Understanding How Retail Brands Influence Consumers
Retailers spend more than $450 billion each year to influence consumers. They wouldn't spend that kind of money unless they knew something that consumers don't. In working with and studying more than 500 brands, I learned a few of their secrets.
Brands aren't trying to influence a person; they're trying to influence the mind. They take the time to study how the mind functions, makes decisions and how it can be most predictably influenced. Brands aren't trying to meet peoples’ needs. Rather, they're trying to meet their wants. You must understand consumers’ wants in order to influence them to your way of thinking.
You may know what a person wants, but that isn't enough to get them to change their mind. Marketers identify tactics of change that work in sync with how our brains learn and seek to satisfy our wants. They identify what consumers want to feel. Here I break down each emotion and how that feeling connects to particular brand secrets.
* Safe and secure. This want is reinforced through the physical structure of the brain as well as your physical environment, making it one of the strongest motivating forces. The amygdala is an area of the brain that's primary purpose is to protect us; think of it as a built-in survival mechanism. Whenever we sense fear or danger, or that things aren't safe or secure, it fires up. Brand examples include Volvo, OnStar, Allstate, ADT, Johnson & Johnson, and Geico.
* Comfortable. All consumers want to feel comfortable. They want to feel good, relaxed — they want it to be easy. They're attracted to what makes them feel good, and this is often what's most comfortable and easy. Brand examples include Cracker Barrel restaurants, Godiva and Rockport.
* Cared for and connected to others. Feeling cared for is valuable to all consumers. Humans are genetically predisposed to want to be together; it's one of our evolutionary traits. Brand examples include Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Eclipse, Pizza Hut, Budweiser and Olive Garden.