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Brand Marketing Through The Psychology Of Persuasion

images (2)Would you like to push your brand to the forefront of your market’s collective consciousness? Do you want your customers to be able to instantly recognize your business when they see your company logo? Do you wish that your audience could immediately recall your business’s slogan?

These goals define the core purpose of advertising your brand. Brand marketing is a way to separate your company from your competitors, much like a brand placed on cattle is used to distinguish one rancher’s animals from those owned by another. In many ways, your brand represents your business’s identity. It’s a component of your company’s story, a symbol that reminds your market about the experience of doing business with you. Pushing your brand to the front of your customer’s mind is a matter of increasing the number of times he or she is exposed to it.

Many years ago, a professor of psychology named Dr. Robert Cialdini authored a book titled “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” He described several principles that explain why people behave the way they do. Dr. Cialdini’s book quickly became a hit among advertisers and brand marketers for its insights into the consumer’s mind. Below, we’ll take a brief look at the 6 principles outlined in his book.

Reciprocity

Cialdini explained that the act of giving something to someone creates a feeling of obligation on the part of the recipient. With that in mind, consider promotional items, such as customized stickers and t-shirts with your company name and logo imprinted on them. Giving these items to your customers may be all that is required to spur their use. Before long, you might see your logo prominently displayed on laptops, skateboards, cars, and on the backs of your audience.

Commitment And Consistency

People tend to behave in ways that are consistent with the image they have displayed to others. For example, a woman who prides herself on punctuality might go to great lengths to avoid being late for meetings. Similarly, a man who wants his friends to consider him honest will refrain from lying or withholding pertinent information.

By building on past commitments, brand marketers can influence their audiences to make larger commitments. For instance, consider a customer who has your company’s car magnet stuck to the inside of his vehicle’s window. This individual is likely to be more receptive to wearing a custom t-shirt displaying the same information than a person who has not made a prior commitment. Doing so implies consistency.

Social Proof

A basic human trait is to look to others for direction regarding what is appropriate behavior. If an individual sees other people taking a particular action, he begins to feel as if he should do so, as well.

This aspect of psychology can be a powerful tool for improving brand awareness.

Let’s return to the example of giving promotional items to customers. The more people who place custom stickers on their belongings, the greater the likelihood their peers will do the same. The more customers who wear t-shirts emblazoned with your company’s logo, the more inclined those who come into contact with them will be to mirror the behavior.

This can significantly boost the momentum and success of your brand marketing campaign.

Authority

In his book, Cialdini explains that people are more likely to listen to someone, and follow his or her directions, if they perceive that individual to be an authority. Studies have shown this to be true when people encounter doctors, lawyers, politicians, and others who seem to be “in charge” of a given situation.

The marketing value of this psychological trait can be observed in companies’ use of celebrities to promote their products. Even though a particular celebrity may have little expertise with the product in question – for example, Jamie Lee Curtis promoting Honda vehicles – people are inclined to listen to them. This is the reason celebrities are aggressively pursued by companies to sign product endorsement deals.

Liking

People are more receptive to the influence of those they like. A long-time friend is more persuasive than a stranger. This is one of the underlying principles of most network marketing programs. Participants are encouraged to promote products to their friends and family members in order to leverage their existing relationships.

In the context of brand marketing, companies can focus their efforts on winning over influencers, and turning them into fans. Those influencers may then go on to promote the companies to their own networks. The influencers’ friends are more likely to be persuaded through such word-of-mouth advertising than a formal marketing campaign.

Scarcity

A perception of scarcity will oftentimes prompt people to take an action they might otherwise have delayed. The reason is due to a fear of missing out on a coveted item or deal. An example would be a department store sale. Items temporarily marked down in price tend to sell more quickly because customers fear losing the chance to take advantage of a bargain.

Companies often exploit this psychological trait to hasten sales or increase sales volume. For example, prices may be slashed dramatically for a short period of time. Limited inventories may be revealed to communicate scarce supplies.

Dr. Cialdini’s principles of persuasion offer enormous value for small businesses trying to build awareness around their brands. Savvy companies with limited budgets can leverage the six insights above using custom printed t-shirts, stickers, car magnets, and other low-cost promotional items.

The author has spent the last 15 years working as a marketing and branding expert for major fortune 1000 companies. Currently he is working with www.StickersAndMore.com in a cross promotional venture for promoting promotional products and accessories

 

 

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3 Ways to Improve Business Creativity

Anybody who says that only certain people are creative is wrong. Everybody is creative in their own way and just because someone’s creativity may not be as obvious as someone else’s, it should still be encouraged in a similar way. Creativity is important in many different areas of your life; it can keep a relationship fresh and exciting, it can help with hobbies and interests and it can definitely help in the business world.

Most employers would rank creativity very highly on a list of attributes that their potential employees should have and nearly all business owners would like to say that there work force is full of creative ideas. However, this is not often the case as employees can feel reluctant to express themselves creatively at work for many different reasons.

Now more than ever, business need to find new ways of developing and growing as a company and creative employees are sure to help with this. Here are a few ways you can increase the creativity, and therefore the productivity in your work place.

Encourage Interaction

A lot of business owners and managers will set their work environment up in a way which, in their own view, will get the most out of their employees and therefore promote productivity. However, the thought process behind this can often be misled. Arranging the desks in an office so that nobody is facing each other or separating each individual into their own cubicle may not be the best way to promote good work; especially when thinking about creativity.

Creativity works on a basis by which an idea is conceived and then developed by a process of discussion and manipulation. This cannot happen if your workforce is not encouraged to interact with one another. As long as the conversation remains focussed; ideas will be allowed to develop and flourish in a productive environment.

Have Regular Meetings

It may sound strange to anybody working in a small company but people working in many of the larger corporations are likely to never have met most of the other people that work within the business. Whether it’s just between all the people in a single department or whether it involves many different areas of your company, getting your workforce together for regular meetings can really improve creativity in the work place.

They will be able to find out how things work in different areas of the business and in different branches which in turn may give them some ideas for the area in which they work. It will also give everybody an opportunity to discuss any ideas or concepts that they might have with like-minded people and people that are well informed to be able to give them feedback.

You could even take your employees on regular courses that help to improve their creativity. Creativity can be learned and developed in someone, even if they don’t regard themselves to be a creative person. These courses will help to improve creative thinking and brainstorm facilitation.

Have an ‘Open Door’ Policy

Although this may sound like something you might hear a cheesy boss say in a movie or a sitcom, having an open door for your employees is a great way to encourage the creativity inside them to thrive. If they feel like they cannot approach their manager with any ideas they have, that idea may never have the chance to develop.

If you encourage your workforce to come to you with any ideas or potential advancements they may have for the business then you may be surprised with the results. No idea is bad and even if you don’t like the things that your employees are thinking up, just knowing that they can speak to you about any thought they might have will encourage them to be more creative in the work they do.

This article is written by Chris Mayhew on behalf of Now Go Create. Visit their website today to see how their creativity training can improve brainstorm facilitation and creative thinking for your business.

 

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Dreams: When to Know You’re Stressed Part 1


Dreams are an amazing manifestation of our subconscious thoughts and feelings. Most of the time we think that our dreams are pure nonsense, which can very well be true. But other times they are a reflection of the things we are thinking and feeling. Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of books have been written on the subject of dreams. This article won’t be able to do any kind of justice to the great expanse of our subconscious thoughts, but it would be interesting to list a few of the indicators that might show up in our dreams when we are feeling particularly stressed with school, work, or just life in general. Most of the explanations I used below come from 20th century dream expert Gustavus Hindman Miller and his book 10,000 Dreams Interpreted: A Dictionary of Dreams.

Embarrassing. This one is an oldie but a goody. Many people dream about showing up to their first day of school, or to a very important meeting, wearing nothing but their birthday suit. It takes you a minute to finally realize that you aren’t dressed because everyone around you is acting normally. The obvious interpretation of this is that you are feeling vulnerable or unprepared.

Losing Teeth. Sometimes they simply fall out one at a time, other times they will crumble away. According to Miller, teeth falling out represent burdens that could potential crush your pride. Meaning, if you have a job interview the next day, you are worried about not being offered the position and having your pride hurt. Or it could also mean that you are going through a transition in life (as in, losing your baby teeth and having new adult teeth grow in their place). Along these same lines are losing your hair or even fingernails. Storms. Storms can take the form of tornados, hurricanes, or hail in your dreams. The symbolism of this one isn’t hard to figure out. There is obviously something going on in your life that is causing you fear and worry. Possibly you feel like there is so much going on at once that life is a figurative whirlwind of decisions, activities, and emotional turmoil. If you find that each day you have a wide range of emotional ups and downs, then your dreams about storms are easily explained.

Crashes/Falling. Have you ever been on the cusp of a deep sleep and had a dream that you were free-falling towards the earth with no parachute to slow you down? Right as you hit, you are startled awake! Once again, the symbolism is obvious. Crashing/falling dreams show that you fear that your life is heading for disaster. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true, just that you fear it could be. The type of crash/falling experience can also be significant. Airplane crashes can mean you set your standards higher than you could handle, car crashes might mean that you are simply going through a painful experience. While simply falling from the sky out of nowhere can signify that you have a general fear of failure.

In Part 2 of this article, we’ll discuss four more dream symbols that could indicate you have a high level of stress in your life, so stay tuned!

About the Author

Natalie Clive writes inspirational pieces for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers gives people the resources they need to get themselves back to college, and into the careers they want. MCC will also put you in touch with accredited online colleges that will allow you to reach previously undreamed of positions.

 

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Your Secret Wealth

Secret wealth is not so secret, if you consider that innovation has made many people into millionaires.  How you might wonder can this be? It is not a mystery.  Creativity and finding new ways to solve old problems typically improves things for everyone.  Every advancement in human society has come from  the individual who has sought to solve an old problem in a new way.  This is innovation.  And innovation is in high demand right now.

Being creative in the workplace is one way to unlock your personal secret wealth.  While you need to use this creativity wisely, within the rules that are established, sometimes approaching your boss with a new solution to a problem can improve overall moral and how work is accomplished within the workplace. When the corporate culture does not encourage innovation then it becomes a dead environment that is dreary to work in.  As the pace of business accelerates it becomes very important to be creative and innovative in problem solving.  Doing things the same old way because “we have always done them” that way is not necessarily the most effective method.

What then is your secret wealth?  It is creativity. Plan and simple.  Tap into this and you can develop ideas and problem solving innovation that improves not only your life but the lives of those around you. You see signs of this everywhere, from the way we communicate to how we stay entertained. Every advancement in society started with innovation and someone seeking a way to solve a problem in a new way.

We might think that everything to be solved has been solved, every problem that we personally can correct has been corrected.  This simply is not true.  Every day we run into a million little problems, from the moment we wake to the moment we sleep.  Picking a problem at work to find another solution to is only one way to make yourself tap into your hidden wealth.  The individual who comes up with the next craze or fad will sit down and solve a common problem with some unexpected innovation.  This could be you.  All you need to do is find a problem in your interests and seek an innovative solution to it.

It is not harder work that makes someone who is rich have that financial windfall.  Nor is it better smarts, education, or talents.  What it is – creativity.  Finding your secret wealth and attaining your goals is as simple as being innovative.  We all have the potential, we just need to tap into it.  Believe that your ideas have merit, you can come up with new solutions to existing problems that are better then the old method used to deal with it, and then be open to the benefits that come your direction from that creative moment.

It is simple.  Give innovation to the world, help those around you with creative solutions to their problems, and reap the benefits from your work like never before. That is your secret wealth.

Please visit The Personal Development Company if you would like to learn more about Your Secret Wealth principles by Jay Abraham

 

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Is Your Anger Killing Your Art?

by Seth Godin

It’s rare to find a consistently creative or insightful person who is also an angry person.*

They can’t occupy the same space, and if your anger moves in, generosity and creativity often move out. It’s difficult to use revenge or animus to fuel great work.

Ironically, when you decide to teach someone a lesson they richly deserve, you often end up strangling the very source you were counting on.

(*Angry is not the same as being a jerk. For some reason, there are plenty of creative jerks–I think because they mistakenly believe that being a jerk is a useful way for some people to wrestle with their lizard brains).

 

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