Brand Design, Brand Marketing and Brand Psychology

What Drives Customer Decisions? Growing human traits in your brand DNA is one of them

Posted by sarmistha tarafder on Oct 17, 2019 11:51:59 AM

 

what drives customers decisions

 

 

Every day, we are bombarded by numberless brand impressions.


Advertisements, news reports, white papers, videos, amusing presentations, philosophical abstracts: you name it they are all there. Now, compound that with conversations with family, friends, and product experiences. You get the picture.

But, unless we are actively shopping, much of that exposure appears wasted.

Or, does it?

Neuroscience says NO.

 

Those accumulated impressions are crucial because they set the precedence of the initial consideration in the buying process. Because, "over time, emotions and their corresponding bodily changes become associated with particular charges and their past outcomes." Consciously or sub-consciously, we associate these "somatic markers" as the basis for purchasing and making decisions. Hence, brands that manages to make the most palatable and far flung impressions, we consider them worthy of consideration as potential purchasing options. In short, brands need to PULL prospects towards them, find ways to FACILITATE interaction with them and MATCH their requirements with the chemistry of the platform.

 

Read on. We explored some ideas that will help you look beyond the constraints of your brand offering.

 

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THE CONVENTIONAL DECISION MAKING PROCESS

 

 

"The decision-making process is a more circular journey, with four primary phases representing potential battlegrounds where marketers can win or lose: initial consideration; active evaluation, or the process of researching potential purchases; closure, when consumers buy brands; and post-purchase, when consumers experience them." Source: http://www.mckinsey.com

 

As marketers, this has been grilled into your head and there are hundreds of documentation about this and the 'so called' analytics that supports it.

This conventional model breaks down in the age of 'ADD ONS' DRIVEN BY PLATFORM ECONOMY. The platform economy is based on many to many, unlike the traditional model that thrives on "fundamentally two participants in any core interaction: the producer, who creates value, and the consumer, who consumes value."

 

Usually, "platforms don’t create value units; instead, they are created by the producers who participate in the platform". Thus, platforms are “information factories” that have no control over inventory. They create the “factory floor” (that is, they build the platform infrastructure within which value units are produced). They can foster a culture of quality control (by taking steps to encourage producers to create value units that are accurate, useful, relevant, and interesting to consumers)." Imagine, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so forth.

 

 

WHY TRADE SHOWS ARE EFFECTIVE NERVE CENTERS OF PLATFORM ECONOMY HAPPENING IN REAL TIME AND FACE TIME

 

“Platforms must perform three key functions in order to encourage a high volume of valuable core interactions, which we summarize as pull, facilitate, and match."

PULL — The platform must pull the producers and consumers to the platform, which enables interactions among them. Take for example, the RSA conference; — it attracts over 45,000 attendees, more than 700 speakers across 500+ sessions and more than 550 companies on the expo floors.

FACILITATE — The platform must accelerate dynamic interactions by providing them with tools and rules that make it easy for them to connect and encourage valuable exchanges. In 2020,  RSA Conference is introducing 45 emerging producers, whose revenue is less than 3 million and in business for less than 5 years.

MATCH — The platform must match producers and consumers effectively by "using information about each to connect them in ways they will find mutually rewarding.” Again, RSA Conference creates College Day to help students find their ideal career options through meeting both industry veterans and companies that are looking for young, talented students to join their ranks.

 

 

 

HOW TO INFLUENCE THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS IN THE PLATFORM ECONOMY

 

For starters, get to know what drives a human being?

"Man differs from other animals in one very important respect, and that is that he has some desires which are, so to speak, infinite, which can never be fully gratified, and which would keep him restless even in Paradise. The boa constrictor, when he has had an adequate meal, goes to sleep, and does not wake until he needs another meal. Human beings, for the most part, are not like this." Bertrand Russell

 

Russell goes on to say, "All human activity is prompted by desire." He proclaims that some men might seem to be dutiful not because, they are perched on a moral high ground, but because duty has no hold on him unless he desires to be dutiful.

"If you wish to know what men will do, you must know not only, or principally, their material circumstances, but rather the whole system of their desires with their relative strengths."

 

 

IF DESIRE IS THE COMMON THREAD THAT DRIVES YOUR CUSTOMER DECISION,

LET's EXPLORE THE 5 STRANDS OF HUMAN DESIRE AND SEE HOW BRANDS ARE USING IT TO REAP VALUE  AND MUSTER BRAND MILEAGE

 

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Russell points to four such infinite desires — acquisitiveness, rivalry, vanity, love of power and the fifth being, love of excitement.

 

Acquisitiveness — "The wish to possess as much as possible of goods, or the title to goods — is a motive which, I suppose, has its origin in a combination of fear with the desire for necessaries. However much you may acquire, you will always wish to acquire more; satiety is a dream which will always elude you."

How does acquisitiveness relate to the ADD ON PLATFORM ECONOMY
 
Consider, category defining bio-synthetic startup Ginkgo.
“They pretty much created the whole idea of the organism being a product.”
 
Imagine, working on bio-engineered, environmentally friendly coatings for corn seeds that will fertilize themselves. Imagine personalized designer drugs made of living proteins. Imagine a brand that does not create any products, but by using data analytics and robotics to speed up the process of discovering and making new organisms. Ginkgo is set to be the brand at the core, creating value units, the very essence of platform economy.
 
 
The bold over-encompassing vision of the brand:
Disrupt EVERYTHING with biology: FOOD, HOUSING, MATERIALS, ELECTRONICS. Build a life factory that acquires all aspects of manufacturing.
 
CEO, Jason Kelly believes his company will power a science-fiction future where trees naturally grow into the shape of tables, seaweed morphs into car seats and smartphones repair themselves with a few drops of sugar. That’s a long way off, but nearly 11 years after founding Ginkgo, “it’s a little easier to talk about this and not sound like a crazy person,” Kelly says.
 
 
"Platforms must attract users by structuring incentives for participation—preferably incentives that are organically connected to the interactions made possible by the platform. Traditionally, the marketing function was divorced from the product. In network businesses, marketing needs to be baked into the platform.”
 
What do you think? Can Innovation to Zero happen without mass disruption? What is a bigger and better incentive than working towards our own survival — the commerce of climate change
 
BillGates_2010-480p
 
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Rivalry — "The world would be a happier place than it is if acquisitiveness were always stronger than rivalry." Rivalry is the underlying hidden current of any relationship — doesn't matter if you are doing business in pipeline economy of platform economy.
However, understanding the nuances of rivalry can help you expand your brand impression. “Where envy is unavoidable it must be used as a stimulus to one’s own efforts, not to the thwarting of the efforts of rivals.” 
 
 
It means, because of rivalry, you choose to be different and thus, aspire your clients to be different. When everyone around you is trying to blend in by becoming better, faster, stronger, you stand out by stoking rivalry.
 
When Subway restaurant chain, wanted to innovate with menu offerings beyond its mainstay cold Footlong sandwiches, it did not settle for a Footandhalflong sandwich,
instead, it formed an exclusive partnership with lifestyle media company Tastemade to create Tastemade-inspired sandwiches. Tastemade mined the "insights from its 300 million monthly engagements with viewers to develop the Green Goddess Tuna Melt, tapping a broad swath of consumer enthusiasm on social media for Green Goddess dressing."
 
The platform harnessed PULL, FACILITATE and MATCH and helped the brand stand out from it's category
Established in 2012, Tastemade delivers one-minute cooking tutorials and tourist videos to Instagram and other social media sites. The service attracts 250 million viewers worldwide each month, racking up about 2.5 billion video views. U.S. financial company Goldman Sachs and TV cable operator Comcast are the existing investors.
 
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Rivalry, Russell argues, is in turn upstaged by human narcissism. In a sentiment doubly poignant in the context of today’s social media, he observes:

"Vanity is a motive of immense potency. “Look at me” is one of the most fundamental desires of the human heart. It can take innumerable forms, from buffoonery to the pursuit of posthumous fame."
 
 
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.”
 
However, there is a difference between pride and vanity. Pride is what you think about yourself. Vanity is what other people think about you.
 
Now, that you know the difference, as a brand, how do you use PULL, FACILITATE and MATCH and make your product worthy of notice. As a brand, your driving DNA should be 'How do I make people think well of myself? The answer is don't speak well of yourself.' In other words forgo features and benefits.
 
 
How McDonald is standing out and making the most of the platform economy?
The fast food company’s latest experiential effort takes the brand’s feel-good event style on the road with Beat of My City, a concert tour that brings artists to their hometowns and incorporates a fund-raising element to give back to local organizations. The inaugural tour kicked off September 21, 2019 in New York with a concert headlined by hip-hop artist Teyana Taylor, and the next stop is Chicago (the brand's headquarters) on October 17, 2019. 
 
experiential design for brand difference
 
The concerts are free to consumers age 18 and over, with tickets available on a first come, first serve basis on a custom event website; people learn the event locations once they R.S.V.P.
 
experiential design for brand difference-2
 

The brand here, transforms into a platform. From a fast food chain it changes into an agent for change. Along with performances, "the tour incorporates a charitable element in which artists designate a local nonprofit for charitable donations from McDonald's. Taylor, a Harlem native, chose the Dunlevy Milbank Center, a Harlem-based nonprofit dedicated to helping children in poverty."

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"Love of Power is closely akin to vanity, but it is not by any means the same thing. What vanity needs for its satisfaction is glory, and it is easy to have glory without power… Many people prefer glory to power, but on the whole these people have less effect upon the course of events than those who prefer power to gloryPower, like vanity, is insatiable. Nothing short of omnipotence could satisfy it completely."

As a brand how you can make your audience feel powerful.

Most of us fail to realize that POWER IS NOT ABOUT CONTROL. POWER IS ABOUT STRENGTH. Power is giving that strength to others, so that they can make an informed choice.

 

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The story of ThirdLove

In 2018, online lingerie producer and retailer ThirdLove, which emphasizes bra sizes to fit all women, (bodies are not made equal), took a stance in a full-page New York Times ad in response to public comments about women by a senior executive of Victoria’s Secret.

The open letter defined ThirdLove as the “antithesis of Victoria’s Secret,” garnering significant media attention. The letter resulted in more than 356 million unique impressions, with a public relations value estimated in the tens of millions of dollars. ThirdLove saw an almost 10% increase in direct traffic to its website in the three months after the open letter was published when compared with the previous three months.

For 4.99, you can try for a month and then return it if you do not like it. No question asked.
 
 
 
 

The story of Glossier

Glossier is in the beauty industry. It fosters conversation by asking their tribe what ingredients they would like to see in a specific product. Glossier asks, listens and churns out a new product every six to eight weeks. Empowered, by their own suggestions, the tribe helped in triggering Glossier's revenue up 600% year over year.

Glossier, also does not stay away from featuring competitors' brands on their social media channel. "Where most beauty companies tried to ignore the fact that women are in open relationship with beauty brands, we have ignored that." Emily Weiss, CEO.

In a platform economy, consistently experiment on how to PULL, FACILITATE and be a MATCH for your audience, thus harnessing the power of your tribe to even greater strength.

 

 

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“Power changes everything till it is difficult to say who are the heroes and who the villains.”

In this case the intention of the brand Pepsi, was to create a "moment of unity, and a point where multiple storylines converge in the final advert. It depicts various groups of people embracing a spontaneous moment, and showcasing Pepsi's brand rallying cry to 'Live For Now,' in an exploration of what that truly means to live life unbounded, unfiltered and uninhibited."
 
 
Kendall Jenner for PEPSI Commercial
 
Unfortunately, the perception of the tribe was very different. A huge backlash on social media called the ad tone-deaf and offensive, forcing Pepsi to pull the ad. The commercial was mocked and called "one of the worst moments in Pepsi history" as well as disrespectful. One person said Pepsi's ad prompted "brand-destroying laughter," while another user wrote, "Shame on you Pepsi for such a tasteless ad." 

What do you think?  Was capitalism capitalizing on a societal grievance or, was it merely a creative placement of product as a means to live life 'bold, unfiltered and  a moment in unity.'   

 

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“Any form of art is a form of power; it has impact, it can affect change – it can not only move us, it makes us move.”

 

Else, how would you sell a commodity that is commonly called water.

"Pepsi launched its Lifewtr premium bottled water brand by trumpeting that inspiration and creativity underpin success, rather than focusing on health benefits. Pepsi covered Lifewtr bottles with artwork depicting different artistic and creative themes, including public art, women in art and arts in education. In its first year, the brand generated $200 million in sales." source. www.bain.com

 
 
LIFEWTR - The Miami Project
 

"The Miami Project was the very first LIFEWTR public art project this year. Artwork used to cover the walls of this local elementary school—that is, before necessary construction and repairs meant they were painted over. Through this project, local artists Alex Mijares, Jessy Nite, Courtney and Courtney Einhorn, along with LIFEWTR Series Artist Adrienne Gaither, brought new artwork and vibrancy back to these school walls—much to the happy surprise of the students."

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Love of Excitement — "Civilized life has grown altogether too tame, and, if it is to be stable, it must provide harmless outlets for the impulses which our remote ancestors satisfied in hunting… I think every big town should contain artificial waterfalls that people could descend in very fragile canoes, and they should contain bathing pools full of mechanical sharks... More seriously, pains should be taken to provide constructive outlets for the love of excitement. Nothing in the world is more exciting than a moment of sudden discovery or invention, and many more people are capable of experiencing such moments than is sometimes thought."

 

Every time you kindle their love for excitement, they create a value unit and then they share their creations about you across different platforms.
"Every point of app usage became an instance of app marketing. In essence, Instagram converted all its users into marketers.”

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Every time you kindle their love for excitement, you get to implant spreadable value units toward virality. "A spreadable value unit may be one that helps to start an interaction on an external network, the way Instagram photos create conversations on Facebook among users intrigued by the images they’ve seen." Or it could be face to face events and experiences that gets carried on to the different social media channels, that further drive opportunities for you to complete incomplete interaction, "the way an unanswered question on Quora demands social feedback in the form of an answer, or a fresh survey on Survey-Monkey invites responses. Making it easy for users to create and disseminate spreadable value units helps you build a platform that has high growth as well as high engagement.” 

 

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Every time you kindle their love for excitement, you get the opportunity to ride on the success of attracting other users who enjoyed the creation of the initial users and set up a positive feedback loop that leads to continuing growth. "The Huffington Post followed this strategy by hiring writers to create an initial array of high-quality blog posts for the site, thereby attracting readers. Some of these readers began contributing blog posts of their own, leading to the gradual development of a wider network of content creators and attracting even more readers.” 

 

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LOOPING BACK TO BERTRAND RUSSELL

"If you wish to know what men will do, you must know not only, or principally, their material circumstances, but rather the whole system of their desires with their relative strengths."

To do that, your platform cannot be focused on one aspect of your trade. To survive in the platform economy, you need to move from "controlling unique internal resources and erecting competitive barriers to orchestrating external resources and engaging vibrant communities and radical science." Ginkgo is obviously on the right track. To cater to the HUMAN as a whole, the platform has to have multiple products and services that connect and interact using data, "producing new forms of value and encouraging users to engage in more interactions.” The best example that breathes vibrancy in their platform is, Amazon, and then we have brands like Uber and WeWork (or, demised WeWork) and DoorDash that "don’t make a profit might come as a shock to the many people who spend a fair amount of their take-home pay each month on ride-hailing, shared office space, or meal delivery."

 

There will be growing pain, there will be horrible mistakes, but, if we keep true to the platform’s overarching purpose: "to consummate matches among users and facilitate the exchange of goods, services, or social currency, thereby enabling value creation for all participants", we all will be prosperous.

 

Stay vibrant. Create value. Re-image your trade.
Thank you for your time. Until next time....😜

“Fire wants to burn
Water wants to flow
Air wants to rise
Earth wants to bind
Chaos wants to devour
[Your brand] wants to live”

 

Sources for this article.

https://www.ginkgobioworks.com/press/
https://www.bain.com/insights/lets-do-launch-five-critical-moves-for-your-next-launch/#

https://www.quicksprout.com/how-to-connect-with-your-customers/

https://www.bizbash.com/production-strategy/

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/say-goodbye-millennial-urban-lifestyle/599839/?utm_source=digg&utm_medium=email

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--and How to Make Them Work for You

https://www.forbes.com/sites/amyfeldman/2019/08/05/the-life-factory-synthetic-organisms-from-startup-ginkgo-bioworks-unicorn-will-revolutionize-manufacturing/#71ac727f145e

https://hbr.org/2018/01/the-culture-factor#context-conditions-and-culture

 

 

Topics: Trade Show Graphics, Trade Show Exhibit, Sarmistha Tarafder, trade show exhibiting, Trade Show Displays, Trade show exhibit design, platform economy, tradeshows are nerve centers of platform economy

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IF YOU ARE AN EXHIBITOR YOU ARE ESSENTIALLY PARTICIPATING IN A PLATFORM ECONOMY

“A platform is fundamentally an infrastructure designed to facilitate interactions among producers and consumers of value. These two basic types of participants use the platform to connect with each other and to engage in exchanges—first, an exchange of information; then, if desired, an exchange of goods or services in return for some form of currency.” 

VERTICAL BUTTERFLY waht drives customers to decide

EACH ITEM EXCHANGED AMONG PLATFORM USERS CAN BE REFERRED TO AS A VALUE UNIT. TO BE AN EFFECTIVE VALUE UNIT YOU HAVE TO CREATE CURRENCY WORTHY EXPERIENCES

 with ‘real people’ — INDUCE A SENSE OF BELONGING —

IN THE AGE OF CO-HABITAITON
WITH THE BOTS, STUDY SHOWS THAT WE AS A CULTURE, ARE SUFFERING FROM
"BELONGING DEFICIT"

THE DRIVERS FOR BRAND BELONGING, IN THE AGE SECOND RENAISSANCE

 

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INDIVIDUAL DRIVERS

Everyday Enrichment:

Enhances people’s lives through simplifying, continually improving, and infusing meaning into everyday moments.

 


Compelling Relationship: 

Creates a strong personal relationship based on shared values, loyalty and personalization,
while cultivating a sense of being part of something bigger.

 


Trustworthy Excitement:

Is principled, dependable and makes people’s lives more enjoyable through anticipation of the consumer’s next brand interaction.

VERTICAL BUTTERFLY waht drives customers to decide

 

COLLECTIVE DRIVERS

Activated Purpose: 

Commits to social responsibility and behaviors that align to a core brand purpose in order to benefit a consumer’s well-being, instill optimism and improve the world.

 


Empowered Community: 

Serves as a conduit for inspiring experiences with others, and strengthens people’s interpersonal connections, helping them feel at home in the world.

 


Empathetic Innovation: 

Creates a continuous set of sensory systems that listen and learn from internal and external groups to improve products, services and experiences.

 

 

Expriential both design for trade shows

 

UNDERSTAND THIS —  IT IS NOT ABOUT THE PRODUCT THAT YOU SELL. IT IS ABOUT THE 'ART OF PLAY' THAT YOU WEAVE AROUND YOUR PRODUCT, THAT EXCITES YOUR AUDIENCE

 

why every business should blog

 

CONNECT WITH THE GUT OF YOUR AUDIENCE — IF YOU DO, THEY WILL BE 300% MORE LIKELY TO RECOMMEND YOU,  44% LESS LIKELY TO SHOP AROUND AND 33% LESS LIKELY TO PUT UP A WALL WHEN IT COMES TO PRICING

 

VERTICAL BUTTERFLY waht drives customers to decide

TO BE A RELEVANT VALUE UNIT, YOUR BRAND HAS TO BE PERPETUALLY LEARNING AND RE-INVENTING ITSELF. BEING STRANDED ON A STRONG CULTURE GIVES YOU THE POWER TO DO SO.

We think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but WHICH ARE GIFTED TO US BY THE CULTURE OF OUR INDUSTRY SEGMENT AND OUR BRAND LEADERS

 

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"A brand is not built overnight. Success is measured in decades, not years. Markets may change, but the essential characteristics of your brand should not." They may be given a new slant depending on the prevailing culture of the brand tribe but the essential characteristics should be consistent. The 8 consistent factors:

 

 

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Caring

"focuses on relationships and mutual trust. Work environments are warm, collaborative, and welcoming places where people help and support one another. Employees are united by loyalty; leaders emphasize sincerity, teamwork, and positive relationships."

 

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Purpose

"is exemplified by idealism and altruism. Work environments are tolerant, compassionate places where people try to do good for the long-term future of the world. Employees are united by a focus on sustainability and global communities; leaders emphasize shared ideals and contributing to a greater cause."

 

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Learning

"is characterized by exploration, expansiveness, and creativity. Work environments are inventive and open-minded places where people spark new ideas and explore alternatives. Employees are united by curiosity; leaders emphasize innovation, knowledge, and adventure."

 

 

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Enjoyment

"is expressed through fun and excitement. Work environments are lighthearted places where people tend to do what makes them happy. Employees are united by playfulness and stimulation; leaders emphasize spontaneity and a sense of humor."

 

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Results

"is characterized by achievement and winning. Work environments are outcome-oriented and merit-based places where people aspire to achieve top performance. Employees are united by a drive for capability and success; leaders emphasize goal accomplishment."

 

 

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Authority

"is defined by strength, decisiveness, and boldness. Work environments are competitive places where people strive to gain personal advantage. Employees are united by strong control; leaders emphasize confidence and dominance."

 

 

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Safety

"is defined by planning, caution, and preparedness. Work environments are predictable places where people are risk-conscious and think things through carefully. Employees are united by a desire to feel protected and anticipate change; leaders emphasize being realistic and planning ahead."

 

 

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Order

"is focused on respect, structure, and shared norms. Work environments are methodical places where people tend to play by the rules and want to fit in. Employees are united by cooperation; leaders emphasize shared procedures and time-honored customs."

 

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About the Author:

Sarmistha Tarafder is the co-creator of brands in 3 D spaces. Always, in pursuit of essence and enchantment, mind and mystery, myth and matter!