What does your audience feel?

Harvard Professor Says 95% of Purchasing Decisions Are Subconscious

When marketing a product to a consumer, it’s most effective to target the subconscious mind.

According to Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman, the answer to all these questions is directly related to the subconscious mind. In Zaltman’s book, “How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market,” the professor reveals many exciting ideas that can be helpful to marketers and brands.

Contrary to popular belief, consumers aren’t as savvy as they might like to believe. For example, while many consumers report comparing multiple competing brands and price points when evaluating a purchasing decision, Zaltman’s research indicates that this is not actually the case.  Sound confusing?  Have a read of his book which provides great clarity.

How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market

Author Seth Godin, says this about your brand: “According to Seth Godin, “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” Think about this in terms of yourself–how people would think of your brand–the expectations, memories, stories, and relationships embedded within it.

By studying consumer’s unconscious physical reactions, Zaltman found that what they really think or feel often contradicts what they say.

Consumers are driven by unconscious urges, the biggest of which is emotion.  Emotion is what really drives the purchasing behaviors, and also, decision making in general.

Humans are driven by feelings. So if you want the consumer to remember your product or brand, they must be engaged and impassioned by the interaction with your company.

Good marketers utilize this concept all the time, and examples of emotion-based campaigns are everywhere. Think for a moment, what is actually being sold in most marketing campaigns.

Luxury goods target our feelings of self-worth, acceptance, and status in the world. Communication devices excite us by offering a connection to friends, family, and a broader network of people. Athletic brands inspire by offering adventure and glory through the act of competition. And many other products, such as perfume,  and lingerie, target emotions related to love, relationships, and sexual desires.

As marketers, we should still focus on the features of the product. But we must also sell the lifestyle and the feeling. The key is to highlight the emotional response a consumer will achieve by using the product.

As the old saying goes – sell the sizzle, not the steak.

And to achieve the highest emotional response, you should target your consumer through many different senses. For example, think about the colors and shapes on your logo, homepage, or product packaging. How do they make consumers feel? Consider the words and messaging carefully. Are they emotive and engaging? What is the experience of your retail location? These face-to-face interactions should give customers a certain feeling about your brand.

Your Brand Stands For What Your Audience Stands For

Your Audience IS Your Brand

Define your purpose

Why does your company do what it does? What is your company’s purpose? What does your company stand for? How is it different than the rest?

No matter how flashy your logo, how your product performs, or what clever marketing tactics you employ, your brand will ultimately be determined not by what it is, but by WHO it attracts.

As Seth Godin says, when people consider whether a brand is for them, they have this in the back of their mind:

“People like us, do things like this.”  You can read more here

This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See