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What Don Corleone Could Learn from Guy Kawasaki

When someone thanks you for doing them a favor, there are any number of stock ways to respond. “No problem.” “It was nothing.” And, of course, “You’re welcome.” For some situations, though, there’s a phrase that […]

By |March 28th, 2011|

Smiley Power: Green Marketing That Works

Could a simple smiley face on your power bill change your consumption? Utilities in various states, tired of unsuccessful attempts to encourage energy-saving strategies by their customers, are resorting to an approach based on sound neuromarketing principals: social pressure. As I noted in my post, Green Marketing Doesn’t Work, traditional appeals to “Save the Planet” aren’t effective, while pitches showing that other people are behaving as desired DO perform better.

One simple approach employed by a California utility is to use smiley (but not frowny!) faces to highlight how an individual household compares in its energy usage with its neighbors. […]

By |February 17th, 2009|

Personalization: Post-Its and Beyond

Have you ever received a printed invitation to, say, a charity fundraiser, and found that someone you know on the organizing committee had hand-written a short note encouraging you to attend? (Or sat in a room with other people actually scribbling such notes, periodically asking questions like, “Who knows Elmer and Dolly Pennington?”) It turns out that this activity has some good research underpinnings, and may point the way to boost success rates in a variety of marketing endeavors. […]

By |December 1st, 2008|

Product Contagion in Action

I’ve been traveling quite a bit recently (which explains the lower rate of Neuromarketing posts), and at a recent stay at a Jameson Inn in Indiana, I encountered the above product arrangement on the shelf of their little convenience shop next to the check-in desk. While most of the studies have looked at the effect of juxtaposing products, say, in a shopping cart, this is an unusual example of product contagion right on the shelf. (If you didn’t catch my previous post, “product contagion” refers to the demonstrated ability of a product likely to arouse disgust in a consumers mind to “contaminate” nearby products, as in a shopper’s cart. Put your cookies next to a bag of kitty litter and the cookies become less appealing.) I’ve got to wonder how Instant Lunch sales at this particular hotel compare to sales at other Jameson locations…

And that product positioning wasn’t the only neuromarketing gaffe I found during that stay. Clearly, the central office didn’t read Green Marketing Doesn’t Work (or Cialdini’s book Yes! ) when they wrote the copy for this card: […]

By |October 13th, 2008|

Reflecting on the Mirror

Here’s a prediction: in the coming years, we’ll see mirrors popping up in the entryways of churches and other places of worship. And the reason won’t be to let those entering fix their hair. As we’ll see, the mirror has a rather magical effect on us.

For years, motivation experts have told their audiences to “look in the mirror” as they formulated their goals or imagined the future they wanted. As it turns out, this advice wasn’t all motivational hokum. When we look in a mirror, our behavior is actually altered – at least for a short period of time. […]

By |October 6th, 2008|

Small Favors, Big Success

Most of us need to persuade people that we don’t know personally to do things. A salesperson wants to close a deal. An office worker needs to persuade the new computer guy to fix her computer first. A fundraiser wants to get a potential donor to make a pledge. Our natural instinct in such situations is to avoid asking the individual we want to persuade for any favors other than the one that’s important to us. After all, the only thing worse than being asked for a favor is being asked for multiple favors, right? As you might expect here at Neuromarketing, the obvious and logical conclusion is wrong. Behavioral research shows us that sometimes asking for one favor first can greatly increase the probability of success with the second favor! […]

By |September 9th, 2008|

Green Marketing Doesn’t Work

Marketing eco-friendly products isn’t as easy as it might seem, particularly if the products involve some kind of sacrifice or behavioral change on the part of the consumer. Take a look at one of the supposed eco-villains, the auto industry. While one can criticize the big US auto firms (not to mention Toyota and Nissan) for continuing to push big trucks and SUVs to consumers who didn’t “need” them, the fact is that all of these firms were supplying what the consumer wanted. Yes, everyone knew that econobox cars used less fuel, emitted fewer greenhouse gases, and so on. Everyone was happy that automakers were introducing fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles. But when individual buyers visited their local dealership, by and large societal concerns went out the window and people bought what worked best for them individually. For many buyers, massive SUVs and powerful pickups were the kind of statement they wanted to make, even if they never drove off-road and did little hauling. […]

By |September 5th, 2008|

Yes! – Bite-Size Persuasion Techniques

Book Review: Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Robert Cialdini, Noah Goldstein, and Steve J. Martin
Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive is a fantastic book that’s chock-full of tips that turn research findings in behavioral psychology, social science, and related areas into tips to make us more persuasive in our personal and professional lives.

My friend Guy Kawasaki, no slouch at persuasion himself, turned me on to Robert Cialdini’s writings. It’s safe to say that if you have enjoyed my articles about the practical uses of brain research in marketing and sales, you’ll find plenty to chew on in Yes! […]

By |September 2nd, 2008|