The Neuroscience of Big Brands | Brand Marketing Guidelines

by Clwyd Probert on July 9, 2019

Hubspot User Group Meeting February 2019 - London HUG

This is a transcript of the talk given by Flavilla Fongang from 3 Colours Rule at the Hubspot User Group Meeting in February 2019 in London.

 

Let’s talk about marketing. My name is Flavilla and, I came 16 years ago to London and I didn't speak a word of English. I came to London for my education, I was doing a BA in economics and another BA in marketing and communication. I fell in love with the city vibe, the people, and that's what really attracted me to stay in London for such a long time. I worked in oil and gas and I'm tired of being with 50 year old men with suits. I wanted to talk to younger people.

"I'm tired of being with 50 year old men with suits"

No offence to older people. Please don't take it the wrong way.

Download the slides from this presentation here

As you can probably see from my outfit. I love to dress. So I decided to become a fashion stylist. I worked with amazing people who are either trying to get a better job or to a greater position but didn't know how to really present themselves in a better way. That’s what we called it “Personal Branding”. Eventually, I got tired of it.

On another note, I can transform my knowledge into a course. My knowledge transferred onto online platforms and I'm moved away from personal branding to branding businesses.

Business Branding

There's a difference between having a business and having a brand.

People are really good at what they do. But when it comes to explaining the value, that's where we struggle. You can go to a coffee shop or Starbucks. It's just not the same thing. I was in Mexico a couple of years ago with my brother, we arrive in Cancun. And the first thing we saw was this great queue. What's going on, what are people queuing for? And the queue is to get a Starbucks coffee.That's a strong message of a brand.

If you have a brand and you're faced with too many choices, you're going to go for what you know and what you trust. As you can see, I don't take myself seriously except for my work and I'm really passionate about their success because when I do well, I can brag about it.

We took them on a journey of asking me the questions are uncomfortable and sometime asking for a formula. And I said, wow, that's great. That's what I'm here for. And I really see myself as not just working for them, but I am working with them as this was as an extension of their business and that's very important. I'm going to show you how it looks. I'm going to not pitch it too much, but really some of the strategy.

For example, how do you distinguish yourself in a busy saturated market, so you need a good brand and communication strategy. You need to create a web presence because people always check you out online. When your company has these two elements, the company will last.

Purpose of the Brand

We use newer marketing, we use newer science. So I'm not going to talk to you as a neuroscientist because I'm not one technically. But I want to talk to you in a very simple manner. 300 billion.

  • What does that mean?
  • What do you think?

That's the amount of money which is wasted on marketing because if we do it the wrong way every single year. That's a lot of money. The reason is because most of the time we relied so much on the wrong information our customers are giving us. And sometimes it's not effective or sometimes we're making assumptions.

When you love to make assumptions, that's probably the biggest mistakes. I always say to my clients, do not guess. We have to make sure we are 100% sure about that. It is very important that you need to know is why you do what you do and why you believe in it. And if you look at all the biggest companies in the world, Apple, Coca Cola or Nike, they always start with the why.

Big brand marketing starts with why

“Why” is very important, especially in a busy market because you couldn't get people on an emotional level on us. Do your research. Be curious, make sure you know what golden circle is. I'm going to be complicated. Back in the days, people didn't have as many choices that I have now. Marketing was very much about explaining how things work, the first microwave or first washing machine. After explaining “how”, we moved onto what people “want”. They didn't want to have a same product. It was about having more than one pair of trainers. What do you think happened after that?

The golden circle Simon Sinek

 

People started to realised the trainers that they’re wearing are the factor that kids from the other side of the world suffering from. People don’t want to wear those trainers anymore. Companies had to do something to change their images. That's where people were pushing for greatness. What is the purpose behind the brand?

With the era of social media, you can build a community of customers, not just clients. Your clients now become a community and interact with the influence one another. That's very important. It's probably the cheapest way. For instance, when you buy something on Amazon, the first thing you do is to check online feedback. If you see the item with good reviews you would probably buy it but if it has poor feedback you would mostly likely to search for something else.

How do people make decisions?

I think we have one brain, but the brain is divided in three parts:

  1. Neocortex
  2. Limbic and
  3. Reptilian
The neocortex is also called the new brain. This is the part where you use when you are learning new skills. This is a brain that basically let me do shopping on screen that controls your imagination, but also question your existence.

And the second part is the part where it controls your emotions. This part controls how you react in different situations? And the last part of the brain is the reptilian brain, I also like to call it the lazy brain. This is the part that we use most often. This part allows to organs to function such as when do we eat, when do we drink water etc. The reptilian brain is to protect us and keep us alive. It relies on us to do as little thinking as possible, so we could make decisions.

You're constantly going to conflict and most of the time when we are making decisions on a subconscious level that we don't know. Could be an expense that we have and that's what we're influence. How we feel, how we engage with a brand.

That’s why the reptilian has a huge impact on us. Most marketing when they communicate, they will communicate on a rational level, which is great when you want to attract. Then when you want to retain attention of your audience, you need to do more in that. So quick sales, quick orders, there's no gaming. That's not going to guarantee the loyalty of a client. You need to go further than that and the relationship that you've built with them.

Understand the "Pain"

This is very useful, when you do your campaign, your next campaign, and I'm going to break it down. The first thing is you want to diagnose the “pain” because we are selfish. When we want to differentiate our claim, we've contrast and demonstrate the gain of tangible elements and delivered to the reptilian brain. How it works:

I broke up with my boyfriend when I was in university and I was like a Burrito the whole day. The only thing that would make me happy is my mom so I took a flight back home, it was very cheap. I didn't think about the time to get to the airport because it was in Luton. I was living in Shadwell. I arrived Victoria and the last coach to Luton has just left. My reaction was, oh my gosh, what am I going to do? I can't stay here. I have to go. And when people told me to take a taxi, I didn't think twice. I just jumped in the taxi. That taxi ride costed me 80 pounds.

We know we are emotional and we will have to make quick decision. We just listened and do what we feel like it's right because we have to make a quick decision.

But what I want to show you here is how Uber and the success of Uber was the fact that they understood the “pain”. What is the biggest pain when you get a taxi? Before Uber existed was how much is going to cost me? When is it going to require because I don't want to wait and who is going to be that driver? Sometime we will do. It's easy. It's simple. We very self centred humans, we want to know what's in it for me.

Do not talk about your brand when you advertise to people because they do not care. They want to know what's in it for them. How are you going to make their lives easier? In some degree, selfish is good, and selfish is bad. But we're looking for a way to make our life better or stay happy if we are already happy. We think as the point of view of your client, instead of talking about yourself, talk about how you make their lives better.

Self centred marketing campaigns

I'd have to give you some simple example that you can use too. You can use testimonials or visual if you are anybody who does B2B and B2C. So it was great because you can really use that depending of PTC. If you do have a product or a service, we use your clients. It's so easy because if they love you, they will be more than happy to refer your company.

People take photos of products they like and post it on social media. The target social media is great member of importance of having a community around your product, around your brand is key in a cheap. Do it more often.

Visual Evidence

The next part is tangible. What is the value? Understand the value of what you are, you're the person that are solving. How are you making the life of someone better?

They launched a hot sauce ketchup couple years ago. The poster of the advertisement is a chair with lots of sweat on it. This is a very expressive and exclusive way of demonstrating the effectiveness of that product. Not every company has the budget of these huge companies but let me show you a budgeted way of doing it. Statistics, and graph visual evidence are very effective. Toothpaste ads use actors and actresses but people believe them. What is it that we believe it? Because it looks so knowledgeable, we believe in it.

So think about visual evidences if you have a statistics in terms of high improvement in the life of your customer.

Tangible marketing message

Visuals speaks a thousand words. If you have photos and videos to support it, that's brilliant. Earlier on people were talking about views, videos are key. If you are using videos make sure you give those videos subtitles. On LinkedIn I see a lot of videos without subtitles and sometimes people can’t play them out loud in public places. So make sure that you use subtitles when you do that.

Do you guys remember that campaign? Aldi did a campaign where give out a taste test to people and mix a leading brand with their own brand. And they mix the two brands and people are chose the Aldi brand or they taste similar. This ad was very effective.

If you have a budget, doing videos is a great idea. Also eBook because it always think from a point of view where you are providing value before you starting. If you try to help somebody then we'll likely to want to work with you because you've tried your best to showcase that you are capable of what you do. Initial consultation if you want to offer, depending of what you do, is a great way to do that as well. PR is great another great way as well as providing initial consultation. If you see a brand in well-known magazine or you see a brand on TV, you would automatically believe in it.

It's very interesting how the brain works. Things that we believe in just based on what we've recognised as credible. That's a very old campaign. Do you remember that campaign? Contrast, our reptilian brain is trained to notice contrast. So elements where they have to choose very quickly. Are you the cool guy? You Mac? Think about how can you show contrast between having your product and not having your product. Think about what is it that against the value that you're providing. I'm obsessed with value and purpose because people are looking for purpose and value. What's in it for me and how are you going to demonstrate how you're going to make my life easier? You don't speak about anything else but that. The next part is beginning and end. As much as I'm talking today, you probably won’t remember all of information that's been given to you. But you are more likely to remember the information that's been given to you at the beginning and at the end.

Beginning and End

Always remember to keep the most information at the end and at the beginning. If you watch TV, look how they present their advertisements. They always present the car and then you go for a journey and at the end of the show the car and the logo again.

Our brain is very selective with what we remember because we can’t remember everything. Placing the most important content at the beginning is the mast and we put it the end an imperative.

Use Emotion

Emotion. Again, I talked about the “why” is very important. It's because we can win situation where you have to make a lot of choices. If somebody exactly like me offer you the same product, you're going to go by emotion. Do I like this person? She makes me feel like she's funny, she's cool, she's very creative and so forth. These are the elements that are important. But what's interesting about that we process and asked the most towards negative emotion. That’s why we feel sad when we see charity ads. It was life to make them feel like they can do something about it, which is very important.

Simple is great. There was a campaign by Pepsi when they launched the diet version.

They used an elephant and the elephant was flying in the air like it was very light. It's as simple and very light way of just showcase.

A simple marketing message

Try to use the six stimuli as much as possible. Three is always the magic number, use at least three of the stimuli. Remember the pain that consumers have, people are selfish. They look for a way to satisfy the pain that they're dealing with. You have to understand your customers. One of the biggest mistakes companies have is that they try to please everybody rather than selective individuals. People pay more for an expert than a generalist.

The GP doesn't get paid as well as a surgeon. It's for a reason because he has chosen a very specific core skills and it becomes good at it. So you have to understand exactly what is this client is about. And when you have the chance to talk to the clients be as specific as possible. When you are doing SEO, please do not write general contents.

Be As Specific As Possible

Specific contents will speak to your audiences. The more people feel like you're talking to them, they're more likely to be engaged with you. What did it feel to have your product and not have your product? How do you put that against them? Using tangible elements and if you put all of this in the campaign, you're more likely to have a response very quickly.

You have a tube at beginning and end with more simple information at the beginning, at the end and repeat it, it takes seven times for a prospect to engage with your brand seven times. So if you're advertising an ad for two weeks and you don't get a response, that's normal. It better not to start it too quickly. Do AB tests to see if the campaign is enough to get reactions. We are working with a client at the moment about London Design Festival. We did a campaign with them and in less than two weeks we had over a thousand emails because it was very specific.

We chose a target audience. Our target audiences are millennials and female focused. I'm using my audience or community to build, to attract more prospects to know about us. Visual is very important. I keep mentioning that visual evidence such as video. If you can't afford to get a videographer, you have your phone. It doesn't take long. I'm sharing about it. Don't be afraid, be active. The more you are consistent about why you project your message, the more likely you will be remembered.

Use LinkedIn for social selling, it is very good and useful. I have on average of one prospects per week on using LinkedIn. I should present the results of my clients and I works really well on LinkedIn. People are looking for reassurance. The purpose is very important. Emotions must be used when mentioning brand loyalty.

Build a Brand Using Senses

Building a brand around senses: There's a different way of doing it, which are very effective. The more you use five senses the more people would remember it. If you think about Apple products the packaging is always the same. If you're going to Tiffany & Co., it's always a beautiful green box. You recognise it. Think about how you can maintain consistency with visuals. The brand doesn’t have to have a mascot, it could be a logo.

There’s an Italian brand, every time you open their shoes boxes it gives a strawberry scent. Whenever people open the box, they know it is that specific brand. It could be a good way as a lot of brands were actually trademark for that specific reason.

Retail stores like Chanel, they have a specific perfume that they use in their stores. It is good to be consistent all the time, so that people can remember it.

Airlines like the Emirates has their own perfume line that they require their staff to wear. Your brand has a sense that is associated to your brand is a great way to play with subconscious mind. And most of the time we do not make decision on a conscious level. We will make it on a subconscious level. It is when the reptilian brain is trying to make you have to make a decision very quickly and that's what it does to you.

Use Colours that Align with the Business Value

Colours have their own meanings. This is probably one the mistakes I've seen when it comes to branding. Often people associate the wrong colour with what they do and that affects how people remember you.

For example, red gives people the feeling of passion, white comes out as professionalism. It is very important for the colour to align with the purpose and function of your business.

Using colours to define your brand

Think about how do you want your brand to be portray? Do you want to come across as modern? Do you want to come across as modern and friendly? So obvious elements. In fact, a lot in your brand. Remember when people pick the products from a store, they do look at the colour first. Does it resonate with what your brand believe in. If you can afford organic brands, you would go for the brand that really associate with you.

"Choose brand colours that align with your brand values."

Our company is called 3 Colours Rule, because I found that people were scared of wearing colours. So I told them to stick with 3 colours. If you look at most brands it falls exactly the same rule, combination of three colours. Sometime you have less, sometime you have it be more. Google is in one of the rare example, but combination of three colours as great as well to align them with your values. So that's why I explained behind the name of three colours is a bit of a story behind the brand.

Conclusion

I'm putting the most simple information at the end and beginning. This is why we do brand and communication strategy to distinguish yourself.

If you need help in terms of distribution your business, that's why we do. Remember that your strategy is as important as your presentation. It's where do I go to talk about what I do is important.

Think about it from a point of view where your audience is. Think about it as everybody that you dealing with is selfish. They want to know what's in it for them, not what's in it for yourself.

"Don't talk about yourself. Talk about what you can do to make their life better."

Next steps

 

Topics: Brand Marketing

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