- 🧠 Psychology Sundays; How To Make Your Products Stick
🧠 Psychology Sundays; How To Make Your Products Stick
Welcome back to the 20th edition of Brandish
Your guide to crafting an iconic brand
I hope you’re having an extraordinary weekend and ready to crush this week.
In today’s newsletter, we’ll discuss some unconventional psychological hacks to make your customers more “sticky”.
So grab your Brez; let's dive straight into it!
How Rituals and superstitions craft buying behaviours…
Rituals and superstitions are all around us.
…. Rituals help us form emotional connections with brands and products. They make the buying experience more memorable.
You might wonder though what rituals and superstitions have to do with what we buy as consumers.
For one thing, products and brands that have rituals associated with them are much “stickier” than those that don’t.
In an unsettling, fast-moving world, we’re all searching for stability and familiarity, and product rituals give us a sense of comfort and belonging.
Rituals help us differentiate one brand from another. And once we find a ritual or brand we like, isn’t there a lot of comfort in having the same multivitamin daily, or brewing the same coffee brand every morning?
As humans, we resent change, and once we find something that we feel familiar and comfortable with, it’s hard to make a change.
There’s just something so appealing about this sense of stability that consumers have almost a religious sense of loyalty to their favourite products and brands.
Indeed buying a product is more often a ritualized behavior than a conscious decision. How many times have you seen women line up in queues to get their hands on the newest anti wrinkle, smile-line-eliminating creams?
Simply because it’s a ritual they - and their mothers and grandmothers before them - have always followed.
Let's face it, we humans are creatures of habit and once we find ourselves doing something - it becomes a ritual for us.
Now, you might wonder, “That’s great to know, but how can we apply this DTC?”
I was going to come to that now…
As we established above, once consumers get into a habit of doing something - it’s very difficult to change that.
So, when you’re thinking of new product launches or ideas, think of creating iterations around the existing product itself.
Let me explain…
Throughout 2022, we launched around 26 different kinds of flavours of our hero product - collagen powder.
We saw a great majority of our customers buying and repeat-buying this product so instead of creating a whole new product category and asking them to change their routine and whatnot - we just launched new flavors to make it exciting for them.
This is what even Oodie has done a lot. This is called having a product flywheel.
Oodie launched several collaborations and designs of their one hero product - a wearable blanket.
Now, of course, they did launch new products as well but it is more of an option that their customers can explore.
And this is what I’d encourage you to do as well. Start thinking creatively as to how you can make the current product more exciting for the customer without changing its core features.
… this is not to say that you shouldn't launch new product categories. We have done it, but it’s more so to get new customers/ demographics into the door than try to upsell to the existing customers.
What does religion and consumer psychology have in common?
There was a study that was done to analyze the relationship between religion and affinity toward strong brands.
It was discovered that when people viewed images associated with strong brands - like Apple, Harley Davidson, Ferrari, and others - their brains registered the exact same activity as they did when they viewed religious images.
Just to give you some context there was another study that showed religious images produced feelings of joy, serenity, and love in the brain.
The bottom line, there was no difference between the way the subjects’ brains reacted to powerful brands and the way they reacted to religious icons and figures.
Well, this makes sense since there are a lot of parallels between strong brands and religions.
Let me give you a few:
1). Sensory appeal: Close your eyes and when you walk into a religious institution, you’re immediately enveloped in the ambiance of the building, the smell of the air, and just the environment overall.
Products and brands evoke feelings and associations based on how they feel, look, or smell.
We buy these products for these distinct features that just make them stand out.
2). Storytelling: Almost every religion is built upon hundreds and hundreds of stories which get all of us tied into it and ultimately build faith.
The same goes for products and brands. Every successful brand has heaps of stories attached to it.
Take for instance Disney, the greatest storyteller of the century. When you first think of Disney, you’re reminded of all the colourful characters from Mickey Mouse to Tinkerbell to Jack Sparrow.
Or consider Whole Foods’ decision to sell a limited number of bags inscribed with the oversized words “I’m Not a Plastic Bag”. If they’re not plastic bags, what are they?
Sensing a story they could complete with their meaning, consumers lined up in droves and the bags sold out almost immediately.
As a DTC brand what you can learn from all religions is: first build a strong brand.
Now, like anything this takes time and is built upon huge amounts of trust and faith. You need to build a great product that actually helps people and provides them value.
But, once you have that you can start using the practices I mentioned above like storytelling, a sense of mystery (attached to every religion), sensory appeal, and many others.
Every successful brand follows at least one of the above-mentioned practices which allows all their customers to get tied into it and form a huge community just like any other religion.
Anyway, this is all for today.
Thanks for reading along
As always - thanks for reading along.
I appreciate you and look forward to serving you again on Sunday.