In order to entice consumers to purchase goods and services, companies have to find a way to convey them, as well as associating their value. What makes them memorable is what will keep customers returning again and again.
Brands develop over time and things change. But, there is a psychology behind a brand that can make or break a company. In his book, The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell (2002) discussed how Tom McAnn’s, the shoe company, was all but obsolete until a guy was wearing them which sparked admiration from someone else, who the went out and bought a pair. This, then, led to others thinking they were ‘cool,’ thus creating the tipping point to massive sales and putting them back on top.
There is always a psychology behind marketing and sales, which then leads to a brand. Tapping into the deeper memories and emotions is what makes people buy. Think of Budweiser commercials – they are so heartfelt that you come to love them; who do you associate Clydesdales’ with?
Did you know that grocery stores are set up the way they are to entice you to buy? You go into the store for one thing but walk out with a bagful since you can’t pass up the bargains they put in your way to that one thing you came in for. Even the shelves are set up so the most enticing are at eye level (which those companies pay for this space). They are trying to entice you to buy since the product is within reach.
The psychology of a brand involves the limbic system, which is where bonding, passion, and emotions lie – the more emotional you feel about a product or service, the more bonding you will have and will buy. A brand also wants this area to activate so it can put the fear center at bay, which can deter you from a purchase. Hallmark Cards does a great job of this; who hasn’t wanted to send their former teacher a card to thank them?
Tag lines and elevator speeches all have a psychology behind them, or they should. They need to tap into an emotion where that person wants to connect with you or says, ‘tell me more’ so you can take the conversation further, eventually to a desired outcome, such as a promotion, a job, or the sale of your good or service.
For example, if I ask someone the age-old question ‘What do you do?” and they say, “I’m an accountant, my response is to say something perfunctory, like ‘that’s nice.’ It really didn’t make me want to go any further. But, if that person said that they ‘help people sleep better when they know their money is taken care of, ‘you can be sure I’m going to ask more questions to ‘tell me more, and possibly set up a time for them to review my finances. Do you see how their pitch went to an emotional state around money and safety?
This is why putting some psychology behind what we do is important. It helps to know how to present yourself, or your company, to the world. It’s why finding your target audience is critical to success. These are the people who all share the same problem, of which there is an emotion behind; creating the solution for how you will solve their problem will create voracious customers who are happy to buy from you – and keep coming back.
Who you are and stand for, i.e. your brand, will resonate with others so you are top of their mind. Being open and friendly, having a good handshake (yes, this is important), and being more interested than interesting, will release oxytocin, the bonding chemical, which will then lead to relationships that get you where you want to go. The brain, and the psychology behind, it is fascinating; use to to your advantage. TGIF!
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