Monthly Archives: December 2011

Weird Psychological Marketing Fact #1

I thought I’d end 2011 with a series of contrarian psychological marketing insights.  After all, what good’s  being a marketing shrink if you don’t get to talk about it, right?

Seriously though, there are a few things I think marketers casually banty about as if they were psychological fact which really bother me… And there are others which tell only HALF the story.

So let’s start there with…


Impulse isn’t everything.

Yes, it’s true you’ve gotta appeal to the Lizard Brain with greed, lust, envy, jealousy, etc in order to induce action on your offer. (Which is one of the reasons I’m fond of saying “try to appeal to the lizard brain without seeming like a lizard”)

But the other half of the story is,  this only produces TRIAL BUT NOT NECESSARILY REPEAT…

Satisfying the lizard brain is only PART of what we need in this world…

As sappy as it sounds, the other half is help mastering our environments, our relationships, our place in society, and life as a whole.

Don’t get me wrong, you won’t get ANYWHERE trying to sell people self-actualization, self-improvement, or simple self-mastery solutions unless you can link them to the lizard brain…

It’s just that lizard brain satisfaction is a necessary but not sufficient condition for REPEAT purchase and customer loyalty.

So it’s not enough to sell luster and shine if you’re selling shampoo…

Or even to sell the emotional end benefit (I feel attractive)

To really take the market you need to sell the aspirational character… how your product is going to MAKE YOUR PROSPECT INTO THE PERSON THEY WANT TO BE…

Think L’Oreal “Because You’re Worth It”: when a woman buys L’Oreal, she’s not just trying to look sexy, she’s supporting a character trait which translates to self-care across a wide variety of life areas… she’ll also more likely invest in vitamins, a gym membership, life insurance, a spa, etc

Or think Gillette “The Best a Man Can Get”:  a guy’s not just buying Gillette razors to get the cleanest shave possible, or to attract a desired mate… he’s partaking of the best the world has to offer alpha males, and this informs WHO he wants to be across market categories

Or Intel “Intel Inside”:  when you buy Intel, you’re not just getting a high speed processor, you’re committing (whether you know it or not) to recognizing, developing, and leveraging the value of intelligence across many areas of your life…

Or Kodak “Share the Moments, Share the Life”:  when you buy Kodak, you’re not just getting sharp pictures, or even crystallizing memories… you’re committing to family and community as a value you want to demonstrate as a person… it enhances your sense of participation in life with others, and re-affirms your desire to build more of these relationships as part of WHO YOU ARE AS A PERSON…

See what I mean?

These brands engender MASSIVE REPEAT PURCHASE and loyalty because they’ve managed to integrate themselves with the user’s aspirational self image!

What you should be asking yourself now is, WHAT KIND OF PERSON DOES YOUR PROSPECT BECOME when they purchase your product or service?   Is your advertising set up to support this message?

Onward and Upward in 2012,

Dr. G 🙂

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PPS – Keep your eyes glued to your inbox for “weird psychological marketing fact #2”, coming soon.