Do you realize that eight out of 10 products in the United States are destined to fail? In consumer products alone, 52 percent of all new brands, and 75 percent of individual products fail! In his book, Buy-ology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy, branding expert Martin Lindstrom shares how customers think and why they buy or don’t buy the products they do. In 2003, Martin became convinced that something was fundamentally wrong with the way companies reached out to customers. His assessment was that companies didn’t seem to understand consumers. They weren’t sure how to communicate in a way so that their products gripped the customers’ minds and hearts.
In Martin’s study of buying behavior he uncovered people’s truest motivations when it came to buying. An example he shared was a study by four Princeton University psychologists who were researching how people processed choices when it came to short-term immediate gratification versus delayed rewards.
The psychologists asked a group of random students to choose between a pair of Amazon.com gift vouchers. If they picked the first, a $15 gift certificate, they would get it at once. If they were willing to wait two weeks they would get more bang for their buck and receive a $20 gift certificate.
Brain scans on the students who participated in this study revealed considerable brain activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain that generates emotion. The possibility of getting the $15 gift certificate NOW caused an unusual flurry of stimulation in the area of the brain most responsible for emotions as well as the formation of memory. The conclusion from this study was, the more the students were emotionally excited about something, the greater the chances of their opting for the immediate reward; if less immediately gratifying, the alternative was the choice.
The rational minds knew the $20 choice was logically a better deal, but guess what? THEIR EMOTIONS WON OUT!
So what does this mean if you have a product or service that you are selling? Here’s what it means, emotions are the way in which our brains encode things of value, and a brand that engages us emotionally think Apple, Harley-Davidson will win every single time! Is your product or service offering boring or does it evoke emotion because of your passion in helping the customer with their problem? Your answer will likely determine your results.