A marketer’s job is more complex than simply creating a product or service. They must make this product or service need in customers’ minds by playing with their emotions and cognitive biases. But why are these psychological tactics so essential to marketing success? The following blog post will answer that question and give examples of these techniques at work.
The first step involves knowing your audience; understanding what they’re looking for, whether it’s something tangible or not. This brings into play a vital principle discussed earlier: association. Associating your brand with values that are highly valued by your target demographic can help increase customer engagement (similarities).
Using the same principles that advertisers and marketers use to convince people to purchase toothpaste brands can create similar effects for your brand.
Once customers are engaged, it becomes easier to convince them of the need for your product or service. So, this is where repetition comes into play; continually showing customers how they will benefit by using your brand over competitors’ brands helps solidify the fact in their minds (cognitive consistency).
They begin to engage more with your advertisements because these messages seem familiar. By continuously running ads with this branding message, customers eventually start looking out for these benefits when shopping around for future purchases (neglecting cognitive biases).
This brings us to our following principle: perceived scarcity. Marketers have been using this principle since long before you or I were born. Its why products are still sold at “buy one get one free” deals, even though they’re not free because there is no way to buy just one. The same principle applies to limited edition items, flash sales, and other successful marketing strategies. So, by creating that sense of urgency around your product or service, consumers are forced to make decisions more quickly (without thinking about it).
We all know how powerful word-of-mouth can be regarding branding, but this isn’t the only application for psychology in branding strategies. For example, customer reviews have been shown to affect consumer confidence in brands immediately; seeing positive reviews about your product or service immediately makes you feel better about the purchase (even if it’s something that you’ve never tried before).
These principles are constantly in play whenever a company advertises its products. Great marketers know how to play on our emotions, fears, and cognitive biases. They use association to convince you that your life will be better by purchasing something they want to sell you; repetition ensures that this message becomes ingrained in your mind; perceived scarcity forces you to make decisions quickly; and lastly, word-of-mouth is used as an immediate endorsement for customers who have had positive experiences with brands.
When it comes to branding yourself, you’re essentially selling yourself as the product, which is why many call self-branding “personal marketing.” Like any other form of branding, this process is based on creating a positive impression in the minds of others but with one significant difference: the person who’s doing the branding is also doing the buying.
This means that your reputation reflects directly on your brand, and if you want to be taken seriously in most situations, you need to think about how people will react whenever you do something stupid or embarrassing.
It doesn’t matter if everyone else makes mistakes, too; just because someone else gets away with making mistakes doesn’t mean that you should follow their example.
No one likes the person who flaunts their mistakes in everyone’s face because it makes you feel like they’re trying to prove that they’re better than you. So even though making mistakes is something that we all must do at some point or another, if you want people to take you seriously, it should be done as infrequently as possible (or ideally, not at all).
If someone does choose to create a negative impression of themselves, no matter how small or insignificant the transgression may seem, don’t make the mistake of thinking that this provides an opportunity for them to redeem their reputation. They’ve already lost your respect and trust, so any further opportunities for redemption are likely going to be discarded by most people whenever they’re presented.
That doesn’t just mean that good things won’t happen if you give second chances; it also means that, more than likely, bad things will happen instead of good things. When you think about it in terms of probabilities and statistics, the likelihood of seeing a positive outcome is much higher when you don’t give anyone a second chance at all.
As marketers, we understand how powerful these principles can be for shaping public opinion, so why don’t we use them to our advantage whenever possible?
As marketers, we understand how powerful these principles can be for shaping public opinion, so why don’t we use them to our advantage whenever possible? For example: did you know that the amount of time advertisers spends promoting their product has minimal impact on how well they do during advertising campaigns?
According to many studies, spending twice as long promoting something yields no more significant benefits in generating consumer interest in the product. So, as a result, some people think that this is a waste of time at best and that it’s counterproductive to spend more time promoting something when the results end up being no better than the results would have been if you had put in extra time and effort.
This happens because marketers are often very good at creating positive associations with their products through advertising alone, which means that there’s no need to sell people on the product itself.
If anything, spending twice as much time promoting something can make people lose interest in what you’re selling simply by giving them too many reasons to avoid buying it even if they don’t understand why your product needed all those explanations to begin with!
This isn’t intentional, mind you, but it does show you how even those who understand the principles of branding can still get it completely wrong when they don’t think about the psychology behind them.
The next time someone tries to reinvent themselves through self-branding, pay attention to what they’re saying and doing and pay more attention to their actions than their words. Once we learn that we need to always look for consistency between a person’s words and actions, we quickly realize that people generally only lie through their words, not their actions.
If there is a mismatch between what an individual says and what they do, then that is the opportunity for us all to call out the inconsistency. In some cases, you’ll be rewarded with praise from others if you’re calling out something they’ve been experiencing for years, but at the very least, you’ll be able to save everyone from wasting their time and energy hoping that someone will finally change.
If they somehow manage to pull off a successful reinvention, then all of this is just a waste of your time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way either. If you know something about a person’s past actions and behavior, there’s no reason to think that the future version will be different.
There may have been some reasons in the past for why it made sense to behave in whatever manner the person chose, but once those benefits are taken away by circumstance or choice, nothing is stopping them from being exactly who they were.
The only thing left standing between a person, and their past behavior is the fear of being exposed, not the lack of desire to do what they used to do.
Actions speak louder than words, and this is especially the case when people get together. Attempting to “brand” yourself as something new may feel like a good idea, but often, it falls short of making any real change happen. If anything, all it takes is one person around them calling out the inconsistency between actions and words, and suddenly they’re right back where they started: with nothing having changed at all.