Imagine that you have a product that you want to sell to the public.
But before you go all goo-goo ga-ga for it and spend your entire savings on bringing it to the market, you decide that you would like know beforehand if consumers will buy it or not.
So as brilliant as you are, you decide to use one of marketing oldest tools for gaining consumer research, the survey.
(Que the dramatic music here)
With a few strokes of the pen you’ve put together a nice questionnaire that will see if consumers are looking for a product such as the one you have in mind.
You issue out the survey.
And the waiting begins.
Finally, you get to see if your idea has legs.
And the survey says….Yes, consumers would be interested in purchasing a product like what you have in mind.
You give the green light to go full steam ahead.
Your product goes from concept to something you can actually touch and feel.
Now it’s time to get those consumers to start purchasing, so your product hits the shelves.
But something happens.
In fact consumers are looking right past your product.
The reaction to your product is not what those surveys said that you should expect.
So how could those consumer surveys been so far off?
It’s not hard to understand why this happens time and time again with consumer surveys.
Scientists have known the answer to this problem for years.
And it happens because when most people are taking and answering surveys, they do so from a rational state of mind. The part of their brain that makes rational decisions kicks in and gives you a rational answer to your survey question.
But then something else happens when consumers are at the point of purchase
Now when that same consumer is standing in the store and looking to make a purchase, that rational part of their mind that they used to answer your survey, it doesn’t kick in. What happens instead is that your purchasing decision is made by your non-conscious mind. Then your conscious mind kicks in and rationalizes that decision you made with your non-conscious mind.
And your product is left sitting on the shelf. What a bummer.
Understand this about consumers.
Marketing practices that ask consumers about what they would or would not buy, or what they would or would not do will only give you bad data.
Consumers can’t really tell you why they do what they do because the decision to purchase or not to purchase takes place on a non-conscious level and rationalized only after the fact.
And although consumers can’t tell you why they do what they do, you actually still can influence their decisions.
Here’s some really useful information for you about the little piece of grey matter that’s sitting on top of your shoulders.
It responds to a couple of things. With one of those things being familiarity. Familiarity influences you much more than you might think that it does. Familiarity gives you certainty, which in turn limits perceived risk.
But a even bigger benefit comes with familiarity.
Familiarity leads to liking. Studies have shown that if someone likes you then they are much more likely to purchase from you.
In the survey example, once the consumer is in the store and ready to make a purchase, their is no like factor working for you. Purchasing your product comes with a risk. And your mind doesn’t like risk.
So how do you leverage familiarity for your business?
The easiest way for you to leverage familiarity is to attach your business to something that consumers will recognize and make that your starting point. And from there you can later lead them to your product or service.
Let’s sum things up here.
Consumers can’t truly tell you what they like or don’t like because most of the decision making process is done by the non-conscious mind. Only one that is done does your rational mind kick in and justifies that decision you’ve made. This process make using old marketing practices such as surveys useless for getting accurate data.