers. Check out LocalAnyDay!

-By Tom Cardwell

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