Recognizing the irrationality of our decisions can help us make more informed, sensible choices and save money.

The theory that people want to engage with brands online and share their enthusiasms with their friends and that their friends will share their enthusiasms with other friends through social media channels has turned out to be an infantile fantasy.

In fact, what social media sites are rapidly becoming is just one more channel for traditional paid advertising.

We make decisions based upon the memories of our experiences — not the actual experiences.

How we feel about a brand largely depends upon our memory of the experience provided by the brand, not what actually happened.

These are not based on the reality of these experiences but almost entirely on the peak moments and the concluding impression — whether positive or negative—the brand has produced.

Not only bad decisions are made on false assumptions.

Sometimes when things go right, we think we know why, but do we really?

That the result went the way you wanted does not mean you can repeat it over and over.

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Manipulation works.

Every manipulative tactic can indeed help influence behavior and help a company become quite successful.

But there are trade-offs. Not a single one of them breeds loyalty.

Over the course of time, they cost more and more. The gains are only short-term.

If you have exceptionally deep pockets and are looking to achieve only with no consideration for the long run, then these strategies and tactics are perfect.

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Not only do brands transform our beliefs and experiences, we feel even better about a product just because it costs more.

That’s because experience has taught us that things that are expensive are usually higher quality.

When we think about buying something we automatically dredge up all of our past impressions and summarize the brand’s worth in the form of gut feelings—good, bad, or indifferent.

The sum total of these feelings is what advertisers call Brand Equity.

We don’t remember all the experiences just the overall impression.

The problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete.

They make one story become the only story.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The danger of a single story (via ted)

Brands add value not in the product but rather within our minds.

That’s because our enjoyment is shaped by our expectations and these are molded by our memories.

Questions inadvertently tell people what to think about. Raising something as a question pushes it into the conscious mind for a conscious response.

It frequently makes a presumption about how relevant or interesting that issue is to the person concerned.

In an understandable attempt to explore what someone thinks about something, the very fact that you asked them about that thing is a potential distortion of reality.

Consumer.ology by Philip Graves

It is possible to gain a good insight into the mindset of a customer by closely observing their total package of ‘expressions.’

By paying attention to the words people choose to use, their tone of voice, the gestures, postures, and facial expressions, one can read with surprising accuracy the frame of mind they are occupying at any particular time.

The key is to observe the total package rather than erroneously attach significance to just one aspect and deduce, for example, that because someone has their arms folded they are feeling defensive (they may very well just be cold, feel more comfortable that way, or be unconsciously modeling someone else’s behavior).

Consumer.ology by Philip Graves

When consumers can be covertly observed from a dispassionate perspective, noticing what someone is doing, particularly when a shift in emotions occurs, can be very revealing.

Consumer.ology by Philip Graves

Sleep deprivation depletes the glucose level in your pre-frontal cortex.

This has consequences for your decision-making: If you don’t get enough sleep, you leave your self-control engine running on empty.

If you do get enough sleep, you restore that fuel base.

Consumers have a tendency to believe that products that are heavily advertised are less likely to be crap than products that they’ve never heard of.

How many of us recognize that we have been influenced by an advert or the actions of a salesperson?

Even where we can grudgingly acknowledge their presence, most of us prefer to believe that a salesperson’s involvement was only one (very marginal) factor in our decision, rather than the critical point of influence that determined the outcome of our experience.

Consumer.ology by Philip Graves

People’s memories do not correspond to their actual experiences… there is a discrepancy about what actually happens to you over time and how you remember it later.

People are often very resistant to trying or doing something new, however logically compelling that alternative is.

Consumer.ology by Philip Graves

What matters is not what consumers say but what they do and why they really do it.

Consumer.ology by Philip Graves

If something seems plausible, impresses us, fits with what we’d like to think, or has been sold to us persuasively, we are willing to treat it as truth.

Consumer.ology by Philip Graves

We’re not aware of changing our minds even when we do change our minds.

And most people, after they change their minds, reconstruct their past opinion – they believe they always thought that.

Consumer.ology by Philip Graves