Mental activity makes you known
Branding your business is a technology of the human mind. As computer users, we don’t consider the mind a technology. Mental synapse still responds in fascinating ways far surpassing the biggest agglomeration of computer intelligence. In spite of the computing power available in the machine, we are aware that it is the human mind that creates computers and feeds data to them. So let’s do some thinking!
The Human Mind
More than a source of cold computational power, the human mind is a complex responder to the complete environment. Computers evaluate information based on the data they are given. GIGO is the acronym that explains this logical limitation of computers: garbage in-garbage out.
The human mind, on the other hand, responds from perspectives fed by your life experiences. Three key factors are what the brain perceives intellectually, what the emotions feel physically and what the volition really desires to perform. These three have their complexities leading to combinations not fully understood or recorded.
Phenomenon of Mental Complexity
Dan Ariely, in “Predictably Irrational,” speaks of the phenomenon of mental complexity as a function of the prefrontal cortex of the brain. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for higher-order brain functions.
fMRI tests have shown that when given information (this wine is from California), the prefrontal cortex can override the part of the brain responding to taste. Evidently, the function of recording and analyzing taste is a lower function. Lower than the prefrontal cortex, which evaluates preference information.
California Wins Over ND
Research indicates the power of packaging over our perception of taste. Here’s the story of how a California wine beat out a North Dakota wine. Not too surprising for anyone who has visited Napa Valley.
While not surprising, it is an important marketing lesson. How you package your product, your service, makes a difference. The perceptions of the people who are your customers are strongly influenced by your packaging. And we are not talking candy bar wrappers. Packaging should be broadened in concept to entail how-you-serve-it-up, whether product or service. The details involved in how you package who you are produce your brand.
Researchers used a modified blind-taste experiment to demonstrate the power of packaging over taste. A restaurant provided a free glass of wine to each dinner guest for the evening. The wine was exactly the same for all. However, half the diners believed the wine was from California, while the other half believed that it was from North Dakota.
For the record, North Dakota does have sufficient wineries to produce a “Best 10” list on Google. However, the perception of these diners was that the California wine was better than the North Dakota wine. They not only rated their free glass of California wine delightful, they also rated the food higher, ate more of it and said they were more likely to return than the diners who thought they’d had some North Dakotan wine.
Upgrading Your Packaging
Packaging the dining experience with a glass of California wine had a profound impact on the evening at the restaurant. Not to say that taste doesn’t matter. But the effects of the music, lighting, tableware, and service providers significantly impacted the customer experience.
A good starting point in making an upgrade of your brand is to evaluate your “customer’s complete experience.” Martin Bishop, in his article, How Brand Perceptions Are Formed In The Mind, advises, “The little details – even ones that are not directly related to the product itself – are important in forming brand perceptions. Ignore them at your peril.”
Need to do some thinking about your brand?