Our Prejudiced Brains

Years ago, I worked with a group of field representatives selling industrial equipment, and found that many had interesting adaptations to local culture in different parts of the U.S. One based in Texas always kept a Western-cut sheepskin jacket in his car. If he was visiting a plant in a remote location, he’d shed the suit coat he wore in Dallas and put on the rugged-looking jacket. The reps in Detroit, meanwhile, were always careful to show up in the appropriate brand of vehicle – one wouldn’t take a Ford engineer to lunch in a Chevy! While these strategies of blending in may seem obvious, it turns out there’s some sound neuromarketing involved.