Brand awareness is the ultimate objective for most marketers. However, Douglas Van Praet, a marketing and neuroscience expert, recently discussed why traditional research misses the mark on what actually drives consumers to purchase. Ever heard of the term “gut reaction” ? A consumer knows they like something but they are unaware of what, or how, they were influenced. Simply put, we can’t explain what we don’t know, which has been credited as the, “I like it, but I don’t know why” effect. Praet goes on to discuss another psychological idea that effects consumers, learning without knowing. Our brain’s emotional side has the ability to function independently from our cortex, the epicenter of consciousness. This enables us to attribute a positive and/or negative association to a product without knowledge or reasoning.This concept proves why Coke Clear and Crystal Pepsi were huge flops in the 1990’s. Consumers were unaware of the positive association they subconsciously made with the dark brown color of both soda brands. Eloquently put by Praet, “We see with our brains not just our eyes.”
You must be asking, so what does this mean to the marketing world? Praet has constructed a seven-step process to break through the clutter.
- Interrupt the Pattern.
- Create Comfort.
- Lead the Imagination.
- Shift the Feeling.
- Satisfy the Critical Mind.
- Change the Associations.
- Take Action.
What sparks out fire: The unconscious level of thought involved in the consumer’s decision-making process.
How will this change the way companies market to their consumers?