Understanding your audience is one thing…but understanding the psychology of the human brain, even in marketing, will yield even greater results for your business. Here’s what you need to know.

The Brain is Wired to Act Impulsively

Increased levels of the brain’s “feel good” juice, dopamine, have been found to make us more impulsive. More formally, dopamine can be described as the neurotransmitter involved in processing rewards in the brain. Therefore, the mere idea of receiving a discount on something, rather than paying full price, immediately ignites a rush of dopamine into our brains. The second that dopamine is released, a sense of excitement and happiness occurs in our brains. This feeling often leads to impulse buying.

When marketing your products or services, the word “now” has been found to trigger impulsive buying:

  • Try it now
  • Shop now
  • Subscribe now
  • Get it now

Every person, at one point or another, will make an impulse purchase, no matter the demographic. Hence the amount of clothing in my wardrobe that never gets worn —  oops!

The Brain Processes Pictures Faster Than Text

It is widely known that the brain processes visual content much faster than text —  60,000 times faster, to be exact. Additionally, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. With that being said, visual content is one of your greatest assets. Take time to curate captivating images on all surfaces — social media, front-load images on your website, display ads, and the like.

To give you a better idea (and maybe even some inspiration), top brands such as Starbucks, Lokai Bracelets, and Oreo take the cake when it comes to creating visual content that displays their products in a creative, enticing way.

brands displayed in a visual, creative way

The Brain Trusts the Color Blue

When deciding on a color scheme for your brand, know this: if all else fails, go with blue. Blue might be considered a nice-looking color for many, but this isn’t why many brands tend to choose it. Your brain actually processes the color blue with a sense of trust. The brain associates the color with loyalty, dependability, and logic, and is even referred to as the “color of reason.”

This explains why many of the world’s leading websites are blue.

brands that use the color blue for trust
The Brain Trusts Some Words More Than Others

Although amplified visuals and a trustworthy color scheme can push your company in the right direction, the most powerful way to establish trust in your brand is with your words.

Words play an important role when deepening a customer’s trust. Which words, you may ask? Here are five that are said to work consistently.

  • Authentic: Portrays truth and power.
  • Certified: Has some level of endorsement.
  • Guaranteed: According to Kissmetrics, “60 percent of consumers feel at ease and are more likely to buy a product that has the word ‘guaranteed’ associated with it.”
  • Loyal: Loyalty is seen as a virtue. Thus, often desired in a product or service.
  • Official: The word “official” conjures up images of widely trusted and dependable products and people.

First Impressions Are Everything to the Brain

The psychological phenomenon of “anchoring” states that we have a cognitive bias that influences us to rely heavily on the first information we acquire. The anchoring effect is something to consider when thinking about your business’s website, for example. A large part of website UX (user experience) is about the first impression your website makes on a visitor.

Let’s say the website for an art school has a tragic design, unprofessional layout, and an overall horrid aesthetic appeal. This is NOT the impression you want to anchor in the minds of people who are considering an undergraduate or graduate program in art, right?

Because of the anchoring effect, an initial impression will stick, even as you present other content. This effect can play into just about every aspect of a business, from marketing to sales.

Every Decision is an Emotional One

Many prominent decision-makers take pride in the fact that their decisions are, so they say, “rational and unswayed.” However, neuroscience has proven differently with many studies stating that up to 90 percent of the decisions we make are based on emotion. With such statistics, it is fair to say that if emotions weren’t in the equation, it would be challenging to make any decisions at all.

With that being said, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your audience’s emotions. For inspiration, check out Gillette’s ad, “Perfect Isn’t Pretty” and PG&E’s ad, “Thank You, Mom – Strong.”

By getting inside your audience’s brains, you can create successful content and impact your business’s bottom line — all at the same time!

 

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