If any professional marketer were to make a wish, it would be to have the power to get into his or her consumers’ minds and understand what drives their behavior. This would allow them to develop the knack to create the most effective marketing strategies.

Most studies have indicated that psychology can be used to engage the target consumers, so long as these methods remain within the confines of the law. Here’s a run-down of some psychological tricks and tips to lure more consumers to your brand.


Use Emotional Ideas

Several surveys have shown that emotional and psychological aspects of a product mean more to consumers than the function and features. When advertising a product, the benefits – which have a psychological attachment – usually outweigh the features. Hence, letting the consumer understand the value that a product adds to his or her life works more effectively than explaining its specs and how it works.


Relate to the Consumer

A study: Using Social Norms to Promote Environmental Conservation in Hospitality Establishment, was conducted by Goldstein, Griskevicius, and Cialdini in 2008. In an attempt to study which message would best compel hotel guests to reuse room towels, they designed the following statements:

  • Initial statement: Help save our environment
  • 2nd statement: 75% of our hotel guests reuse their room towels
  • 3rd statement: 75% of guests who used this room reuse their towels

From the report, messages that spoke directly to the guest proved more effective – other guests who use this room… Such a scenario is referred to as in-group favoritism. Simply let the consumer know that other consumers with the same need have tried a product.


Unwrap Your Flaws

Getting a consumer to make a purchase on an impulse is challenging. The advertising claims are often too good to be credible. Try pinpointing your product’s shortfalls and there’s a high likelihood the consumer may be convinced.

A good example is an ad by Volkswagen that read, “Lemon, this one here missed the boat. The shiny metallic strip beneath the glove compartment has blemishes and should be replaced. There are high chances you wouldn’t have taken note of it, but Inspector Kroner did.” This ad is a leading example of how to establish brand credibility.


Give Out Random Rewards

Have you ever seen those gift cards and stamped copies that restaurants and bistros issue allowing the customer to get a free lunch on the 10th visit? As effective as they may seem, they lack the power to provide an incentive for the consumer to come back. Instead of having a fixed ratio statement, try having a variable reinforcement which randomly awards your consumers.

Such a phenomenon is best described as operant conditioning. The consumer tends to associate their behavior with the occurrence of certain events. What marketers do is reward a consumer so they repeat a certain behavior.

This psychological aspect is practical when it comes to marketing because if a restaurant were not to tell you when to get a free drink or dish, you’d probably be a repeat customer with the hope of landing that drink one day. Variable reinforcement spurs people to make repeated purchases.


Reposition Your Industrial Competitors

Al Ries and Jack Trout wrote Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind. In this marketing guide, they discovered there is a priority for the brand of each product and service in the consumer’s mind, and this is why it’s important to position the brand. Repositioning helps change the priority of the brand in the consumer’s mind.

A great example is when Jif launched their ad campaign “Choosy Mothers Choose Jif”. That sent ripples among mothers who were compelled to buy Jif foods in a bid to be perceived as caring to their kids. Every mother wants to think of herself as caring, right?


Make Use of Eye Contact

Eye contact is a great way of drawing your consumers’ minds to your brand. But can you maintain eye contact without scaring away the audience? When pitching an ad to an investor or consumer, use eye contact as well as marketing tools. Has it ever occurred to you that Cap’n Crunch captain’s eyes are always looking down? This is to captivate children who want to taste the cereal.

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