What Martin Lindstrom calls Buyology is the subconscious thoughts, feelings, and desires that drive the purchasing decisions we make every day. He believes the future of marketing is to truly and completely understand the thoughts, feelings, motivations, needs, and desires of consumers.
We Connect With Emotions
Lindstrom says that because emotions are how our brains encode things of value, a brand that engages us emotionally will succeed every single time. Marketing to the brain isn’t about implanting ideas in our brains, it’s about uncovering what’s already inside our heads: the emotional and irrational associations we make with products.
It’s a Kind of Magic
Lindstrom suggests that the more unpredictable the world becomes, the more we aim for a sense of control over our lives. One way to do this is to adopt behaviors or rituals to gain some structure. Lindstrom states that brands which have some sort of ritual attached to them are much more effective than those that don’t. We find comfort in having a favorite shoe or signature perfume.
Why Did I choose you?
The real rationale behind our buying choices is very often the result of a lifetime of associations that we aren’t consciously aware of. Lindstrom calls these associations somatic markers. How do these markers form? Lindstrom suggests it’s easy and inexpensive to create a somatic marker in consumers’ brains. It’s all about the unexpected. Humor can create somatic markers. Fear creates a particularly strong marker and many advertisers are all too happy to take advantage of our stressed-out, insecure, increasingly vulnerable natures.
One memorable somatic marker was created for the promotion of Spider-Man 3. In certain men’s bathrooms, Sony set up urinals seven feet in the air the rest of the row of urinals. Next to it were the simple words: “Spiderman 3 . . . Coming Soon.”
Selling to Our Senses
According to Lindstrom, visual images are far more effective, and more memorable, when they are coupled with another sense such as touch, sound, or smell. When we see and smell something we like at the same time various regions of our brains light up together. When a pleasant fragrance matches up with an equally appealing and congruous visual image, we not only perceive it as more pleasant, we’re also more likely to remember it, but if the two are incongruous, we might as well have never seen it. According to Lindstrom, tomorrow’s retail world will have distinct smells and sights. It won’t be black and white but in vivid color. This assault on your senses will be more effective in winning your mind, your loyalty, and your dollars than you ever thought possible.