- 🧠 How Dr. Squatch, True Classic, and GAP Are Tricking Your Brain
🧠 How Dr. Squatch, True Classic, and GAP Are Tricking Your Brain
Welcome back to the 16th edition of Brandish
Your guide to crafting an iconic brand
I hope you’re having an extraordinary weekend and are ready to crush the week ahead.
In today’s newsletter, I’ll continue discussing the psychology behind why consumers make purchasing decisions and start from where we left off.
So - without further ado.
Kick up your feet, grab your Brez, and let’s dive into it
“I want to look like that GAP mannequin…”
Before I explain what I am trying to convey here - let’s do a quick thought exercise together.
Imagine you’re passing the front window of a Gap store. You notice a shapely mannequin wearing some slick jeans, a simple summary white blouse and a red bandanna.
The mannequin looks great - slim, sexy, and confident.
Think about what you’d think at that moment…
Subconsciously you’d probably think “I could look like that too, if I just bought that outfit. I could be like him/her.”
At least that’s what your brain’s telling you whether you’re aware of it or not.
… and what’s the next thing you do?
You march into that Gap store, whip out your VISA, and walk out fifteen minutes later with a pair of jeans, a white blouse, and a red bandanna.
It’s actually a well-studied phenomenon called “mirror neurons”.
They are neurons that fire when an action is being performed or observed.
That’s exactly what caused you to unconsciously imitate and purchase what was in front of you in that thought exercise.
These mirror neurons are so strong that they change a consumer’s behaviour towards businesses.
Don’t believe me?
Two researchers created something called a Smiling study to see how joy or happiness affects shoppers’ behaviour.
They asked fifty-five volunteers to imagine they’d just entered an imaginary travel agency.
Once there, they had to interact with one of three women: a smiling women, a despondent women, and a woman who seemed completely fed up.
After compiling the results, almost 60% of the volunteers claimed to have a more positive experience with the smiling agent.
And not only that…
… they also showed to have produced a more positive attitude towards the business overall.
The volunteers who imagined interacting with a smiling agent reported they'd be more likely to keep on patronizing the company.
You see how powerful mirror neurons at play are…
Now, how can you apply this to your DTC brand?
Well - the answer is simple..
I don’t know how many times I have emphasized it but product images are KEY.
Based on the results of the study above, that’s why you see so many top-tier brands have aesthetic lifestyle images of “happy” people using their products.
And you should too…
Smiling people, whether it be online or IRL, transfers their emotions to us (due to mirror neurons).
Again it may not generate an immediate ROI, but it’s like a flywheel that compounds onto itself.
Also, investing in good product shots (showing every detail aesthetically) is key because it gives that premium feeling to the consumer. Due to the mirror neurons at work, they unconsciously associate themselves with products of high quality… which must mean; they are of high quality
So the key takeaway here is: invest in high-quality studio shots of your product and be intentional on how the models are portraying your product.
This will pay off in the long run.
PS: Our go-to photo studio is soona studios. They’re the absolute best for product imagery.
The power of somatic markers…
Now, you might ask me, “What the hell is a somatic marker?”
To understand this - let's imagine you’re in a grocery store aisle and shopping for peanut butter.
You stand there for less than 2 seconds and just move ahead with Jif.
Why is that so?
As a child, you must have seen Jif a lot in your household which made you draw towards it even more - since you trust it more.
These are what are known as somatic markers…
They are subconscious conversations that go on in our heads every time we choose a product over another. But they are rarely uttered aloud and last less than two seconds - making them unconscious decisions.
Our brains like to preserve energy/glucose and therfore- it relies on these instant shortcuts that it has created due to past experiences/ associations.
The way it works is it summons and scans incredible amounts of facts, memories, and emotions and squeezes them into a rapid response that dictates what you put in your shopping cart.
In truth, your brand preference has very little to do with the product itself but with the somatic markers the brand has carefully created.
Somatic markers tend to be more memorable and lasting than all other associations we form in our lives.
This is why advertisers - to hook their audience - create surprising, even shocking associations between two wildly disparate things.
Let me give you a DTC example.
Probably, how you'll attract more women by wearing that daily.
This is because through their consistent messaging around this angle, they’ve created that association between two completely unrelated things - a bar of soap and women.
And then guess what you do next?
The same thing applies to True Classic tees.
Trust me, I stockpiled a bunch of them just for that same reason… validation from women. We’ve all seen those “oooh, you look so nice in that T-Shirt” ads.
Let’s be honest; Who doesn’t want that?
So the key takeaway here is: think about how you can associate your brand, through constant advertising/messaging, with a wildly unrelated thing.
Most brand guys are afraid it may hurt their “brand’s image”.
Trust me, it is these wild associations that make your brand memorable among the thousands of brands competing for the same eyeballs.
Why do you think Obvi stands out so much as compared to our competitors?
It’s because of the wild usage of its PINK color
This is the power of somatic markers…
Anyway, kept it short and simple today as a continuation of the previous part.
Hope you enjoyed it and got some actionable insights from this!
Thanks for reading along
As always, thanks a lot for reading along.
I appreciate you and look forward to seeing you again next week