How buyers’ brains work & why it matters

Brains are amazing

Remember the last time you saw something and instantaneously wanted it? It might have been a doughnut, a pair of shoes or a book promising to fast track you up the career ladder. What it was doesn’t matter. Why you wanted it does. As does what happens afterwards. The majority of our brain’s work is done at an unconscious or subconscious level. Calculations are done at lightning speed with the conclusions entering our brains (and potentially pushing our fingers straight onto the buy button) before we’ve even had the chance to notice that it’s happened. We like to think of ourselves as rational, logical creatures, but this really only comes into play after the decision has been made. We make these decisions at quite a basic, instinctive and evolutionary level (often felt as that rush of desire or positive feeling that makes you go “Want it!”). We only start to search for logical, evidence based rationales to enforce those decisions after the fact.

So, what does this mean for marketers?

We need to inspire both the instinctive, emotional response that triggers the impulse to buy AND take care of the logical rationalisation that happens after the fact. Our up front messaging has to appeal to our more primitive desires for safety, belonging, esteem, achieving our potential. We have to trigger that first to get the subconscious to fire off those “want it!’ messages into the conscious mind. But then, we also have to do the work to comfort the logical part of our brain that’s looking to check and justify those impulses. That’s where our social proof becomes very useful, the awards, reviews, case studies, testimonials, influencer endorsements. It’s also where data driven things like statistics, comparison charts, scientific or technical information come into play. It’s the combination of both these things that makes for a winning formula when it comes to marketing messaging. Use only one at your peril.