As marketers, advertisers and creatives, our job often involves crafting messages that hone preference and drive sales. Sometimes we get lucky and work on a brand with a discernible and important competitive advantage to consumers. But often we work in categories that are increasingly crowded and/or filled with products that have little perceptible difference from competition (at least in the consumer's mind).
That's when we dig deeper to uncover the reason our brand should be chosen above all others. We prioritize our messaging strategy, bring it to life and then try not to cringe when we expose it to consumers, holding our breath as they pick apart the communication for what seem small, inconsequential reasons, but add up to deal breakers.
Wouldn't it be nice to refine your message before you get to the cringing stage by using a set of psychological principles translated into English?
Wait a minute. Psychology? That's heavy stuff. But it doesn't have to be if you have a psychology-to-marketing dictionary, which allows you to transition from high level psychological theory to in the trenches advice. For example:
Psychological Diagnosis: A brand that can uniquely assist individuals in negotiating powerful subconscious needs and wishes, while avoiding internal conflicts/pitfalls, will be much more successful in creating a meaningful connection with consumers.
Translation: A brand that strikes an emotional chord while communicating - without alienating - will fly off the shelves, while those that don't can't be given away.
Whether you're selling automobiles or garden gloves, fast food or blood pressure medication, striking a deep emotional chord is essential to the success of your brand. Your challenge is to uncover these distinct, salient, subconscious consumer needs and wishes and use them to your advantage - in branding, packaging and advertising. The good news is you don't have to get an advanced degree in psychology to do so.
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About the Author
He founded Psychologics in 1989. The company consists of psychologists and psych strategists. This unique approach allows for understanding consumer motivations on the deepest levels and to convey this in an actionable positioning for the brand. Psychologics has successfully applied its theory and technique on a great variety of brands and categories.
Dr. Sam's views have appeared in New York magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. He has made personal appearances on a TV special addressing the advancements in advertising with Debra Norvell and as a guest on the Early Show. He presently serves on an Advisory Board for Crispin Porter & Bogusky. He has lectured at Stanford University School for Business on Emotional Marketing.