The Appreciation Evolution: Moving From Your Organization’s Problems to its Potential

Declining profits and product quality. Failed cost reduction efforts. Strained relationships among employees and increasing pressure from competitors. Gina Hinrichs, an internal process consultant at John Deere, recognized plenty of problems in the company’s combine harvester manufacturing department. Partnering with Jim Ludema, a professor at Benedictine University, Hinrichs organized a five-day summit for the entire […]

You Break It, You Buy It: Why Trust Matters Most When It Comes to Consumer Data

A $60 billion plunge in market value in less than 48 hours. A $6 billion drop in Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth. Massive user disengagement and a surge in app deletions. In the aftermath of 2018’s Cambridge Analytica data breach, Facebook had ample evidence that it was facing a major crisis. Yet, perhaps the most telling figure related to the […]

Nudge theory: How brands can empower customers through behavioral science

As the fathers of nudge theory, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein have seen their ideas applied elegantly in business, health care, and government. But one of their favorite illustrations of nudging comes not from the lofty domains of corporate or public policy. Rather, it begins in a men’s restroom in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport – inside […]

Eudaimonia: How Health Care Brands Can Fulfill the Lives of Their Customers

What is best for human beings? This question anchors Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, the ancient Greek philosopher’s most extensive treatise on what a life well-lived entails. Certainly, Aristotle suggested, most people agree that specific aims are desirable: Few would dispute that it is good to have friends or maintain one’s physical health, for instance. Yet, these […]

5 Errors to Avoid in Activating Brand Strategy

In April 2017, Pepsi released an extended advertisement. The video, which lasted two and a half minutes in its entirety, featured a fictional protest march in the streets of an unspecified city. In the ad’s closing moments, Kendall Jenner emerged from among the protesters to present a Pepsi to a police officer. The ad succeeded […]

Your Brand is More Than Your Logo

Your Brand is More Than Your Logo

In 2010, psychologists T. Bettina Cornwall and Anna McAlister published research entitled “Children’s Brand Symbolism Understanding” in the journal Psychology and Marketing. In the months that followed, public outcry would obscure many of their study’s most interesting outcomes. The experiment assessed 38 Australian children between the ages of 3 and 5, asking them if they […]

The Rise of the Social Brand: What Instagram Reveals About Connecting with Customers

The baby-blue bears were first sighted in 2016. They appeared in Instagram posts from no fewer than three Kardashian sisters. Soon, Vanessa Hudgens, Emily Ratajkowski, and a host of other celebrities supplied their own Instagram endorsements. In the months that followed, SugarBear Hair vitamins would become the “bestselling hair vitamin online,” – a distinction the […]

Your Brand Strategy Answer? Asking Better Questions

Ask any child what they know about Albert Einstein, and they’ll produce the fabled answer: E=mc2. He’d probably prefer his legacy to be defined by a question instead. Einstein always despised rote recitation. As a teenager in Germany, he ran away from school when his instructors insisted he memorize the content of their lessons. By […]

4 Ways Consumer Psychology Can Improve Your Marketing

One of the seminal psychological insights of the 21st century began with a jar of jam. Or rather 24 of them – a total that would soon prove problematic. Psychologists Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper set up a display table in a gourmet grocery, featuring two dozen jam varieties. If shoppers sampled their wares, they […]

5 Ways Social and Behavioral Sciences Can Transform Your Marketing

Richard Thaler has news for you: Your brand probably isn’t selling to Spock. A founding father of behavioral economics, Thaler has dedicated his career to documenting the irrational quirks of human psychology (to which the sensible Vulcan hero would be immune). For too long, he argues, economists and executives alike have ignored the impact of […]

What Neuromarketing Can Tell You About Customers

The tumor appeared near the front of Elliot’s brain, crowding a region called the ventromedial frontal lobe. When doctors removed it, his life fell to pieces. Following his surgery, Elliot’s once-successful career plummeted, jeopardized by inexplicable errors of judgment. He eventually lost his job and was unable to find another. His happy marriage disintegrated, as […]