Brand science

people walking on street during daytime

Behavioral science delves into the mechanisms behind how we digest information to make choices and engage with one another. It adopts a rigorous scientific method, starting with forming a theory regarding people’s actions and motives. This theory is then tested through experiments conducted on a select group of consumers within a structured setting. The feedback received from these experiments is used to refine and enhance the initial concept.

Our brains have a natural affinity for newness, a trait rooted in our prehistoric need to discover novel food, water, and shelter sources. This inclination towards novelty means that we’re naturally drawn to fresh experiences. However, introducing novelty involves balancing it carefully—not so alien that it instills fear, yet sufficiently novel to ignite excitement and curiosity. This balance presents a challenge for brand builders striving to create a unique brand identity: it must evolve to remain appealing to consumers while retaining enough familiarity to avoid overwhelming them with the need to adapt to something completely new.

man in green jacket standing beside white and blue van during daytime

We humans (and anyone else who is reading) enjoy tackling “simple puzzles” and bridging gaps in information. Studies on problem-solving indicate that when consumers crack these puzzles, they experience an emotional uplift through a surge of dopamine. This sense of achievement also lights up areas in the prefrontal cortex associated with positive feelings. Consequently, logos designed to let consumers piece together a few elements on their own can offer mental gratification that resonates deeply, even if it’s on a subconscious level. See the arrow in the FedEx logo above?

With all this in mind, when creating a brand with a sprinkle of behavioral science, you tap into psychology and sociology to get people to love your product. It’s all about getting to know your audience – what they like, what ticks them off, and what excites them. Create some surveys or chat groups to get the inside scoop. And don’t forget, we’re all a bit like sheep – we love following the crowd. So, show off how popular your product is with some rave reviews and pictures from fans. Stories are also your best friend here. Spin a good yarn about where your brand originated, or share tales of folks loving your product. It makes people feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

man on front of vending machines at nighttime

Then, there’s the magic of making your product seem like the hot ticket item everyone must have—think limited editions or localized flavors. Pricing’s another trick; tag your products with prices that end in .99 to make them irresistible- this still works surprisingly well for low-priced items, but word of warning can come across as “cheap” with a more premium offering. Play around with colors and packaging to hit the right emotional notes, and try to find a hue that differentiates you from the others. 

Ensure you’re clear about why your product is the bee’s knees – is it super healthy, or does it give a mega energy boost- maybe it helps one relax? Whatever it is, shout it from the rooftops. Consistency is critical, too; make sure everything from your Instagram to the box it comes in screams ‘you.’ Nudge folks to try your product with some freebies or discounts and keep them coming back for more with clever loyalty perks.

Author | Tyler Vaughn

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