Seven ways to build brands in an emotional world


Once we understand behavioural economics, the way we sell to customers looks very different

In a major feature for the Dialogue journal, to be published in Q2 2016, marketing guru Anthony Tasgal lays out a key strategy for companies that want to succeed in a world where emotions – rather than rational self-interest – drives customer behaviour. In an exclusive extract, he lays out seven tips for marketers here.

1. Embrace surprise – All too much sales and marketing work is conducted against the old model of conscious rationality – a great deal of the effort trying to message people into submission is wasted and becomes ‘attention spam’. Use more surprise and emotion to gain meaningful cut-through

2. Know that less is more – Too much messaging may fail to permeate the brain’s attentional filters. Keep your communications simple and attractive

3. Massage don’t message – Brands are about signalling. Unless your product is uniquely distinctive, create campaigns that aimed to improve positive emotions about your product, rather than rational USP-type propositions

4. Recognize the power of inertia – The brain develops heuristics, or shortcuts, because they are energy efficient and convenient. Never underestimate how hard it may be for your consumer to change their ingrained brand choice, even if your product is objectively ‘better’

5. Use context to beat content – Decisions are made as much by context, mood and other people as they are by conscious, individual choice. So your media and creative work should concentrate on creating positive contexts for your sale

6. Innovate with instincts in mind – Create products that appeal to the brain’s System 1 more than System 2

7. Challenge your researchers – Are you really getting beneath the surface of why your consumers do what they do or are you getting only the answers that System 2 gives to save face? There is some exciting work happening with researching System 1, but the research industry is slow to adopt it

Look out for Tasgal’s exclusive feature in the next edition of Dialogue.