By Rutu Mody-Kamdar

Have you ever met someone and felt like they were right for you? Someone with whom you feel an intuitive and instinctive connection? You are probably unable to explain why you think exactly the way you think, but something about the person or the situation feels “right” to you.

You’ve probably felt the same for brands too, without realizing it. By comparing brands of cars or choosing a restaurant for dinner, or just buying a brand of shampoo, some brands seem right and others don’t quite do the job. While you may think of yourself as someone who makes fairly rational and knowledgeable choices, there is a web of emotions that sweeps through your decision making when you are unaware. Remember that familiar butterfly tingling feeling of hope, excitement, or a sense of comfort and calm or that sense of dread or worry? These are signals your body sends you to point you in a particular direction.

This psycho-physiological activity which influences decision-making is commonly referred to as “gut feeling”. The “gut feeling” is literally the brain talking to neurons in the lining of the stomach. This is why the intestine is often called the second brain. Parallel functioning that helps you make decisions using emotional heuristics – or to put it simply, a shortcut that allows the brain to make a decision quickly without overthinking it. Faced with information, the emotional part of the brain activates and processes data in a fifth of the time it takes for the thinking part of the brain.

A hunch is often equated with a sixth sense or a hunch. This sudden flash of insight from a place deeper within inspires people to make decisions with confidence. Also called rapid cognition, the adaptive unconscious, System 1, or intuition, all play an important role in defining emotional patterns of decision-making. Most often, intuition is ruled by something that has already been experienced or has some connection with subconscious memory.

In the book ‘The Happiness Hypothesis’ by Jonathan Haidt, an interesting metaphor is used to describe the intuitive capacities of the mind. Imagine an elephant and a rider. The rider is the rational mind responsible for logical and conscious thought, while the elephant is the intuitive mind. The relative size of the rider and the elephant is an integral part of this metaphor. The little rider can guide the elephant, but the rider cannot control it if the elephant wants to go in a particular direction. The rider believes the elephant is under his control, but wrongly. The rider is not sure what the elephant is thinking. The elephant represents the vast intuitive or subconscious mind that most of us do not directly control.

Traditional marketing and consumer behavior have rejected the intuitive model of decision making. It has been assumed that almost all decisions are made rationally by realizing a need, looking for alternatives, and reaching a logical and rational conclusion. However, research has shown that people don’t necessarily rate brands as options. They automatically orient themselves towards one and then find ways to justify their decision. Consider the last time you went out to buy a watch. It’s quite natural that you subconsciously decided on which brand to buy without even knowing it. Your careful research and evaluation of the various alternatives in the store was nothing more than eye drops to make you feel more in control of your decision.

Modern marketers need to understand the power of intuitive or instinct-based thinking of brands. With very little research in the area, there is a lot of guesswork about what works and what doesn’t. But here are some ground rules that can be used to bring emotional understanding and influence decision making in a favorable way:

Familiarize yourself

Research has shown that familiarity is one of the most important ways to create an intuitive and instinctive brand reaction. This is why making the brand visible and familiar is an easy way to create a positive predisposition. People are pre-wired to have positive feelings about what is familiar to them and to feel more connected to something they have seen frequently.

Use heuristics or symbols
Using the right colors / characters / packaging is also at the heart of decision making. For example, marketers use blue for confidence and yellow for hunger etc. It’s common for consumers to use heuristics or simple shortcuts that help them make decisions faster. Using eye-catching and simple messages and jingles also helps build memorization. These trigger positive and intuitive associations.

Use the anchor method
When making a decision, it is very common for consumers to anchor their decision by comparing brand value with other brands. For example, when shopping for a bottle of wine, if you are initially faced with a ridiculously high-priced bottle of wine, to begin with you will likely settle for a slightly cheaper bottle, but not the cheapest one. from the collection. Anchoring is a type of cognitive bias where the mere presence of the higher price had a significant impact on the final decision made.

Marketers need to understand the intuitive mind and try to understand the rational mind. It may seem elusive and hazy, but in reality the intuitive sense is quite alive and active and waiting to be awakened in the right way.

(The author is the founder of Jigsaw Brand Consultants. The opinions expressed are personal.)

  1. What is intuition?
    This psycho-physiological activity which influences decision-making is commonly referred to as “gut feeling”. The “gut feeling” is literally the brain talking to neurons in the lining of the stomach. This is why the intestine is often called the second brain. Parallel operation that helps you make decisions using emotional heuristics – or quite simply, a shortcut that allows the brain to make a decision quickly without overthinking it. Faced with information, the emotional part of the brain activates and processes data in a fifth of the time it takes for the thinking part of the brain.
  2. How can familiarity help create an intuitive attraction to a brand?
    Research has shown that familiarity is one of the most important ways to create an intuitive and instinctive brand reaction. This is why making the brand visible and familiar is an easy way to create a positive predisposition. People are pre-wired to have positive feelings about what is familiar to them and to feel more connected to something they have seen frequently.
  1. What is intuition?
    This psycho-physiological activity which influences decision-making is commonly referred to as “gut feeling”. The “gut feeling” is literally the brain talking to neurons in the lining of the stomach. This is why the intestine is often called the second brain. Parallel operation that helps you make decisions using emotional heuristics – or quite simply, a shortcut that allows the brain to make a decision quickly without overthinking it. Faced with information, the emotional part of the brain activates and processes data in a fifth of the time it takes for the thinking part of the brain.
  2. How can familiarity help create an intuitive attraction to a brand?
    Research has shown that familiarity is one of the most important ways to create an intuitive and instinctive brand reaction. This is why making the brand visible and familiar is an easy way to create a positive predisposition. People are pre-wired to have positive feelings about what is familiar to them and to feel more connected to something they have seen frequently.
  3. How do colors and symbols help create an intuitive attraction to a brand?
    Using the right colors / characters / packaging is also at the heart of decision making. For example, marketers use blue for confidence and yellow for hunger etc. It’s common for consumers to use heuristics or simple shortcuts that help them make decisions faster. Using eye-catching and simple messages and jingles also helps build memorization. These trigger positive and intuitive associations.


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