Book – Brainfluence

brainfluenceExcellent book!  Fun and also useful.  In some way, the book validates (or in some cases discredits) industry heuristics that every marketer has in mind.  We live in the interesting time – marketing is “graduating” as science and we finally have data to build new heuristics…  and test them easily.  No more personal preferences and hurt ego (oh, not sure about hurt egos of people who had personal preferences); for most of us it is a very exiting world!

A few points from the book:

  • Parting with money is painful for many people (I happen to be one of those); different type of personalities could respond better to different approach.  The idea of “bargain” is very powerful (such as a comparison with a much more expensive offer).  Example: a girl scout who sold the most cookies asked for a substantial donation to the organization first, and then offered to purchase a little box of cookies – the purchase seemed much more affordable.
  • Humans a predisposed to pay attention to pictures of babies.  We are “wired” to take care of human babies, but the idea of starving millions of babies is not as powerful as an image of an individual infant.  Conversion would increase if a product can be associated with a baby (related product).  For example, a nonprofit soliciting donation would receive more donations if the image on the donation page would be a baby (rather than an older child or a family).
  • Interesting: real paper (DM piece) has more emotional response than an electronic material. 
  • “Priming by money” makes people act more selfishly and less cooperatively.  For example, showing images of money before a conversation with a stranger will encourage a person even to place chairs for the conversation with a stranger further apart.
  • “New Coke” explained scientifically as influence of a brand.  People tasting the same product would enjoy the product more (based on brain scans) if they believe that it is a “better” product disregarding of its intrinsic taste.
  • Magic of “Free” – a very low price is still incomparable with “free” – people would forgo a more significant bargain if they have to pay even 1 cent, but will select a less beneficial, but completely free offer.  Example: Amazon introduced a free shipping, and sales immediately jumped globally, except France.  France did not try the completely free offer – the offer was equivalent to 1 cent for shipping, what was a bargain, but sales did not increase.  When the shipping became completely free, the sales experienced the same jump as in other locations.
  • Fonts: simple fonts are easier to understand and people are more likely to read them.  However, more complex fonts imply luxury and higher quality.  Plus, people who read a paragraph in a more complex font are more likely to remember its content (if they will actually read it 😉  ).
  • Renaming: in many cases, products can “sound” healthier even if it is exactly the same product.  Pasta salad does not sound as healthy as vegetable dish.
  • Percentages are more difficult to perceive than “one of…” People would consider percentages less impactful.  From another side, if the percentage is 99.9% to emphasize that it is close to 100% – the percentage could be impactful.
  • Apologies work!  🙂
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