Archetypes, Identity and the Life Cycle

Oct 13 2015 Published by neilgains under consumer psychology

In Identity and the Life Cycle and other works, Erik Erikson developed a lifespan model of human development covering eight stages, five in childhood and three in adulthood. His work is very much influenced by Sigmund Freud, although he focuses on psychosocial development rather than psychosexual. Erikson emphasises the role of society and culture, and the conflicts between individuals and there society and culture in shaping the way all humans develop through their life. In his model, each stage builds on the previous stages and the growth and trajectory of development shares a great deal with motivational models of behaviour and archetypal thinking. Read more »

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Designing Presentations in a SNAPP

May 26 2015 Published by neilgains under storytelling

In 100 Things Every Presenter Needs To Know About People, Susan Weinschenk outlines many behavioural triggers and barriers in the context of successful presentations, covering how people think and learn, how to get attention, how to motivate, how people listen and see, how they react to the environment, how they react emotionally, and how they decide to take action. The book is a useful summary of many of the behavioural quirks we have written about here. Most especially, the different behaviours that the author highlights fall into the five themes outlined in TapestryWorks’ SNAPP thinking framework which we find a useful way to simplify human behaviour and decision-making into broad themes. Read more »

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Marshmallows, Willpower and Context

Jul 17 2013 Published by neilgains under consumer psychology

A couple of recent projects encouraged me to read up on some of the theory behind the psychology of willpower and instant gratification. Roy Baumeister has conducted many experiments on the topic and published Willpower last year, at the same time that a very interesting paper was published on the impact of the environment on willpower. Read more »

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What marketing can learn from search engines

Jun 16 2013 Published by neilgains under context

A recent article by Neil Perkins at OnlyDeadFish, talking about the future of search, is well worth reading for any marketer or researcher. For me, the most interesting part of the article discusses the increasing importance of context for search engines, referencing a talk by Will Crtichlow also called The Future Of Search. Read more »

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Changing Habits

Nov 02 2012 Published by neilgains under behavioural economics

In the last blog I discussed how the cognitive biases fall into five main themes or categories (read here). But how do these biases relate to habitual behaviours and more importantly to behavioural change? In fact the biases are mostly influenced by contextual factors and the emotional rewards that we all seek. Read more »

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The Ego Has Landed

Nov 21 2011 Published by neilgains under storytelling

Plotting the course of storytelling over the past 200 years

In The Seven Basic Plots, Christopher Booker argues that storytelling has changed dramatically over the last 200 years, and that he focus on the inner state of a hero(ine)’s inner state and eventual transformation has shifted to a focus on more outward (material) transformation, gradually moving the plot away from the primal archetypes towards more ego driven narratives. For example, in the film Limitless (2011) a Faustian bargain at the start of the film evolves into a wish fulfilment fantasy in which the hero suffers no ultimate penalty for his bargain nor does he undergo any serious ‘transformation’ or ‘enlightenment’. Read more »

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Getting Emotional in Advertising

Aug 25 2011 Published by neilgains under emotion

“Who are you going to believe: me or your own eyes?”  - Groucho Marx

In About Face, Dan Hill makes a clear and compelling argument for the use of emotion in advertising and it’s power to drive changes in behaviour. The book is full of useful examples and anecdotes and some statistics too. In one study by Omnicom, emotional engagement with customers resulted in 20% higher return on investment than mere awareness in advertising.  In another review by Pringle and Field (based on 880 case studies from the UK’s Institute of Practitioners Advertising Effectiveness Awards), ‘soft sell’ ads that inspire strong emotional responses in their audience make more money (almost twice as much as ‘hard sell’ ads with more fact-based and rational arguments). And more emotional ads also reduced price sensitivity, created greater differentiation and were more important in more mature markets. Read more »

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Are You Available?

Jul 13 2011 Published by neilgains under business

“It is impossible for ideas to compete in the marketplace if no forum for their presentation is provided or available.”  - Thomas Mann

“Always within an arm’s reach of desire.”  - Robert Woodruff (former chairman of Coca-Cola)

Getting connected

In the final chapter of How Brands Grow, Byron Sharp focuses on the key to great marketing: making your brand easy to buy.  There are two aspects to making brands available which are covered extensively throughout the book: mental availability (something discussed at length in this blog previously) and physical availability.  He argues (based on empirical evidence) that product innovation only works when a brand is salient and well distributed, through distinctive and clear branding and breadth and depth of distribution. Read more »

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Connecting the Dots (Consumer Understanding #10)

Mar 19 2011 Published by neilgains under consumer psychology

As we have seen previously, the basis of new memories are new physical connections in the brain.  The more elaborate the connections, the more meaning they have, and the more specific the context, the stronger and more long lasting is the memory. Read more »

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Live Wires and Getting Connected (Consumer Understanding #3)

Mar 12 2011 Published by neilgains under consumer psychology

We are all ‘live wires’

How does the brain make connections?  Brain scans show areas of our brain ‘lighting up’ when we make decisions (although beware that more activity doesn’t make the decision more important).  But what is really going on?  There is a huge amount of activity (electrical and chemical) going on within our brains.   Read more »

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