Psychology is a fascinating science of mind and behaviour
Whenever I meet someone for the first time, the first reaction I get is nearly always the same – “Oh you are a psychologist I should be careful what I say” or “Wow can you tell me something about my personality” or “Well it must be really easy for you to tell what makes people tick”.
For starters, being a psychologist has some advantages but it doesn’t mean that I can read peoples’ minds. Nor that any other psychologist can. What we psychologists can do is analyse and understand human behaviour so we can share the insights and provide answers.
The nature of human beings is complex so too the nature of consumers
Finding answers to what, how, where and when consumers buy is not that difficult. Look into the various data insights and you’ll get the answers.
The question is how do you answer the WHY?
Do you really know why your customers buy the things they buy? Do you know what attracts them to a competitors’ brand but, by the same token, detracts them for another? What drives people? And how can you influence human behaviour?
I think you already know this - the world of the modern consumers is filled with high expectations of brands.
Yes, they expect speed, personalised experiences, convenience and basically a seamless delivery in fulfilling their needs.
Nowadays, consumers have access to many more options than they used to, giving them more control to demand products and services that meet their needs. So you need to act quickly and grab their attention before your competitor.
Q&A in Consumer Psychology
Making an impression to win consumers hearts and minds is easier if you have answers to different questions that focus on consumer behaviour.
And what better discipline that uses psychological insight and research into human mind and behaviour than Consumer Psychology.
As a Consumer Psychologist I study how thoughts, beliefs, emotions, perceptions and biases influence how consumers buy and form relationships with brands and their products.
There are many questions about the inner workings of human behaviour such as:
How consumers choose one product over another?
What motivates them to stay loyal to a brand?
Are consumers’ buying decisions rational or emotional?
How personal factors and individual differences affect people's buying choices
What can you do to ensure that you can give your customers what they need and want?
Use of psychological principles to attract and engage customers
To find answers to these and many other questions, Consumer Psychology applies principles generated from different psychology areas such as cognitive, behavioural, social, and neuropsychology.
For example, teaming up cognitive psychology with neuroscience allows us to understand that when consumers buy things they do it more with their hearts than their minds. As emotions play a major role in our lives, this of course means that consumers’ decisions are less logical and more emotional.
With this knowledge you’ll be able to not just conceptualise and develop attention catching advertising, but also to emphasize the outcome consumers can achieve with a particular product.
This in turn increases the likelihood of remembering your brand advertisement and motivating consumers to action.
Optimise your “wow” factor
Let’s also not forget that consumers’ expectations have shifted - they expect something more than just engagement with your brand.
They want experiences – not just any experience but immersive ones that awaken their different senses. Whether you are selling a kitchen cleaner or a luxury item, selling product and experiences at the same time is what attracts consumers.
From product design to pricing to communication to the thinking process of consumers and their customer journey, consumer psychology focuses on these processes in the context of studying the human mind and behaviour.
It offers practical steps to tap into the unconscious and emotionally driven consumer behaviour while at the same time helping you to make deeper connections and forge stronger relationships with your customers.
Remember – your brand’s success is defined by your customer!
Zana Apostolova is a Business & Consumer Psychologist