If you're a salesperson, you can likely attest to the fact that selling is more difficult today than it's ever been. Landing that meeting with a prospect is nearly impossible because we're all dealing with endless distractions and overtaxed schedules. And when you do land that meeting, you must often overcome their psychological feelings of choice overload and aversion to making the wrong choice. To put it simply, we (and prospective buyers) are overwhelmed.
These twin forces — choice overload and loss aversion — can paralyze our prospects from making decisions, which can cause us to lose time and sales.
To be successful, a salesperson must first recognize these feelings in their prospective buyer. Then, I believe they can make two simple psychological shifts to increase their chances of success:
• Stop selling to the person, and start selling to their mindstate.
• Add a few of what I call "psychological nudges" to your interactions to make it more likely the prospect will take the desired action.
The original movie made about $970 million at the worldwide box office in 1994. When you adjust for inflation, that’s about $1.67 billion, giving the two films a combined, eye-popping haul of $3.17 billion in today’s money. Even if you don’t adjust the 1994 earnings for inflation, The Lion King (original and remake) is one of the most profitable film properties of all time.
Millions of parents have watched the circle of life unfold with their children, myself included. I took my son Nicholas to see the new film and we both loved it. How could you not?
After I saw the remake, I kept coming back to the same question: aside from the joy these movies have brought us (and the buckets of cash they’ve brought Disney), what can they teach us about using behavioral psychology to drive consumer behavior, also known as mindstate marketing? We’ve already looked at mindstate marketing through the lens of Game of Thrones and The Bachelorette. In this article, we’ll turn our attention to the Pride Lands to examine Scar and Simba’s mindstates and understand how it drove their actions throughout the movie.
But first, if you’re new to this series, let’s start with an overview of mindstates.
If you’re in the world of design, you likely know that customer experience and user experience is critical. Whether you’re designing an interactive art exhibit or building a small business website, it’s important to understand the entire experience and thoughtfully design it so that it’s usable and easy and connects with your customers.
As the founder of a behavioral design consultancy firm, I believe if you want to nail customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX) with any experience, the key is utilizing behavioral design. But first, it's important to understand the keyword in both CX and UX: experience. I think of an experience as a series of peak moments. When you design for these peak moments, you can create an experience that is engaging and memorable.
Well, there you have it: America’s sweetheart Hannah Beast chose to give Jed the final rose, he proposed, and they’ll assumedly live happily ever after. We were left in suspense after the first half of the finale gave us a new vision for “windmills” (and spawned a thousand tweets about dog food jingles) but failed to crown a winner. Hannah and Jed appear happy together, but who knows where things will end up after all that's happened this season. Would anybody be surprised if next week’s tabloids had pictures of Peter and Hannah snuggled up?
But for now, Hannah has given her heart to Jed. Did Hannah’s decision come as a shock to you? Well, if you read the first article in this series, it shouldn’t have been too shocking that Jed won, as he did the best job of appealing to Hannah’s Optimistic Achievement mindstate throughout the season. This made him more appealing to Hannah on a psychological level and ultimately earned him the final rose.
For those who missed the first article or are new to this concept, a mindstate is a temporary state of mind that finds us under high emotional arousal, relying more on subconscious factors, and therefore more susceptible to influence. We previously discussed how, given her background, Hannah is driven by the achievement motivation, which I define as “the feeling of being successful, victorious, and proud by overcoming obstacles.” How she approaches her goals (her regulatory approach) is with an optimistic focus, meaning she’s not afraid to take big risks to get what she wants.
I want to take a look at how Jed appealed to Hannah’s specific subconscious mindstate throughout the season, but first, we need to talk about Luke P. How did a guy who is so clearly unhinged manage to stick around for as long as he did, even coming back from elimination? Let’s dig into it.
With Game of Thrones ended, the American public has now turned its attention to the second greatest television series of the past decade plus: The Bachelor! What started as a scripted (ahem, “reality”) dating show in 2002 has spawned two spinoffs: Bachelor in Paradise and The Bachelorette, which started its 15th season on May 13.
Like every season, this year’s crop of hunky, love-hungry, and attention-starved men will compete for the affection of Hannah Brown, this season’s bachelorette. During the first episode, you’ll see contestants ride up on horses, dress as knights, wear funny masks, or try out cringeworthy one-liners to make a good first impression.
But what if these extravagant gestures were totally unnecessary? What if you could win the heart of the bachelorette simply by knowing her mindstate? For those new to this concept, a mindstate is a temporary state of mind that finds us under high emotional arousal, relying more on nonconscious factors, and more susceptible to influence.
At long last, the show that’s been eight years in the making reached its conclusion this past Sunday with a surprising and somewhat controversial series finale. Regardless of how you felt about the way Game of Thrones ended, we now know who will rule over the seven—excuse me, six—kingdoms and what characters made it out alive.
A few weeks ago, if I was a betting man, I would’ve placed a large (losing) bet on Cersei Lannister being the one to sit on the Iron Throne. Crushed by a cave-in, are you kidding me? Who could’ve even seen that coming? Furthermore, who could’ve anticipated the Mother of Dragons turning heel and killing thousands to finally reach the throne?
Well, if you had looked at Daenerys Taragaryen’s mindstate, it could’ve been you.
In the final installment of the three-part series where we’ve used Game of Thrones to understand mindstate marketing, we’re going to focus on the breaker of chains herself, Daenerys Taragaryen, and how she was psychologically driven throughout the series by another of our more prevalent mindstates: the optimistic achievement mindstate.
As a frequent speaker on applying neurological and behavioral science to marketing, I often get asked some version of the following question: “Why do people make this stuff so difficult to understand and explain?”
I totally get it. As the CEO of a behavioral research and design consultancy that helps brands understand and change consumer behavior, I’ve become adept at integrating behavioral science and psychology into creative analogies.
But it wasn’t always that way. When I started my journey into understanding human decision making, I muddled through academic journals and brand consultant decks, trying to make sense of jargon like “hyperbolic discounting” and “framing effect.” I tried to boil down these heady, theoretical concepts and present them in an approachable way, but I often saw glazed eyes on every audience member who heard my presentation. They couldn’t make sense of what I was saying or see how it could help them psychologically optimize their marketing.
So, I kept working. After a year, I had an epiphany one summer afternoon while planning a road trip with my son. What I realized is that we can better understand consumer decision making — and even learn to influence it — by looking at it as the planning of a family road trip.
With the Battle of Winterfell behind us and Starbucks making its presence felt in this week’s episode, the final season of Game of Thrones is taking shape. As we near the finish line, it’s becoming clear that the three main contenders for the Iron Throne are Jon Snow, Cersei Lannister, and Daenerys Targaryen, all of whom are still alive.
On a show that has no problem killing off characters—be it an entire Dothraki hoard or Leanna Mormont, the baddest 13-year-old queen to ever rule—nothing is ever certain, but it does appear likely that Jon, Cersei, or Daenerys will be the last one standing.
This article is the second in our series of looking at behavioral psychology through the lens of Game of Thrones characters. Last month, we saw how Jon Snow exemplifies the Cautious Belonging mindstate and the impact it had on his decision-making.
In this installment, we turn our attention to the manipulating, evil Cersei Lannister, who embodies the Optimistic Empowerment mindstate. In case you missed the first article, let’s start with a brief mindstate primer before diving into Cersei’s twisted story.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know we’re about to start the final season of one of the most popular TV series ever: Game of Thrones. Since the show’s debut in 2011, we’ve watched heroes and villains play a sophisticated game of chess to win the Iron Throne. This month, we’ll begin the final season to answer that question.
Aside from the rush we’ll all get from watching this play out, what can we as marketers learn about behavioral psychology from the key characters in the game?
Specifically, how to drive consumer behavior—otherwise known as mindstate marketing.
In this article, the first of an ongoing series, we’ll look at how Jon Snow, arguably the most beloved character in Game of Thrones, exemplifies the Cautious Belonging mindstate.
As the founder of a behavioral research and design consultancy, I spend most of my days thinking about behavior design and how it can be applied to marketing.
For those not familiar with the term, behavior design is the process of applying the latest neurological and behavioral insights to the development of customer interactions to psychologically influence and change consumer behavior.
It’s the recipe behind today’s best marketing—marketing that gets people to act.
I’m used to introducing this concept to our clients when they approach our company about finding a more effective way to connect their brand with consumers.
So imagine my surprise when someone approached me about behavior design.