If you throw a frog into boiling water, it’ll jump straight out. However, if it’s placed in cold water and the temperature gradually increased, it’ll be found dead without any attempt to escape. We’ve all experienced that subtle death.
Neuromarketing takes advantage of that vast blind-spot beyond our conscious awareness; leveraging psychological phenomenons in subtle ways to lead us into certain decisions.
Here are 10 subtle neuromarketing strategies to start leveraging:
1. Give me one reason.
The classic “Xerox copy” study by Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer demonstrates the power of simply giving an explanation. The set-up was a student attempting to cut in line for the copier.
In the first scenario, she asked “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” Sixty percent allowed her to cut-in line. In the second scenario, she asked, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?” Compliance shot up to 94 percent with the addition of a reason.
The third scenario was the most surprising: “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?” The rate was almost the same at 93 percent, even with a redundant and ridiculous explanation.
Our brains love answers; such is our love for crosswords and brainteasers. EEG recordings show a burst of neural activity whenever we have an “A-ha” or eureka moment, and on a lesser scale, when we’re given answers and reasons.