BRAIN FRIENDLY BRANDING®

8 ways to feed the feeling brain what it craves in order to prefer your brand

The new marketing frontier:
Going beyond the rational brief

In the past, marketing has been pointed primarily at our rational minds. Unique Selling Points (USP’s) and Single-Minded Propositions have been the main focus of our selling briefs.

But as we learn more about the brain and how it works, we find that 90% of our day-to-day decision making actually takes place in the subconscious mind.  In other words, we make decisions in the pre-conscious part of our brains, then we rationalize these decisions later, in the conscious 10% of our brains!

This means that consumers’ subconscious associations (the memories, impressions, experiences, stories, facts, hear-say, etc.) ultimately determine which brand will be chosen over another. To consumers, it feels like they’re “going with their gut”— but “gut instinct” is actually just the process of following the advice of the subconscious mind.

A “brain friendly” approach to branding

The implication for marketers is clear. Brands must become expert at speaking to the feeling brain, not just the rationally-oriented 10%. Today’s brand strategies must evolve from a strictly cognitive approach that identifies the most salient selling point, to a more holistic approach that reinforces the brand’s message intuitively (including now the subconscious 90%).

Introducing the Brain Friendly Branding® principles

Brain Friendly Branding® represents the cutting edge of brand strategy. It teaches brands how to communicate in sync with the natural operating system of the brain (the subconscious 90% as well as the conscious 10%). It shows brands how to reinforce their promise behaviorally and experientially. The result is a brand that consumers will find both intuitively and rationally appealing.

Survival and self preservation are the brain’s number one concern. Brands that prove to be genuine, purposeful, and true will be instinctively preferred.

What is your brand’s authentic purpose?

Humans are hard wired to learn best through stories.  They help us make sense of the world and engage us far more emotionally than facts alone.

What are your brand’s most interesting stories (of the founder, employees, ingredients or products themselves)? 

We’re certainty seeking creatures, naturally driven towards the familiar and predictable – we stay clear of situations with uncertain outcomes. The brands with the most consistently satisfying experiences are the winners in today’s marketplace.

How can you guarantee an effortless and consistently satisfying experience across the customer journey?

We’re biologically conditioned to process the world first and foremost through sight.  We process pictures 60,000 times faster than text.  Communicating visually means your brand will be quickly and intuitively understood.

What colors, fonts, shapes, images, icons should be used to communicate your brand’s essence? 

We’re social animals and have a deep seated desire to belong; early on, our survival as a species was dependent upon acceptance by our “tribe”.  We love to take actions to help us feel like part of a group.

What brand mantras, behaviors, rituals, can help build a sense of community among your “members”? 

Our brain processes everything we experience through our senses.  And since senses bypass reason, they connect instantly with our feelings.  Marketers who build synergy between messaging and the senses will create the most powerful response possible.

What scents, sounds, textures, tastes can add sensory dimension to your brand? 

Because our instincts are always on alert for potential threats…we’re pre-wired to be aware of change.  As a result, novelty gets our attention.  However, too much “surprise” may cause us to be wary.  The sweet spot is presenting a familiar experience in an updated way. 

What improvements or updates should be employed to help your brand stay fresh and up-to-date?

Though all evidence suggests that emotions drive behavior, our conscious mind will ultimately seek rational validation for the emotional decisions our subconscious mind makes – so be sure to give the thinking brain it’s due!

What are the tangible “proof points”, that when combined, make your brand uniquely credible and distinctive? 

Get better marketing results

With the Brain Friendly Brand® blueprint in place, you’ll have laid the foundation to creating the greatest overall customer experience possible for your customers – leading to all important word of mouth recommendations and skyrocketing Net Promoter Scores. Most importantly, any brand stakeholder or supplier will now be able to execute in-sync behaviors, actions and expressions (from product development to marketing, to internal training and recruiting practices) which leads to what we like to call “intuitive brand love.” Passionately loyal customers and skyrocketing sales are sure to follow. (See Apple, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Google, Soul Cycle, SweetGreens, Warby Parker, Lululemon for a glimpse of intuitive brand love in action.)

If you’d like to learn more about activating your authentic narrative, selling visually, engaging the senses, creating belonging rituals, novelty and proof points—or simply building a brand strategy that works the way the brain works—please contact megan@wearethegolab.com or betsy@wearethegolab.com. Your customers will love you for it.

“New times require new tools. THE GO LAB’s Brain Friendly Branding® is
exactly the kind of holistic approach that clients need to effectively
compete in today’s rapidly changing marketplace.”

—CHRIS PERKINS, MANAGING DIRECTOR, BERNSTEIN-REIN AGENCY