When we have strong positive emotions about a brand we seek supporting evidence and ignore contradictory facts.
Our rational mind is always looking for evidence to support our dominant beliefs…
the stronger the emotion, the stronger the belief, and the greater the tendency to seek out supporting evidence.
This confirmatory bias is why we often overlook the flaws of the ones we love, even if that loved one is a brand.
We focus our attention on the positive qualities of the brand while ignoring the deficiencies.
Advertising works by a process of Unconscious Behaviorism.
We are being conditioned by the media on a deep unconscious level and it is this implicit associative emotional conditioning that drives our brand preferences.
We make decisions by emotional association more so than rational analysis.
The conscious mind will leap to conclusions, forming a coherent narrative based upon partial information.
This strong tendency to draw conclusions from incomplete information is a cognitive rule called ‘what you see is all there is.’
Consistency and coherence, not quantity or quality of information, are the keys to forming opinions.
We are convinced by advertising based on consistency and coherence, not the quality and quantity of information.
The best ad campaigns involve a simple clear emotionally evocative idea repeated over and over again.
Less is in fact more.
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.
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.
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.
People are often very resistant to trying or doing something new, however logically compelling that alternative is.
Being mindful that consumers are primarily focused on not making a bad choice – making a safe choice rather than necessarily making the best choice.
When it comes down to a real purchase decision, the unconscious mind’s desire to avoid risks can often make the choice of something new feel far less appealing.
Research has shown that print adverts processed outside of conscious awareness shift attitudes just as much as those processed consciously.
On a daily basis, you frequently make an unconscious decision not to do something new…
…to put your shoes on in the same order…
…to buy the same newspaper every day…
…to watch an episode of a television series even though you’ve seen it several times before.
Finding a way to live tests products, services, and marketing communication ideas is the only reliable way of evaluating consumer response.
Ultimately, what consumers believe influences their choices isn’t necessarily what does.
The more established and routine the behavior, the more likely it is to be dominated by unconscious drivers.
The one factor has been of more concern and made more of a difference to sales in any one period than anything else:
Tests have shown that consumers are able to detect patterns and adapt our behavior well in advance of having conscious awareness of the calculations our unconscious has made.
There is little point in asking a television viewer what he thinks of a new program’s title, if it contains words that his unconscious mind would pass over and filter out of conscious appraisal at the moment of the selection decision is made in reality.
Our selective attention is continually screening out a huge amount of information but that doesn’t mean that this information isn’t being processed.
While we are not consciously processing it, our unconscious mind can be changed by what passes through it, leaving us with no ability to report it accurately after the event.