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Derrick Daye Political Brand Strategy

Brand Strategy And Politics: A New World

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Political Brand Strategy

This is the second of three posts on the brand marketing lessons to be learned from the recently-concluded
Presidential election. The first can be found here.

There
is one thing in particular about the recent election results that Baby Boomers
should take care not to overlook. The world Boomers live in nowadays is no
longer their own.

This
is to say that, as a group, Boomers voted one way; young people voted another. Exit polling data from Pew
found that 60 percent of voters under 30 voted for President Obama while only
48 percent of voters 30 and older voted that way. Contrast this with 1980. Reagan
captured 56 percent of the under-30 vote, along with 62 percent of the
30-and-over vote. In other words, in 1980, young Boomers, as a group, voted the
same way as their parents. Not so in 2012.

This
generational divergence was first seen in the 2004 race between Kerry and
Bush. In that year, 54 percent of
under-30 voters voted for Kerry versus 47 percent of over-30 voters. But it has only been in the last two
elections with Obama that the political preferences of young people have
overwhelmed those of older voters.

As
far back as McGovern versus Nixon in 1972, young people and older people have
swung the same way politically (with the one exception of Clinton versus Dole
in 1996), barely differing in proportions in most elections. No longer. In the
last three Presidential elections, young voters have marched to a completely different
drummer, and now older voters must make do in a world at odds with their overall
preference.

The
sort of ascendance of Millennials is an unprecedented generational
phenomenon. Boomers came of age with new
values but the same politics as older people; so, too, GenX. Millennials are
the first generation since the end of WW2 to start off with a completely
different politics than their elders, and they are doing so in such numbers
that their preferences are dictating terms for everyone else.

What
is true of politics is true of brand marketing as well.

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Brand Marketing Derrick Daye

Brand Marketing: The Six Principles Of Persuasion

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Brand Strategy Social Proof

In my research of the psychology of persuasion I have found there are six overarching principles. Each with implications for brand marketers. If one or another of these principles is incorporated into a request, it significantly increases the probability of getting a yes to that request.

1. Reciprocation

The first principle is called Reciprocation, the idea that people want to give back to us what we have first given to them. It gives us great power in a situation by being able to determine the tone of the interaction by doing it first. If we want a positive attitude, we give a positive attitude first. If we want free communication, we begin by giving free communication, and so on. It gives us the ability to get the sort of interaction that we are hoping for in exchange. The tone that is set, from focus groups to brand messaging is the thing that comes back most frequently. You can even find it in things as simple as appeals from the Disabled American Veterans association. When they send out their direct mail requests for contributions to their organization, they get about an 18 percent hit on their rate. But, if they include a little packet of personalized address labels in the envelope, their hit rate of contributions goes up to 36 percent because people have received something. Now they feel obligated to give back. That is the principle of reciprocation. It is the sort of thing that governs so much of our behavior, and it is the first of the pillars of influence I talk about.

2. Social Proof

The second one is Social Proof, which is the idea that when uncertain, people want to look around to see what others are doing and thinking before they take action. They look to people who are just like them for evidence of what they should do in situations. So, the proof of what they should be doing is not something that is empirical or logical — it is social. What everybody around me is doing tells me what I should do. For example, this experiment in hotel rooms. When traveling, Branding Strategy Insider readers are sure to have encountered a card in their hotel room that asks them to recycle towels. Well, the question is, “What should the card say to get people to recycle?” What hotels typically do is to say, “Do this for the environment” or “Do this for future generations” or “Cooperate with us toward this cause.” We put those cards in various hotels rooms around the Phoenix area where I live, and we found they all produce about the same level of compliance. But then we put a fourth card in the room that we had never seen any hotel use. It employs the principle of social proof, the idea that if a lot of other people are doing it, then it is the right thing to do.

Our fourth card said, “The majority of the guests who stay at this hotel do recycle their towel at least once during their stay.” And, that’s true. The result? We got a 34 percent increase just by saying something that was true, except the message was very below the surface. Just by bringing out something that is true about what those around us are doing, increases the likelihood that our audience will do the same thing. That is why, for example, when a restaurant owner puts on the menu, “This is our most popular dish,” it becomes more popular. That is social proof. Online reviews and testimonials are very important as a form of social proof. What do the people around me think about this product? How are they reacting? How are they handling a particular situation?

3. Scarcity

Have you have ever seen infomercials, those late-night television commercials where you call in and buy a product? Infomercial producers have found that they get a spike in call-ins at two points during their commercial. The first spike comes just as the item is sold out or no longer available. This refers to the third principle of Scarcity, when things are dwindling and we want things that we can’t have. The second spike occurs immediately after viewers have heard a testimonial from a caller who said, “This worked for me.” These testimonials are the social proof causing people to buy. And that works well with the manufactured feeling of scarcity — that time is running out, only a few left — also motivating people to buy in that one context of the infomercial.

What is interesting is that the consummate form of scarcity is loss. In fact, research shows that the fear of loss is more motivating than the possibility of gain. If people are honestly told what they stand to lose by failing to follow the suggestions that you are offering them, in addition to what they stand to gain if they do, you get a better response from the threat of loss. People do not want to lose something that they think would be valuable. That is a much stronger motive than the wish to gain something. Let me give you an example. People were asked if they would like an energy audit of their home. The company checked all of the weather stripping and insulation, and at the end of the evaluation, they said, “If you will insulate your home fully, you will be able to gain 50 cents a day, every day.” That was for half of the homeowners. The other half of the group was told, “If you fail to insulate your home fully, you will lose 50 cents a day.” Believe it or not, 150 more people insulated their homes when the language was changed to reflect loss, and it was the same 50 cents. The idea of losing it every day was more powerful than the idea of gaining it. So, I like to advise people to think honestly about those things that your audience or prospect or client would lose by failing to following your recommendations and to mention that as well as what they stand to gain. That way, you fire both barrels, at the same time.

Here’s another example. Doctors have found that telling their patients who smoke that if they stop they will gain three years of life, isn’t nearly as affective as telling them that if they don’t stop, they will lose three years of life. It makes total sense. It is so amazing. And it is a simple thing — changing the language a little bit can make a big difference.

4. Commitment and Consistency

The next principle is Commitment and Consistency, the idea that people want to be consistent with what they already committed to, what they have said or done, or came to believe in the past.  As a rule, people want to be consistent in their lives.

For example, a study was conducted in Palo Alto, California, where researchers asked people to sign a petition favoring safe driving. This was done in the course of the first week of the study. A week later, the researchers came back and asked these same people to put up a billboard on their lawns that would favor safe driving, and they got a tripling in the percentage of people who were willing to do that, compared to those who were just asked to put up a billboard without first signing a petition a week earlier. So, having gone on record making a commitment inclines people to want to be consistent with subsequent similar kinds of behavior, even if it is much larger.

There was another version in which people signed a petition saying that they were interested in beautifying California. A week later, a researcher came to their door, asking them to put up a billboard favoring safe driving. Now there didn’t seem to be a connection there, but these people also increased their willingness because now they were being consistent with the idea of being a public servant. So, by first signing that petition, they saw themselves as community-oriented and more public-spirited. A week later somebody came along and asked them to help in terms of driver safety, and they were willing to do that, too!

5. Authority

The next principle of persuasion is Authority, the one that says people want to follow the lead of legitimate experts, true authorities in an arena. Here is an example that always makes me smile. They put a man on a street corner and had him cross the street against the light, against the traffic and against the law. Half of the time he was dressed in jeans, an open-neck shirt and running shoes, and the other half of the time he was dressed in a business suit, pressed shirt, tie and shiny shoes. Then they counted how many people followed along behind him. An amazing 350 percent more people followed him when he was wearing a suit.

6. Liking

The last of the six principles is the Liking principle, which is the one that says we prefer to say yes to those we know and like, and I don’t think any brand marketers will be surprised to hear that. But there is a little twist to it. There are two things that really cause people to like us. One is similarity; we like the people who are like us, especially in values and attitudes and opinions and so on. Secondly, we like the people who like us and say so by giving us compliments.

Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: Dr. Robert Cialdini, President, Influence At Work

Sponsored ByThe Brand Positioning Workshop

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Derrick Daye Market Research

Marketing Research: Differences Matter

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Marketing Research

The worst data miscalculation in brand marketing is also the easiest to fix, even though it requires a new way of looking at market opportunities for brands.

It’s a miscalculation made with good intentions. Brand marketers put a high priority on focus, so complex markets have to be boiled down to their essence. Focus through simplification is smart, but oftentimes it takes a brand in the wrong direction. So it’s worth taking a second look at bringing focus to brand marketing.

As we all learned in Marketing Research 101, there are two broad, overarching ways of looking at research data – measures of central tendency and measures of variance. Admittedly, this lingo doesn’t easily roll off the tongue, so to put it another way, for any given dataset, you can look at averages or differences. You can look at the average consumer or you can look at varieties of consumers.

There are many ways of calculating averages and differences, so each category of measures includes lots of statistical techniques. But every statistic is either a measure of central tendency or a measure of variance.

The priority on focus in brand marketing means an over-reliance on measures of central tendency and an under-appreciation of measures of variance. Brand marketers want to focus on the average because that gives them a way to simplify and concentrate their resources. Brand marketers fear getting paralyzed by the ambiguity and indecisiveness often present in differences. It is hard to know what to focus on when options, scenarios, choices and situations seem endlessly numerous and diverse. Even when brand marketers factor in differences, they do so by focusing on multiple averages, which is an incomplete way of accounting for differences.

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Brand Strategy Derrick Daye Featured

Brand Strategy: Market The Benefit

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Brand Strategy Benefits Features

Nowadays, we live in a world of features. Technology is brimful with features like apps, add-ons and upgrades. Car dashboards are overrun with feature-this and feature-that. Our social relationships are mediated by the features of mobile apps and our brand buying is completed through an ever-more feature-intensive array of hi-tech services for comparisons, payments and delivery. It is a world awash in features.

By all appearances, in today’s marketplace, features seem to sell us on one thing versus another. Yet, features don’t sell. As brand marketers we know that when it comes to the choices consumers make, features are beside the point. But it’s hard to keep this in mind in today’s feature-rich marketplace. Nevertheless, bottom line, all that matters are benefits.

With features dominating so much of the attention and investment these days, it’s worth revisiting this basic marketing imperative – market the benefit. To do so, I thought it helpful to look at an illustration I learned way back when from Kevin Clancy, who recently received the Advertising Research Foundation’s Great Minds Awards in Innovation for his career contributions to the development of marketing and marketing research.  (It’s an example that is included, along with many others, in a 1991 book he co-authored, entitled The Marketing Revolution: A Radical Manifesto for Dominating the Marketplace.)

Kevin taught me that there are two things brand marketers can focus on about a marketing message or a product or service, and two ways to say each. You can focus on attributes (or features) or benefits. Attributes describe what something is – it’s the what, if you will.  Benefits describe what something delivers – it’s the why. You can market what a product is or you can market why a product matters, or you can market both.  Ultimately, though, consumers care less about what a product is; mostly, they care about why a product matters to them.

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Derrick Daye Marketing

Linking Marketing, Magic And The Mind

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Brand Marketing Magic

The third of Arthur C. Clarke’s three laws of prediction is his most famous: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Many would argue that this describes marketing nowadays. Marketing technologies, it could be said, have become so advanced that brand marketing is now indistinguishable from magic. If true, that’s an idea – or a metaphor, really – suggestive of potentialities in modern marketing that have yet to be fully explored.

But there is a missing piece in Clarke’s third law. He doesn’t say what he means by magic. Obviously, he doesn’t mean a whiz-bang Vegas show full of pyrotechnics and spooky visitations. That’s show business not technology. So it’s helpful to begin by nailing down the notion of magic before deciding whether Clarke’s law suggests anything relevant for brand marketers.

Magicians are notoriously cagey with outsiders about their craft. But magician Alex Stone has given us an insider’s look at how magic works in his new book, Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks & the Hidden Powers of the Mind. The most important thing up every magician’s sleeve is something well-known to psychologists – inattentional blindness, or the inability of the human mind to process anything that is not the specific and direct focus of attention at that moment. We know that magician’s use misdirection to fool us, but generally speaking, we fail to realize just how powerful this is. Think of the famous viral video of Daniel J. Simons’ Monkey Business Illusion, or study the research about driving while talking on a cell phone or about attempting to multitask with any attention-grabbing technology.

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