Brand Design, Brand Marketing and Brand Psychology


Posted by sarmistha tarafder on Aug 23, 2017 1:47:50 PM

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Our brain is designed to run on auto pilot.

That is the reason why change is hard, laborious and outright painful. This is the reason why the baggage of lethargy weighs us down, when we have to make a purchase decision for our company that will affect our productivity and the way we conduct our business with our customers. Be aware, that this is the frame of mind of your buyers.

However, for you, as a marketing designer, this calls for celebration. Because, once you know the obstacles that they are faced with, you are in a better position to put forward your campaign that will help them in the buyer's journey.

Here, we are going to talk about how to get into the heads of your prospects and customers and tinker with their with their brains to help them making a decision and, thus helping you as an aid in the customer conversion process.


“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”

Behavioral Economist, George Loewenstein states, “A major part of our brain is busy with automatic processes, not conscious thinking. A lot of emotions and less cognitive activities happen.”

Our brains are wired in certain ways to help us RESPOND or RETALIATE in this very complex world. Know about these psychological quirks and integrate them in your exhibit design and verbal presentation. Get established in a position for meaningful conversions. 



We have more products and services available to us than we would ever want or need. And that makes today's marketing and messaging landscape very different than it was just 30 years ago. Hence, the brain is being bombarded non-stop. The result: it is working against you. To penetrate through this messaging mayhem, exercise restraint.

When you are selling your product, you have a lot of information that you want to give out. However, resist yourself from doing so. Your message becomes murky and hard to understand. 



Give new meanings to existing symbols. It is easier for the brain to connect the dots. (Image from Pinterest)



The information that we receive first, acts an an anchor against which we judge/evaluate further data. Design with the right visuals, conceive the right words, paint with the right color and engage with the right symbols for maximum juxtaposition.


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Shark bench at a shopping mall in Bangkok. 

If you want to integrate a Photo Op in your booth design, do it with visually arresting statement that will raise the awareness of your brand.





Our mind is a minefield of consistent IF, THEN and BUTS. Often times a third option will help people choose between two possibilities or NOT. If NOT, the third option is introduced to encourage buying or using your product or service.

One great example comes to mind here:

To compete with the long distance international flight industry, Taiwan's Eva Air introduced 'Premium Economy' class — this entailed, not a separate section like the 'Business Class' behind the curtain, but a few seats situated in the economy class, but with significant more leg room to stretch out for those 12 hour non-stop flights. Needless, to say it was a lightening success and a key differentiator for the brand.

(This works when you know there is a demand and a market — a great way to make your product stand out and shorten the buyers' journey.)


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Piano Staircase: Volkswagen and the Fun Theory teamed up in Stockholm to encourage people to be a little more active. They installed a piano staircase that plays notes beside an escalator to demonstrate how making something fun can change behavior.




As your buyer or your prospect is inquiring about your product or your service, he/she is tormented by the fear of loss. You ask, how so?

The reason your brain is a 'lazy lump of meat' because, it is expends massive energy in keeping you safe. Hence, sticking with status quo feels much better even if we know it’s costing us money. With decision making comes the real possibility that we’ll make the wrong one. IT IS FEAR — a primal emotion that takes over our being.


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"We react more strongly to the possibility of losing something we currently have than the possibility of gaining something we don't."


Your job is mapping out the changes that the buyer is going to go through. Put it out there. Empathize with your prospect/buyer. WHY?

Because, Empathy is the language of the heart. It is the sub-conscious glue that holds humanity together. Start experimenting at the conscious level and you will be amazed how the sub-conscious of your fellow being whom you are trying to convert is responding to it. Take advantage of the face to face meetings that will help you to weave in the the benefit of your product with the pain of your customer. This will radically improve the conversion process.






People remember the high-point or the low-point of your presentation. Again, the brain is busy optimizing for you. It remembers in extremes.

The brand that does a fantastic job is Apple. The moment you enter their store, you will be immediately catered to. There is virtually no waiting time. (Just to push some buttons, I had once suggested that I want to be left alone. However, as I was leaving the store, an associate did make  sure that I was indeed satisfied with what I was looking for.)

Fuse this factor in when you are designing your booth experience. The idea is to create experience that will create opportunity for peak memorability.


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Teacup Balcony: An amazing use of architecture in Tokyo to turn this corner into something special. (Image from Pinterest)


Here are some ideas to make your brand special

1. For starters, do not create an endless succession of power point slides. 

Use social media to take a poll on the pain points of your prospects. Pre-target your audience and segment your presentation times based on the pain points. This way, your presentation will be relevant to the group and you command about 80% of their attention.

2. 60% of event planners say that event apps increase attendee engagement, plus the app is a valuable tool to collect attendee engagement and attendance.

Encourage your attendees to download the app to access the event schedule, session information, and link to social media. Offer attendees to interact with one another through your event app and social media campaigns. Our 2017 poll states that business cards are the most popular way to exchange information. However, once you start using the apps you will find that you are able to gather granular information about your attendees.


3. Provide workshops and follow-up opportunities to "lock in the learning."

Keep you attendees engaged and maximize learning retention by providing expert-led hands-on workshops during the event. Introduce gaps of music and conversation. Train your staffers to connect individuals to other individuals in the workshop. To ensure that attendees retain and utilize important knowledge after leaving the event, offer a follow-up webinar, online training sessions, or in-person coaching/consulting.


4. Hold Some kind of Raffle on the last day of the conference

Allocate at least $3,500 for prizes that will be raffled off on the last day of the conference.  Relevant and fun prizes with substantial value will encourage attendees to stay for the last day and attend final sessions. Build up in progressive chunks and finish with a splash on the last day of the show.   





We fall for simplicity every time. Matthew McGlone, Ph.D., a psychologist, states that your messaging need to be pleasing to the heart, as it is to the ear. The brain loves rhythm. Rhythm tricks your brain into thinking that phrases that rhyme are more accurate or truthful than phrases that does not.

Example of a winning Rhyme-as-Reason effect (or Eaton-Rosen phenomenon) is Theresa May's rhyming consonant - 'STRONG AND STABLE' as opposed to the opposite slogan, 'Coalition of Chaos'... the choice of words make complete sense, but it is bound to raise too many questions.... coalition of who, what and why? Too many variables for the brain to process... it wants to reject it.

Remember this, when you are peddling your products to be the 'best and brightest.'


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Visualize what does STRONG AND STABLE look like, feel like, smell like from the perspective of your product offering. (Image from Pinterest)






The Confirmation Bias — "We are more likely to accept information that aligns with our beliefs than contradictory evidence -- no matter how compelling."

Your job as a B2B marketer is not to target a single buyer, but to focus on the account/company in totality. Learn the traits of the decision makers, buyers and influencers of a certain company and then, design your offerings based on that. 

What you are doing is — you are bringing together a group of different people with different needs, (yet working under a single umbrella), who are knowledgeable and comfortable about your products/services way before the decision to purchase has been made. Conveniently, you have researched their needs, and providing them with a solution, that are being confirmed by all the people in the group.

Yes, it is a long process but you get to choose who you want to service as your clients. 


There is no doubt that digitization is rewriting the rules of competition. New market players are entering with sufficient ease causing the legacy players to rethink and redesign their offering. On the wake of this wrath comes immense technological sophistication and the leveling of the plane field. "For example, providing for finer marketing allocations (down to the level of individual consumers) or mitigating operational risks by sensing wear and tear on equipment."

The only difference between you and your competition will be defined by one factor and that is the very humaness of EMPATHY.... Well that is another blog for another day.



How your brain works on Autopilot

The principles of Cognitive Relativity and Rationality 



Topics: Brand Marketing, Brand Design, Brand Exhibiting, Brand Perception, brand and business model

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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!