Brands are about feelings, not facts, and people make decisions about your brand from the way it makes them feel about themselves. Does your brand make them feel more confident, secure, cool, pretty, smart, savvy, or happy? Does it represent their values? Would their friends approve? What do their brand choices say about them as people?
If you’re responsible for your company’s brand strategy, how can you create a brand that people love and to which they become fiercely loyal? You’ll do well to remember these 5 principles that neuroscience has shown us about how our minds work and respond to brands:
1. People make decisions about brands before they even realize it.
2. How people say they think and feel is very different from how they actually think and feel.
3. Shift your mental mode from “voice of” to “mind of the customer.”
4. If you really want to know how customers feel about your brand, the worst thing you can do is ask them. People may not really know or can’t articulate the why, which exists at a very deep emotional level.
5. Customer research is brain surgery. If you really want to understand what motivates customers to buy your brand and why, you have to uncover what is happening in the emotional brain.
Understanding emotional motivation is fascinating because we can rarely explain it. It’s not logical in the usual sense of the world. Yet emotional research can reveal flashes of insight that can be worth a fortune – notably, in the form of devoted customers who will love your brand through thick and thin.
Daryl Travis is author of How Does It Make You Feel?: Why Emotion Wins the Battle of Brands and CEO of Chicago-based emotional research and brand strategy firm Brandtrust. Follow him on Twitter at @BTCEO.
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