I got a lot of feedback from readers regarding last week's column on knowing your customers. So I decided to expand on the topic.
Here are a few more tidbits to think about. It's amazing the kind of subliminal marketing concepts there are out there.
For instance, did you know we are "designed" to look for new things?
Novelty is the single most effective factor in capturing the brain's attention. People want to buy your products and services. And the way to get them to do that is to point out what makes your product new and different. When people see something new, they're curious. If they like what they see, they'll purchase it.
What are you doing to make your product or service seem new and different?
I'll catch a lot of flack for this, but in many ways women's brains are superior to men's. The female brain has 25 percent more connections between the right and left hemispheres, increasing the capacity for communication and multitasking.
Men hold, on average, three thoughts at once — usually football, beer and chicken wings. Sorry, I just couldn't resist.
It's a curiosity, but most of your customers often don't know why they prefer one brand over another. Remember the Cola Wars? Coke and Pepsi scored 50/50 in blind taste tests, but 75/25 in favor of Coke in non-blind tests. So that means they prefer you and your products because of the relationship they have with you.
Most people buy for emotional reasons and then rationalize their purchase with logic. We don't buy Porches for logical reasons. But if you interview a guy after he purchases a Porsche, he'll rationalize the purchase with a list of statistics, like it gets great gas mileage. Really?
What emotional triggers can you use to sell your product or service?
Did you know different parts of the brain control different stimuli responses? Our instincts are controlled by the subcortical and limbic areas, also known as our Lizard Brain. The Lizard Brain responds to stimuli based on fight, flight, food and procreation. By appealing to these four areas, you can create an emotional bond between the customer and your brand.
Remember George Carlin? He was my favorite comedian because of his love of language and his thoughts about words. He was famous for his gag about the seven words you can't say on television. Of course, that was decades ago when you really couldn't. But there are 13 specific words in advertising that customers respond to: free, you, save, money, easy, guarantee, health, results, new, love, discovery, proven and safety.
The human brain takes in 11 million bits of information per second but can only process 40 bits per second. The brain is on overload much of the time. To stick out in the crowd, simplify your message and your marketing. Why do you think Steve Jobs wore the same outfit every time he spoke in public? It was to keep you focused on the product, not on him.
So now we know why the higher-priced items are at eye level in the grocery store and what sales gimmicks work. Are you willing to try a few?