in 25 Books in 2012

#14/25: Brainfluence


Tipps

  • Try to minimize pain
    • Bundling helps, e.g. car sales
    • Less transactions, e.g. flat rates
    • Don’t show money, e.g. menu 12 instead of $12
  • Higher price paid can lead to higher satisfaction, esp. for premium products
  • $499 works better than $500 because of precision
    • $500 could be $499 to $599
    • $499 could be $499.00 to $499.99
  • Don’t offer too many choices
    • Help the customer choose
    • Recommendation engines, sorting, reviews
    • Avoid similar choices
  • Familiary breeds likability
    • Repeat your offerings in a consistent way
  • Customers can sense passion – include this in your employee search process
  • Compare people not products
  • Pictures of babies get attention
  • People will look at where the person in a picture is looking
  • A model’s eyes that are visible and dilated are more attractive to men
  • Be specific – include photos of actual people
  • Loyality program works because of points
    • Illusion of progress works great
  • Tell people what to think of you
    • “You can trust us to do the job for you”
    • Trust score jumped up 33%
    • People thought company is more caring, has a higher quality and a fairer price
  • Smile to people – in person & on the phone
  • Start with a small favor first then it’s easier to get a bigger one done
  • Stories work
  • People love their own name and birth date
  • Expectation will shape the real experience
  • A tiny positive surprise can improve one’s outlook
  • Don’t argue with a customer about who’s right – offer a sincere apology and offer solutions
  • Use scarcity
  • Avoid the lower right corner in screen designs

Observations

Scents can affect behavior and consumer perceptions. One experiment showed that nightclub patrons danced longer when the venue was scented with orange, peppermint, and seawater. […]
A test in a casino found that people gambled 45 percent more money in a slot machine when a pleasant scent was introduced into the area.

To beat these ingrained consumer perceptions, Nestle first launched upscale coffee shops in major cities for the primary purpose of creating the high-intensity sensory experience people expect […]
The second thing they did was modify the home espresso-making system to release more aroma. This is brilliant and, I can testify, often overlooked strategy.

A classical sound track caused a 233 percent jump in bank goer’s perception of the bank as “inspiring”, compared with their perception when no music was playing.

Researchers found that scent enhances a product’s distinctiveness. They had subjects evaluate pencils that were unscented, had a common scent (pine), or had an uncommon scent (tea tree). They found that the subjects remembered the scented pencils to a much higher degree than the unscented pencils, and this differential increased over time.

The researchers found that guys studying bikini-clad girls make worse decisions when presented with a monetary offer.
To begin with, this effect seems to be a short-term one that would be most effective at the point of purchase. The ideal selling situation, no doubt, would be to have bikini-clad babe selling to the guys in person.

Researchers at Northwestern University and the University of California, Berkeley, led by Hal Ersner-Hershfield found that having subjects visualize historical alternatives made them more patriotic. Similarly, reflecting on the shaky origins of a company made its employees more positive about the firm.
[…]
But, if you avoid the ham-fisted approach and are subtle in introducing alternative scenarios, you will produce the desired positive boost in loyalty and emotion without alienating the other person.

Assuming your product or service is purchased frequently enough, offer your customers a loyalty program. They do work. In addition, keep your customers engaged by letting them monitor their progress and, if possible, reminding them about the program if they haven’t bought in a while.
Beyond the loyalty effect, merely exposing customers to point values at the time of purchase can amplify the effectiveness of the loyalty program. Want to encourage sampling of a new produce or drive upgrades? Try something along the lines of, “1000 extra Rewards Points with every purchase”. Note that bigger numbers may seem more important to consumers, so a little pint inflation could be a good thing.

In Blink, Malcom Galdwell notes that most people who suffer an injury due to doctor negligence don’t use. Based on extensive interviews of injured patients, it turns out that patients who sue have often felt like they were rushed, ignored, or otherwise treated poorly by their physician.
This belief, in turn, is based on the quantity of time spent and the quality of that interactions.

In marketing situations you can still stay honest by using targeted pitches. For example, “As an owner of a Platinum Class suit, you showed you are an individual who can recognize sophisticated styling and superb quality …”

Those seated in hard chairs judged their negotiating partner to be less emotional. Most significantly, the “buyers” in soft chairs increased their offer by nearly 40 percent more than those in hard chairs. In short, not only did a hard chair change the buyers’ perception of their negotiating partners, it made them harder bargainers.

If you want to convey a positive message, use real numbers, not percentages.
Good: 90 percent of our customers rate our services as “excellent”
Better: 9 out of 10 customers rate our service as “excellent”

It turns out that the way companies respond to bad online reviews makes a difference too. A Harris survey showed that 18 percent of those who posted a negative review of the merchant and received a reply ultimately became loyal customers and bought more.
In addition, nearly 70 percent of those consumers receiving replies reversed the negative content either by deleting the bad review or posting a second positive one.

Peck and Shu found that touching an object immediately improved both the level of perceived ownership and positive emotion.

It turns out that reciprocity strategy can work better; give visitors the info they want and then ask for their information. Italian researchers found that twice as many visitors gave up their contact data if they were able to access the information first.

Peck and Shu concluded, “Online retailers who can encourage ownership imagery among potential buyers may be able to increase both perceived ownership and valuation. In the no-touch environment, ownership imagery was powerful in increasing both the feeling of ownership and the amount a consumer was willing to pay”

Brainfluence is such a great book, it’s nearly unbelievable. I would recommend this book to everyone who’s interested in marketing, customer service or just plain psychology. It’s a nice read, the chapters are short and backed by data. Awesome book & recommendation!

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