Prospect Theory: How Perceptions of Risk and Gain Shape Customer Behavior

The question is a matter of life and death: A new disease is sweeping across the country, and epidemiologists project it will claim the lives of 600 people. Scientists have proposed two alternative programs to address the outbreak, and you must decide which to implement. If program A is adopted, 200 people will be saved. […]

Jobs-to-be-done: Satisfying your customers’ highest needs

When asked to describe the “jobs-to-be-done” approach to understanding customers, Clayton Christensen remembers the milkshake. A major fast food chain had turned to Christensen and his Harvard Business School colleagues for help. Despite much market research and meticulous product testing, milkshake sales simply wouldn’t budge. This stagnation was inexplicable: According to the chain’s survey data, […]

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 […]

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, SugarBearHair vitamins would become the “bestselling hair vitamin online,” – a distinction the brand […]

System 1 Thinking: Why It Matters for Marketers

In the first two months of 2009, Tropicana’s orange juice sales plummeted 20 percent. Elsewhere in the category, competitors flourished. Minute Maid, Florida’s Natural, and Tree-Ripe Citrus each saw significant jumps in purchases, causing total sales to remain relatively stable across the sector. Consumers weren’t buying less juice; they were buying less Tropicana. Much to […]

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 […]

Emotional Branding: How Consumers Make Subconscious Choices

David Hume had his work cut out for him as the title of his 1739 masterwork implied. The British philosopher’s “A Treatise of Human Nature” surveyed the work of ancient and modern thinkers with a skeptical eye. Chief among Hume’s criticisms was an insight about our bias when assessing human choice and action: We give […]

Building Brand Loyalty: <br> Start with Customer Communication

Back in the year 2000, during branding’s medieval period, I authored a book called “Emotional Branding.” It was met with reasonable success, probably because it was the first book ever written on the crazy notion that brands are all about feelings rather than mere transactions. Perhaps it was ahead of its time, but to paraphrase […]

Beware of Shiny New Things

At the recent Hub Live Retail Experience Symposium in New York we heard persistent warnings throughout many of the presentations—do not chase the shiny new thing just because it is the new thing! Retailers certainly need to create digital and omnichannel experiences but not fall for the notion that technology alone will create authentic experiences […]