Related Service Skill-Building Workshops Learn More
Subscribe to the blog

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

You want to apply psychology to your brand. You think having a more emotional brand is probably the way to go. But let’s be honest, the psychology of branding and all the social science principles swirling around about it can be challenging to grasp, esoteric, theoretical, or just downright silly.

It’s true. Some of it is silly. Parts need better explanations and tools. However, lost in all that academic-speak are a few ideas that you could apply to your brand today – and you may already be using some of them without knowing it.

Tip #1: Demonstrate you understand your customers as people using empathy

You might feel like you know this one pretty well, especially since it’s an essential part of every relationship in your life. But we often hear brands tout the importance of having empathy for their users while still calling them users. If you want to inspire your team to see your customers as people, start calling them as much. Users get analyzed in data. People, consumers, moms, wine aficionados, and even nicknames for different personas such as “Obsessive Oscar” will subtly shift your team’s relationship to your customers. For example, one of our clients, a developer, kept referring to their home buyers as occupants. We encouraged them to think of them as homeowners, families, dreamers – anything to bring humanity back into their language around the people spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to occupy the structures they built.

Tip #2: Make sense of the data for them with stories

We often think that data is what people need to make decisions. But the research on persuasion and decision-making tells us the exact opposite. Most people don’t make their decisions on data. They make decisions based on the coherence of the story in their mind. Incomplete or hard-to-imagine stories create resistance. Evocative and engaging stories create momentum. Take a look at your communications and sales materials. How many bullet points are there? How many “%” follow how many numbers on the page? Data is important. Stories with data are even more vital. But data without stories eventually become meaningless to the people you want to influence with it. Bring that data to life by weaving stories with it. Help your customers make sense of what that means to them and how it will impact their lives.

Tip #3: Show them they’re more than a sale with thoughtfulness

One of the most challenging things to accomplish for most brands is building trust with their audience. Yet, trust-building can be one of the least expensive things we do. Beyond offering deals, creating emotional campaigns about the current issue of the day, or touting your donations to charity, show your customers you’re thinking about them. This approach can elevate satisfaction scores for any brand. Consider the following study conducted on the relationship between guests and their waiters. The study tested whether tip percentages changed between three scenarios. In the first scenario, the waiter brought the check with one mint per person. The second scenario saw the waiter bring two mints per person. Finally, the third scenario tested the impact of mindfulness. In this case, the waiter brought one mint per person and turned to leave. Then the waiter stopped a moment and offered the group a second mint for each person. The guests consistently gave waiters in the third scenario significantly more of a tip than either of the other two groups because they felt like the waiter was more thoughtful. So, whether it’s a note of gratitude from an actual person in your organization, an extra sticker in the package you send them, or a more customized email and thank you page, be sure to show your customers you care about them.

We’ll stop there for now, but we’ll come back to this topic again and again. If you’d like to learn about other ways to apply psychology to your brand and your organization, check out the training sessions we provide that focus on this very thing. If you’re interested, we can always build a custom session for your team.