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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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:
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 […]

Shopper-Centric Thinking Begins With Human Empathy

I recently attended the Shopper Marketing Expo in Minneapolis, and was particularly struck by Peter Hoyt’s,comments on the first day. Peter, the Path to Purchase Institute Executive Director and CEO, indicated that we are undergoing a tectonic shift in marketing because of the shopper empowerment revolution. And, as a consequence, product manufacturers can no longer […]

Emotions Rule the Roost

The power of any brand is, simply, how your association with it makes you feel. You might say you have rational reasons for choosing one brand over another, but even these reasons translate into emotional preference. They simply help us rationalize emotional choices to ourselves and, just as important, to others. We often hate to […]

The Big F Word: F-E-E-L

Next time you go to a supermarket to do your regular shopping, watch people get lost to the world as they slowly fill their baskets. Their minds are in a whirl doing a million conscious and unconscious calculations per second. It’s easy to imagine this because you do it, too. That little voice in your […]

Putting A Price On Emotion

Now With 30% More Emotion! Any Brand Manager worth his or her salt knows how to predict purchasing behavior. An increase in price will lead to lower demand while a decrease in price will lead to higher demand. It’s Economics 101. However, a definitive body of science tells us that human beings don’t like to […]

Innovation Starts With Empathy

The Heart of Game-Changing Innovation Everyone gets the power and potential of new ideas—but there is precious little research and understanding about how to create consistent processes around generating them. Yet enlightened companies with good innovation track records agree on one critical point—meaningful innovation is fueled by understanding customers’ lives and needs. In The Game Changer, A.G. […]

The Peak Customer Experience

It’s about the experience stupid! Can you imagine someone who works every possible angle to get a date with a special person and then doesn’t bother to shower, shows up late and is in a bad mood all night? That’s just crazy or stupid. But many companies are fine spending millions to attract new customers […]