Is Singapore Airlines a Caregiver or a Magician? (The Importance of Brand esSense #7)

Mar 22 2018 Published by under brand essense

Is it just me or does anyone else think that Singapore Airlines latest advertising doesn’t “feel” right? While it’s beautifully shot, it feels more like a trailer for a Disney fairy tale than a commercial for air travel (you can watch the ad here). Brand esSense is optimised when there is consistency across all touch points and senses, and in this commercial, titled “Making every journey personal” I don’t think there is any consistency.

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Why doesn’t market research recognize the failings of recall?

Mar 20 2018 Published by under market research

Designers understand the greater power of recognition over recall, which is why interfaces for complex systems use familiar iconography and layouts (think of the design of graphical user interfaces on computers from the early days into the present). Why do market researchers so often ignore this rule and rely on participants to remember the things they do, the brands they know and their opinions about obscure topics that they rarely think about?

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Visualising Emotions: Measuring motivations simply, quickly and intuitively

Feb 07 2018 Published by under culture

Measuring human motivations and emotions is difficult. Three reasons for this are that

  • Verbal questions tend to rationalize responses
  • Emotional language terms can be very difficult to translate
  • Different cultures have different values

More broadly, emotions are highly contextual and latest theories of emotion, see them as mental constructions in the same way that perceptions are mental constructions based on external cues. Emotions and perceptions are both processed in the same parts of the brain and help us to interpret and adapt to the environment around us, directing us towards our goals (see Lisa Feldman Barrett’s book for more on this). Read more »

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Good and Bad Surprises

Sep 29 2017 Published by under emotion

When Darwin published The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals in 1872, surprise was one of six basic emotions that he highlighted along with fear, anger, happiness, sadness and disgust. Read more »

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Is Boredom a good thing?

Jul 28 2017 Published by under emotion

Even though the modern world is full of constant demands on our attention and an ever-increasing choice of on-demand food and drink, media and experiences, boredom is still a common and arguably important part of our lives. In one U.K. survey, the average person claimed to suffer from boredom for 6 hours per week, which would add up to 2 or more years of an average lifespan. Read more »

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Learning the Psychology of Online Persuasion

Jun 22 2017 Published by under book review

Webs of Influence is one of the most useful books on psychology you will ever pick up. It’s easy to use format covers swathes of research into the psychology of human behavior and what it means for designing marketing programs and websites that engage with people. The second edition has just been published with more useful content updated to reflect this fast-changing field. Read more »

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5 Ways Brand Stories Connect

Mar 31 2017 Published by under storytelling

We all understand the impact of stories in our lives, and increasingly businesses are taking storytelling more seriously as a skill to develop and nurture (I’ve recently run a Storytelling training program for one such business in China and have another public course running in May). But what is it about story that connects so powerfully with us, and how does the psychology of story mirror the psychology of brand choice? Here are five ways that stories tap into universal human behaviours.

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Putting on the Brakes: The Feeling of Fear

Feb 27 2017 Published by under emotion

If you read the newspapers or switch on the nightly news, you might conclude that there is a lot to be afraid of over the coming year, in keeping with 2016. Fear is primal and one of the most fundamental of human emotions. Charles Darwin believed that the emotion of fear went back to the origins of all species, writing, “we may confidently believe … Fear was expressed from an extremely remote period in almost the same manner as it is now by man”. Read more »

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Joy to the World: The feeling of happiness

Dec 26 2016 Published by under emotion

If there is an emotion that is most strongly associated with the Christmas and New Year holidays it must surely be Joy. In the text as well as performances of the Christmas carol ‘Joy to the world’, Joy is associated with singing and a very physical and spontaneous sense of well-being. [The carol was written by Isaac Watts, a pastor with a father who was jailed for his non-conformist views, in 1719 and with a famous musical setting written by George Frederick Handel.]

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Marketing to Consumers’ Instincts

Dec 14 2016 Published by under book review

There are now many books about the application of behavioural science to branding and marketing (including Brand esSense). The Business Of Choice by Matthew Willcox is a recent edition is one of the more readable ones, summarising many of the core ideas of behavioural economics in a very business-focused and reader-friendly way. Uniquely, the coverage extends to thinking about the role of human nature and culture in shaping consumers’ decision-making.

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