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packaging

How to use neuromarketing & customer psychology for product design & packages?

 

packagesProduct designs & packages are often conceived by creative professionals. Whether they are designers, advertisers or communication experts, these specialists are gifted enough to invent elaborate and original creations. However, aesthetic creations do not automatically translate into something meaningful for customers’ perceptions, decisions and behaviour. Then why and how can we create products and packages that trigger a positive impact on customers’ perceptions and purchase intentions?

 

 

CREATING EFFICIENT PRODUCTS & PACKAGES

 

Offering products and packages in line with people’s needs and expectations is crucial for successful customer-experience and sales.

Neuromarketing and customer psychology help to predict which features of a product or a package will have an impact on people Click To Tweet

 

Neuromarketing and customer psychology help to predict which features of a product or a package will have an impact on people. For instance by determining how their perceptions are going to influence purchase decisions.

 

 

SOME APPLICATIONS

 

Take the example of Champagne bottle labels. It has been proven that labels with complex aesthetics are perceived as more feminine and sophisticated. Conversely, labels with a simpler design are perceived as more modern, successful and authentic.

 

 

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Another study focused on different products like laptops, suitcases, cars and pens. It has been shown that when these products wore dark colours, they were perceived as heavier, more durable, but also less user-friendly than the same products with lighter colours (see examples below).

 

 

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Campbell’s soups relied on neuromarketing the last time they revisited their packages.

 

 

packages

 

 

A final recent study has shown that “cute”, personified food displays, and realistic, neutral ones had a varying impact on purchase intentions depending on the type of food being sold.

 

 

packages

Vice product” corresponds to cookies, and “Virtue product” corresponds to fruit juice

 

 

ON THE INFORMED USE OF NEUROMARKETING & PSYCHOLOGY

 

We do not advocate that businesses should focus on the “superficial” features of their products. If your product is genuinely bad, customer-experience will inevitably be bad and prospects for repeat business should be reduced to null. Neuromarketing and customer psychology are not to help sell products that are insufficiently attractive, or to help make a product better than it actually is.

 

Neuromarketing and customer psychology are not to help sell products that are insufficiently attractive, or to help make a product better than it actually is Click To Tweet

 

That said, it is essential to take into account how people’s brains work and run empirical, scientific and objective trials. Without these, interpretations about how customers will perceive and react to your product is nothing but pure speculation. Studies of psychology applied to design and packaging, like the ones shown in this post, are manifold. To beat luck and predict which features will positively impact sales, neuromarketing and customer psychology are undoubtedly the most efficient tools currently available.

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr Morgan DAVID   

A former academic and behavioural sciences expert, Dr Morgan David is the founder and director of ANALYTICA, a consultancy agency based in the UK and in France. ANALYTICA uses the way our brain works to design better products and better services in the realm of neuromarketing, webmarketing, customer experience, sales strategy and pricing tactics. ANALYTICA created CogniSales, a neuromarketing sales service, and CogniMenu, the first new-generation menu engineering service.

 

 

cerveau marketing psychologie

Why psychology is essential to your marketing strategy

cerveau marketing psychologie

For some companies and some marketers, psychology is nothing but abstract science. Yet for the most informed ones, it is an innovative opportunity to understand and reach their target in an efficient way.

THE ISSUE

The challenge faced by marketing and sales campaigns is to accurately assign customers to different profiles. Campaigns thus either reach a single sociodemographic segment that is irrelevant and too extensive (generation X, Y, socioprofessional category, age, interests, and so on). Or they attempt to reach too wide a spectrum of various prospects in a unique and single manner. The latter strategy bears the risk of not reaching anyone by speaking to everyone all at once…

 

PSYCHOLOGY DECONSTRUCTS TRADITIONAL MARKETING SEGMENTS

Customers of a given segment – socioprofessional categories, sociodemography, age, location – can actually show substantial psychological differences. These customers won’t be sensitive to the same sales and marketing messages. Conversely, customers from these different traditional marketing segments may be sensitive to the same marketing content owing to similar psychological profiles.

psychologie marketing segmentation

The benefit of integrating psychology to your sales and marketing strategy is simple. Psychological segmentation criteria allows you to 1) categorize customers in a more accurate and relevant way than traditional marketing segments; and, 2) adjust sales and marketing content to different psychological profiles. Taking psychology into account enables you to establish new marketing segments that turns out to be more accurate, more efficient, and based on science.

WHAT ARE THESE PSYCHOLOGICAL PROFILES?

segmentation psychologie marketing

Your target can be categorized using psychological variables called psychometric scales. For instance, personality can be assessed following 5 scales – aka the Big Five – which are extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, openess to experience and conscientiousness. These scientifically-validated scales generate a score for every customer that is assessed. Sales and marketing content can then be tailored to different personalities for greater efficiency.

WHICH CONTENT FOR WHICH PROFILE?

In neuromarketing, the prevention-promotion psychological scale helps us identify different types of customers. On one hand, customers can be more sensitive to prevention-based content, such as the reduction of potential risks or uncertainty (ʺThe braking system of this new car model reduces braking distance and thus diminishes crash risksʺ). On the other hand, customers can be more sensitive to promotion-based content which emphasizes benefits (ʺWith a more efficient engine, this new car model allows you to cover longer distances with a single full tankʺ).

CONCRETE RESULTS

Bringing customer psychology to sales and marketing strategies remains underused. Yet, some pioneering companies have already obtained spectacular results. In a 2017 study, British and American researchers assessed the efficiency of tailoring advertising content to customers’ personality. The personality scales used were extraversion and openess to experience. Scientists recorded the number of mobile app. sales when advertising content was tailored to customers’ personality. These sales were compared to a second campaign where advertisements were the same for every customer. Results show that mobile app. sales increased by 79% when advertising content was tailored to customers’ personality.

psychology marketing strategy sales
Psychology applied to marketing and sales strategy in 3 phases

In a future post, we will discuss how to assess customers’ psychology and how to adjust sales and marketing content accordingly.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr Morgan DAVID   

A former academic and behavioural sciences expert, Dr Morgan David is the founder and director of ANALYTICA, a consultancy agency based in the UK and in France. ANALYTICA uses the way our brain works to design better products and better services in the realm of neuromarketing, webmarketing, customer experience, sales strategy and pricing tactics. ANALYTICA created CogniSales, a neuromarketing sales service, and CogniMenu, the first new-generation menu engineering service.

Dominoes communication

9 psychological effects that can ruin your communication campaign

 

Dominoes communication

Communicating is not enough to influence people. Many communication campaigns are an objective failure. This is because providing information is insufficient to persuade and convince. It is crucial to take the psychology of any campaigns’ target into account for messages to be influential. Yet this fact is often ignored in favour of aesthetic and artistic concerns. A poorly designed communication campaign can even have detrimental consequences. I provide here a list of these consequences to be avoided when designing a successful communication campaign.

 

 

Communication professionals are often misled about which techniques can persuade and convince a given target. This is likely because of a lack of objective knowledge about the way our brain works. Detrimental consequences can be generated by the way our brain treats available information and uses it to make decisions. In a scientific article published in the Journal of Communication in 2007, American researchers Hyunyi Cho and Charles Salmon provided a list of unexpected psychological effects that can ruin communication campaigns1. Their study originally focused on health communication campaigns, though the consequences they mention (listed below) can be expected in many contexts.

 

 

1) CONFUSIONcommunication campaign

Confusion occurs when a message’s true meaning is misunderstood (see poster on the right). Cho and Salmon give the example of a prevention campaign for breast cancer. If you stress the importance of check-ups for women with breast cancer cases in their family, women who this does not apply to might feel overly safe and not book an examination. The wording of the messages themselves can also lead to confusion. Claiming that ‘The motorway is not a bin’ to promote the use of bins does not propose any clear recommendation in terms of good practice and behaviour.

 

 

2) DISSONANCE

Dissonance refers to the anxiety generated by the gap between a promoted message and a person’s situation. For instance, promoting breastfeeding can induce discomfort and anxiety in women who, for whatever reasons (necessary medications, low breast milk supply, etc…), cannot breastfeed their child.

 

 

communication campaign3) BOOMERANG EFFECT

Well known by social psychologists, the ‘boomerang effect’ refers to the adoption of a behaviour that opposes the desired behaviour being promoted by the campaign. As depicted on the poster on the left, showing a cheerful group of friends sharing beers is definitely not the best strategy to prevent binge drinking. Also, insisting on the importance of one group member to stay sober to drive the others home, might encourage the others to drink more than usual. And messages high in emotions, such as ‘fear appeals’, are known for distracting the target from understanding and integrating the core prevention meaning2.

 

 

 

4) EPIDEMIC OF APPREHENSION

Apprehension, related to hypochondria, corresponds to an exaggerated concern for health issues due to the pervasiveness of risk messages. For example, a higher sensitivity to thinking one is ill or has the physical symptoms of an illness, in countries where mortality due to infectious diseases remains low.

 

 

5) DESENSITIZATION

Desensitization is defined as the public’s diminishing response to repeated exposure to the same messages. In such instances pervasive TV advertisement campaigns can lead to a rejection of the message or the brand.

 

 

6) GUILTINESS

Guiltiness is an exaggerated focus on personal causes to explain individual health problems. By ignoring related social and environmental causes, people might experience psychological discomfort, low self-esteem, and interpret their state through the sole lens of individual responsibility: ‘I deserve what happens to me because I made the wrong decisions’.

 

 

7) LIMITED ATTENTION/OPPORTUNITY COST

Competition between different communication campaigns to prevent/promote a given behaviour or product tend to make messages less pervasive. This is because people show limited attention, memorization or empathy skills. In a marketing context, people also have limited money and time. Given all the different campaigns targeting people simultaneously, we cannot expect a particular communication campaign to easily reach its target and influence behaviours accordingly.

 

 

8) SOCIAL REPRODUCTION

Social reproduction corresponds to reinforcing a message towards a target segment that is already aware of this message. For instance, promoting waste recycling will have more impact with environmentally-friendly targets than with people who do not feel concerned about environmental issues.

 

 

communication campaign9) SOCIAL NORMING

Akin to the common “in-group/out-group” anthropological divide, social norming may isolate and put the blame on a target group depicted in a negative way, and marginalized within a majority. So, the slogan ‘Kissing a smoker is like kissing an ashtray’ is genuinely not the best message to make smokers aware of the individual, collective and health consequences of smoking.

 

 

In conclusion, here are 9 reasons to expect a communication campaign to fail. Yet social psychologists have become experts in predicting how successful campaigns can be. The good news is that they have also developed the tools to conceive successful messages and content. Does your communication campaign deserve some brainstorming?

 

 

1 Cho & Salmon (2007) Unintended effects of health communication campaigns. J. Com. 57, 293-317.

2 Witte (1991) The role of threat and efficacy in AIDS prevention. Int. Quart. Community Health Educ. 12, 225-49.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr Morgan DAVID   

A former academic and behavioural sciences expert, Dr Morgan David is the founder and director of ANALYTICA, a consultancy agency based in the UK and in France. ANALYTICA uses the way our brain works to design better products and better services in the realm of neuromarketing, webmarketing, customer experience, sales strategy and pricing tactics. ANALYTICA created CogniSales, a neuromarketing sales service, and CogniMenu, the first new-generation menu engineering service.

 

Morgan DAVID psychologie marketing

Interview about neuromarketing with Morgan David

neuromarketing-Morgan-DAVID

 

I have recently been interviewed about neuromarketing by Salomé Ficarelli, a student of the master in Communication & Marketing of ISCOM in Lyon, France. Definition, techniques, examples, strengths, limits… everything you have ever wanted to know about neuromarketing without asking…! I leave you to discover the transcription of this interview and thank Salomé for soliciting me.

 

 

 

 

Salomé Ficarelli: Morgan David, who are you?

 

Morgan David: I am a behavioural sciences expert, with a PhD from the University of Burgundy (France) and the University of Quebec in Montreal (Canada). I have worked as an academic in several universities in France, Canada, the UK and Belgium. My research dealt with the factors influencing people’s behaviours and decisions in various contexts. I am the fonder and director of Analytica, a behavioural sciences-grounded consultancy company based in the UK and in France. I help my clients develop their services and products by taking into account how their customers’ brains work, how they make decisions and how they behave. My services rely on neuromarketing techniques, nudges, social psychology and other disciplines related to behavioural sciences.

 

 

“Taking customers’ psychology into account is an essential added value for companies to improve their margins and their benefits”

 

 

SF: Could you please, in a few sentences, tell us what neuromarketing is?

 

Morgan David: Not all professionals would give the same definition, depending on their expertise. As far as I am concerned, I consider neuromarketing as a technique used to promote a product or a service’s sales by taking advantage of scientific knowledge about how customers’ brains collect information, process it and take decisions. Neuromarketing sometimes uses advanced technology, like MRI or eye-tracking, mainly for marketing purposes and because clients fantasize quite a bit about those kinds of technique… But I would like to make two statements: 1) these techniques are rather descriptive and their efficiency quite limited. Is it sufficient to know where a customer places their attention to make a sale? The answer is no; and, 2) a vast array of knowledge from consumer psychology, cognitive and social psychology provides efficient techniques to profile customers, anticipate their decisions and their behaviour, so as to develop services and products that match their preferences and expectations. I personally tend to use these latter types of knowledge and techniques because they are based on evidence despite being neglected.

 

 

neuromarketing-morgan-david-faces

Click on the image to read our article ‘What is neuromarketing?’

SF: On which tools and technology does neuromarketing rely on?

 

Morgan DAVID: Neuromarketing relies on the direct recording of brain activity (like MRIs), on physiological measures (such as skin conductance or eye tracking), or on techniques based on consumer and cognitive psychology. In this latter case, we adjust the environment and the context in which customers make choices and take decisions to promote specific products or services. Therefore, information about how the brain collects and processes information, and how it takes decisions, is essential to create an efficient sales strategy. Without it, we are just fishing for solutions following uncertain customer stereotypes. This is why it is important, in my opinion, to rely on knowledge and techniques that have been scientifically proven. As far as I am concerned, I only use techniques whose efficiency has been assessed in peer-reviewed articles published in international scientific journals.

 

 

SF: What are the benefits and limits of neuromarketing?

 

Morgan David: The added value of neuromarketing is high for companies. Take the example of these big American chains, like McDonalds or Starbucks. Whatever we think of them, these ventures have succeded because they have for a long time tried to understand how to attract customers, sell them products and encourage brand loyalty. And they did not do it by flipping a coin. They have asked behavioural experts to carefully think about these issues. Adopting a customer-centric approach by taking customers’ psychology into account is an essential added value for companies to improve their margins, their benefits, customers’ loyalty and to expand their market. Neuromarketing allows them to more accurately target a relevant sales’ strategy, from its conception to its development. I argue in favour of a trial and error framework to determine what works and what does not. Also, knowing how customers think and behave enables to be one jump ahead within this process.

            Talking about limits now, a large portion of customers’ behaviour still remains unknown. It is sometimes hard to identify which of several techniques is likely to be the most efficient. Customers are not robots. It is unrealistic, and ethically questionable, to think that people’s decisions and behaviour can be predicted with perfect accuracy. That is simply impossible! Neuromarketers are more successful than the average marketer because they work with large samples of people. Statistically speaking then, the techniques that we use, when grounded in experimental evidence, are likely to be more efficient than others, which then translates into concrete benefits for companies. Neuromarketers are not magicians! They use scientific techniques; that is, the objectively most efficient techniques currently available, to reach precise goals. Nothing more, nothing less.

 

 

“Neuromarketing allows companies to more accurately target a relevant sales’ strategy, from its conception to its development”

 

 

SF: Could you please provide concrete examples of neuromarketing applications?

 

Morgan David: As far as I am concerned, I can tell you about some examples related to webmarketing. I work on company websites, and more precisely on their composition, their organisation, the formulation of their offers and on the general website environment (what we usually call ‘atmospherics’) to improve conversion rates. It is highly efficient. The reason is that websites are almost never optimised from a customer-experience point of view. When we know how people’s brains work, it is rather easy to anticipate customer reactions, behaviours and decisions within the “confined” website environment. The way information is laid out and organised is key. I also am experienced in contributing to the development of physical shops. In this case I work on customer experience: people’s buying journey inside the shop, pricing optimisation, lights, music, the layout of products and the whole shopping environment. In consumer psychology, these parameters are known for impacting customers’ satisfaction and loyalty to the brand. I have also created a new-generation menu engineering service called ‘CogniMenu’, which aims to increase restaurants’ benefits by improving their menus and display boards.

 

 

SF: To end with, should we fear neuromarketing?

 

Morgan David: As I said earlier, the media and the general public fantasize quite a lot about neuromarketing. All that neuromarketing can do is to increase a product’s sales by a few percent. This is done by modifying some of its features according to customers’ preferences and expectations. Neuromarketing helps to increase margins, benefits and market shares. That’s all! It translates into lots of benefit for companies that wish to boost sales, but remains virtually impactless for customers. When neuromarketing increases customers’ average spending, it is by a few percent too. Customers cannot be manipulated as one pleases. I am often asked about manpulation: is neuromarketing manipulation? That is a very good question. I have seen TV documentaries in which companies were trying to hide somehow their use of neuromarketing techniques… From a social psychology point of view, any interaction can be manipulative. Manipulation consists of influencing others’ decisions to make them adopt behaviours they would not have adopted otherwise. This interview is a good example. In a sense, you have manipulated me to convince me to answer your questions. Asking your kids to set the table? That is manipulation. Inviting your friends for dinner? That is manipulation. And here comes the link with selling. Selling is manipulation by definition. This is because salespeople try to convince clients to buy their products by emphasizing the benefits of those products. Have you ever found a shop that does not promote its products? It would not last very long on the market. Advertisement is manipulation because it tries to convince customers to purchase a product or to buy a service. In conclusion, manipulation is not a bad thing in itself, as long as it does not harm the person who is being manipulated. If you rip customers off, that is both illegal and morally condemnable. That said, malpractices and dishonest salespeople have always existed, long before neuromarketing showed up. Any attempts to persuade, like advertisement and marketing have always done, can be considered as manipulation. Using knowledge about customers’ behaviour to persuade them better is not, in my opinion, any more morally reprehensible.

 

 

logo CogniMenu menu engineering

CogniMenu: an innovative service to boost UK restaurants’ sales

Restaurants commonly have two options to increase their benefits: to reduce their costs or to increase the amount of the average order. Building on the latter option, CogniMenu genuinely boosts restaurants’ sales with an innovative, yet simple and efficient solution that uses neuromarketing techniques.

 

 

Proposing good products does not automatically translate into effective sales. This is true in the catering and hospitality sectors as well as in many others. As passionate as the chef can be, and as delighted as clients might feel, managing sales effectively is of utmost importance to a restaurant owner. This requires anticipating and responding appropriately to customers’ expectations and behaviour which is an aspect of the selling process that is all too often missed by restaurant managers. Not much of a surprise, given that restaurant owners cannot simultaneously be chefs, managers, salespeople and marketers…

 

cognimenu

Based on these statements, CogniMenu has been created to help restaurant managers access a hitherto unexplored source of profit: their menu!

 

 

HOW DOES IT WORK?

 

From our experience virtually no menus are optimised in a way to make the best of what restaurants offer. Generating benefits through sorting out these lost sales opportunities is what CogniMenu provides.

 

CogniMenu uses the latest techniques from neuromarketing to anticipate customers’ psychology and behaviour, thus improving their experience as well as increasing restaurants’ profits.

 

The good news is that these techniques are easily applicable and very efficient: we reinvent the structure, organisation and presentation of menus, the labelling of meals, and optimise prices. For example, carefully laying out meals under several sub-categories can improve orders and sales up to 25%. Also, improved meal labelling can increase sales by 27%!

 

CogniMenu brochure first page

 

CogniMenu’s process of sales’ improvement goes through the following three steps:

1) We identify priorities, objectives and opportunities to be explored with the restaurant manager

2) We provide a new optimised version of the restaurant’s menu.

3) You enjoy a rise in both your clients’ average order and your average margins.

 

In addition, personal support in the application of an individualised and powerful sales marketing strategy can be offered.

 

 

Optimising menus to boost sales is easily applicable and a common technique in some countries, like the US. In the UK though, there is not any innovative service like CogniMenu!

 

To find out more about CogniMenu:

Web page: www.cabinet-analytica.fr/en/cognimenu_uk/

Email address: morgan.david@cabinet-analytica.fr

Twitter: @CogniMenu_UK

Phone: +33 651 402 001