What Your Customer Wants and Can't Tell You: Unlocking Consumer Decisions with the Science of Behavioral Economics (Marketing Research)

What Your Customer Wants and Can't Tell You: Unlocking Consumer Decisions with the Science of Behavioral Economics (Marketing Research)

by Melina Palmer
What Your Customer Wants and Can't Tell You: Unlocking Consumer Decisions with the Science of Behavioral Economics (Marketing Research)

What Your Customer Wants and Can't Tell You: Unlocking Consumer Decisions with the Science of Behavioral Economics (Marketing Research)

by Melina Palmer


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Use the Science of Behavioral Economics to Understand Why People Buy

“The most important business book to come out in years.” –Michael F. Schein, author and columnist for Forbes, Inc, and Psychology Today

2022 First Place Category Winner CIBA (Chanticleer International Book Awards)
#1 New Release in Business Encyclopedias, Marketing Research, Customer Relations, and Customer Service

What Your Customer Wants (And Can’t Tell You) explains the neuroscience of consumer behavior. Learn exactly why people buy—and how to use that knowledge to improve pricing, increase sales, create better “brain-friendly” brand messaging, and be a more effective leader.

Behavioral economics is the marketing research future of brands and business. This book goes beyond an academic understanding of behavioral economics and into practical applications. Learn how real businesses and business professionals can use science to make their companies better. Business owner, consultant, and behavioral economics expert Melina Palmer helps leaders like you use the psychology of the consumer, innovation, and truly impactful branding to achieve real, bottom-line benefits.

Discover information and tools you can actually use to influence consumers. Go beyond data science for business and apply behavioral economics. Learn how the consumer brain works. Become a better leader and creatively and effectively market your brand by understanding the true needs of your customers.

Dramatically improve your effectiveness as a leader and marketer with the practical tools in this book:

  • Real-world examples that bring a concept to life and make it stick
  • Ideas to help you with problem solving for your business
  • Ways to hack your brain into coming up with innovative programs, products, and initiatives

If you liked marketing and business books like Nudge, Predictably Irrational, or This is Marketing by Seth Godin, you’ll love What Your Customer Wants (And Can’t Tell You).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781642505627
Publisher: Mango Media
Publication date: 05/11/2021
Pages: 300
Sales rank: 519,335
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Melina Palmer is founder and CEO of The Brainy Business, which provides behavioral economics consulting to businesses of all sizes from around the world. Her podcast, The Brainy Business: Understanding the Psychology of Why People Buy, has downloads in over 160 countries and is used as a resource for teaching applied behavioral economics for many universities and businesses. Melina obtained her bachelor’s degree in business administration: marketing and worked in corporate marketing and brand strategy for over a decade before earning her master’s in behavioral economics. She has contributed research to the Association for Consumer Research, Filene Research Institute, and runs the Behavioral Economics & Business column for Inc Magazine. She will begin teaching applied behavioral economics through the Texas A&M Human Behavior Lab in fall 2020 and her first book on the subject is scheduled for publication in April 2021.

Table of Contents

Foreword 18

Part I How the Brain (and This Book) Work 20

Chapter 1 Unlocking the Secrets of the Brain 21

Chapter 2 Businesses and Brands 27

Chapter 3 Important Brain Stuff 36

Chapter 4 How to Use This Book 44

Part II Concepts 52

Chapter 5 Framing 53

Chapter 6 Priming 62

Chapter 7 Anchoring and Adjustment 77

Chapter 8 Relativity 84

Chapter 9 Loss Aversion 91

Chapter 10 Scarcity 102

Chapter 11 Herding 109

Chapter 12 Social Proof 117

Chapter 13 NUDGES and Choice Architecture 126

Chapter 14 Paradox of Choice 141

Chapter 15 Partitioning 149

Chapter 16 Pain of Paying 158

Chapter 17 Surprise and Delight 166

Chapter 18 Peak-End Rule 175

Chapter 19 Habits 180

Chapter 20 Reciprocity 189

Part III How to Use This Stuff 200

Chapter 21 Behavioral Baking 201

Chapter 22 The Truth About Pricing 208

Chapter 23 How to Sell More of the Right Stuff 218

Chapter 24 A Series of Small Steps 229

Chapter 25 May I Take Your Order? 237

Chapter 26 What Problem Are You Solving? 243

Chapter 27 The Power of Novelty and Story 252

Chapter 28 Test, Test Test 259

Part IV Don't Get Stuck 272

Chapter 29 The Forces Against You 273

Chapter 30 Who Am I To…? 280

Afterword 284

Acknowledgements 286

Notes 289

About the Author 298

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“You trust your gut, right? Well, so did many other business leaders, just before their gut reactions led them to make decisions that brought down great companies and high-flying careers. Melina Palmer’s book, relying on the latest research in behavioral economics, shows you how to avoid the dangerous judgment errors called cognitive biases that brought down previously-successful leaders. Palmer is an excellent science and business communicator and provides clear and business-relevant explanations of what you need to know to use behavioral economics insights to protect your company and career.”

—Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, behavioral scientist, CEO of Disaster Avoidance Experts and bestselling author of Never Go With Your Gut and The Blindspots Between Us

“Melina is skilled in taking the theoretical concepts behind behavioral economics and making them easy to understand and apply. She is a thought leader in this space, experienced at working with marketing and non-marketing professionals in integrating these concepts into their corporate strategy and driving significant results. This book is a must have for anyone that is looking to grow their business through a deeper understanding of how people make decisions.”

—Justin Martin, EVP/chief operating officer of Verity Credit Union

Unlocked: Getting Inside the Consumer's Head with Behavioral Economics is a great guide to the customer's mind. Written for the savvy businessperson, the book delves into behavioral economics with an entry-level, yet accessible approach, that will not only enlighten, but also entertain.”

—Nir Eyal, bestselling author of Hooked and Indistractable

“Melina Palmer has taken the insights she has gathered from years of producing her wonderful podcast, The Brainy Business, and packed them all into this fun, delightful book that will leave you with new, smart ideas to launch your business to the next level.

Filled with actionable knowledge, Unlocked: Getting Inside the Consumer‘s Head with Behavioral Economics, is a treasure trove of ways you can use psychological principles to amplify your marketing and sales efforts. From insights on pricing and priming, to messaging and nudges, to reciprocity and habits, this book provides you with hundreds of hints and tips that can be implemented immediately. This is a must-read for anyone who is interested in how to unlock the power of behavioral economics with their customers.”

—Dr. Kurt Nelson, founder & chief behavioral scientist of The Lantern Group and cohost of the award-winning Behavioral Grooves podcast

“I really enjoyed reading Unlocked. Melina is a great storyteller and being a twenty-four-year P&G Insights veteran, I can see how most (if not all) of these Behavioural Economics concepts have been applied to the different brands I've worked on. Unlocked pulls together these concepts beautifully by providing case studies and stories making it far easier than any other resources I've seen to translate BE concepts into a world of business.”

—Dr. D. Keith Ewart, VP Insights at CloudArmy

“Melina Palmer, a true expert in the field of behavioral economics, has developed a comprehensive and digestible must-read for everyone who works with brands—from CEO to marketing staff, product developer to solopreneur and everyone in between. Anyone interested in leadership and running a successful, profitable business should get a copy of Unlocked and share it with their teams immediately.”

—Cristina McLamb, founder and CEO of Niche Skincare

Unlocked is a superb, easy-to-read exposé of how to apply key behavioural principles. Told in a very compelling way with an authentic style, it is a terrific guide for marketers and industry practitioners the world over. Anyone in business would benefit from the insights in this book.”
—Nuala Walsh, founder of MINDEQUITY, vice-chair of UNWomen UK, and cofounding member of the Global Association of Applied Behavioural Scientists

“Melina Palmer’s book Unlocked is a wonderful guide full of behavioral economics principles and insights that can be applied in your everyday work, and an exceptional companion to Melina’s podcast, The Brainy Business. A one-two punch that will be sure to ‘nudge’ you into the wonderful world of applied behavior science.”
—Jason Archambault, director of behavioral economics at Truist Financial

“Like Melina’s podcast, Unlocked sparkles with snappy ideas that unearth truths about human behavior with cool ideas and practical tips. It stands on the shoulders of her podcast guests and researchers who shared great ideas, but, more importantly, Melina serves them up in ways that are down-to-earth and easy to put into practice. It’s a must-read!”
—Tim Houlihan, chief behavioral strategist at Behavioral Alchemy and cohost of the award-winning Behavioral Grooves podcast

“Any business needs to understand human behavior—and therefore how people think—to succeed. Melina Palmer’s brilliant book brings to life the latest science explaining why we do what we do using engaging and relatable examples and gives you immediately practical advice and tips on how to apply it for your business. Read it so you—and your business—can benefit.”
—Richard Chataway, author of The Behaviour Business and CEO of BVA Nudge Unit UK

Unlocked is absolutely jam-packed full of fascinating examples of how, deep-down, our brains are shaping, guiding, and triggering everyday behaviour...without us even being aware of it! Energizing, fun, and pacy, this book will appeal not just to smart-marketers, creatives, and designers looking for fresh inspiration, but to anybody interested in the latest science behind what really makes us tick...and what it is that nudges us to make the choices we do.”
—Thom Noble, president/CSO of CloudArmy Inc.

“An engaging and thoughtful read packed with tons of concrete examples, this book is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to understand the principles of behavioral science and apply them in their work and lives.”
—Bec Weeks, founder of Pique

Unlocked is a stand-out guide for anyone fascinated by customer behaviour and the science of decision-making. Melina is an invaluable voice in the field, with a unique take on behavioural economics and its application for marketers. Unlocked is accessible in its delivery and robust in its evidence-base for enthusiasts and practitioners alike, providing clear examples and memorable insight—a smart balance of breadth and depth.”
—Madeline Quinlan, cofounder of Salient Behavioural Consultants and head of membership for the Global Association of Applied Behavioural Scientists

“Melina uses relatable anecdotes and beautifully simple narratives that speak directly to the mind and emotions of the reader. In doing so, she illustrates the point of the book: Why it's fundamental to truly understand human emotions and behavior in a quantifiable way and the tools you need to do so to ultimately connect to customers and demonstrate real growth.”
—Nadia Haagen Pedersen, executive vice president of marketing at iMotions

“This book is an incredible, step-by-step guide for people in the business world who want to deepen their understanding of behavioral economics to give themselves a competitive edge in the market. I highly recommend Melina as a go-to expert in the field and this book is a leading resource for me as I seek to deepen my knowledge in the field.”
—Kwame Christian, director of the American Negotiation Institute, bestselling author, attorney, speaker, and host of the #1 negotiation podcast, Negotiation Anything

“With this book, Melina will challenge the way you think about your personal and business decisions and the real ‘whys’ driving your customers’ choices. Don’t ‘over-think’ this decision to dig in and learn.”
—Will Leach, CEO of Mindstate Group and author of Marketing to Mindstates

“At its most basic, success in business is a result of understanding human behavior better than your competitors. From that perspective, Unlocked is the most important business book to come out in years. Behavioral economist-slash-podcaster-slash author Melina Palmer provides an all-encompassing guide to navigating the complexities of the human brain to get people to buy from you.”
—Michael F. Schein, author of The Hype Handbook and president of MicroFame Media

“From complete beginners to seasoned professionals, everyone who reads Unlocked will glean invaluable nuggets of wisdom about the art of applying Behavioural Science to business and brands.”
—April Vellacott, behavioural consulting lead at Cowry Consulting and coauthor of Ripple: The BIG Effects of Small Behaviour Changes in Business

“With thoughtful application of the concepts from Unlocked, you will outsmart the nonconscious barriers that keep you from doing your best work, and in the process, outpace your competition and create products, services, and experiences for your customers that even they don’t know how to ask for. Get it, absorb it, use it!”
—Adam Hansen, principal and VP of Behavioral Innovation at Ideas To Go and coauthor of Outsmart Your Instincts

“Melina has made the complex workings of the human brain, the most powerful machine on the planet even in the Age of AI, simple and approachable for anyone to understand and take advantage of.”
—James Robert Lay, founder and CEO of Digital Growth Institute and podcast host and author of Banking on Digital Growth

Unlocked is packed full of practical insights and real-world case studies and is fully supported with academic references. A book to devour if you want to get your teeth into the application of behavioural economics.”
—Jez Groom, founder and CEO of Cowry Consulting and coauthor of Ripple: The BIG Effects of Small Behaviour Changes in Business

“In Unlocked, Melina lifts up the curtain to help us understand what customers often don't understand themselves—how they make decisions. This brilliant book is a wealth of knowledge, arming practitioners with actionable insights to help understand how customers decide.”
—Nate Andorsky, CEO of Creative Science and author of Decoding the Why: How Behavioral Science Is Driving the Next Generation of Product Design

“Building on the success of her podcast, Palmer has crafted a thoughtful, approachable book for anyone looking to take their first foray into the world of applied behavioral science and how it can be applied to practical business problems.”
—Matt Wallaert, behavioral scientist and author of Start at the End: How to Build Products that Create Change

Unlocked: How to Get Inside the Customer's Mind with the Psychology of Behavioral Economics is a fascinating book on human behavior and economics. This thorough guidebook will shape the way you do business and force you to rethink your current strategies. Included are practical exercises to help you move your current management mess to leadership and business success. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand their clientele and what makes them tick.”
—Scott J. Miller, bestselling author and host of the #1 leadership podcast, On Leadership with Scott Miller

“Practical advice and engaging exercises to help you start applying behavioral science in your business right away.”
—Aline Holzwarth, head of Behavioral Science at Pattern Health and principal at Duke University's Center for Advanced Hindsight

“From the hardest working podcaster in the field of behavioural science, Unlocked is a must-read packed with useful case studies and practical advice for brands and organisations alike.”
—Dr. Benny Cheung, director at Dectech

Unlocked hands you the key to the secret world of behavioural science, in its comprehensive yet approachable review of the research and how to use it. ”
—Patrick Fagan, chief scientific officer of Capuchin Behavioural Science and author of Hooked

“Einstein said, ‘Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.’ Unlocked does just that as Melina Palmer takes a tremendous amount of research from behavioral economics and social psychology and shares it in ways anyone can understand. And she does so without losing the nuances you need to know if you want to get it right. Most importantly, Melina gives real world application and additional references for readers who want to dive deeper into the topic. This book, and her Brainy Business podcast, are resources you don't want to overlook if you want to become more persuasive.”
—Brian Ahearn, author Influence PEOPLE

“This book is a great resource for people wanting to make human behavior work for their business and impact their lives.”
—Dr. Marco Palma, director of the Human Behavior Laboratory at Texas A&M University

“An eminently readable guide to unconscious persuasion written by an industry veteran—get this book before your competitors do!”
—Tim Ash, international keynote speaker and bestselling author of Unleash Your Primal Brain

“If you are already a fan of Melina’s excellent podcast The Brainy Business (as I am!), you’ll instantly recognise her friendly and warm voice in Unlocked. Displaying her usual upbeat and enthusiastic style, Melina succeeds in making the subject of behavioural economics seem cool and fun to explore.”
—Louise Ward, cohost of the Behavioural Science Club

“The book every businessperson should read! It’s packed full of thoughtful information and laid out in a way that is easy to absorb. It will make you think and act differently as well as approach your business in a whole new way. It will make you laugh, gasp, and ponder. It’s absolutely brilliant.”
—Nikki Rausch, CEO of Sales Maven, neurolinguistic programming expert, podcast host, and author of Buying Signals and The Selling Staircase

“Melina does an amazing job of taking such a fascinating, yet complex, topic and distilling them into simple, actionable information that can be applied in so many different aspects of our lives.”
—Michael Mazur, VP of Business Development at Colu

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