Business, brands and bias.

Why do you choose what you choose?
You think you know, but you don't (not really).
See for yourself.
Pick a brand that you own.
Or one you've recently experienced.
Now deconstruct your decision.
Your critical thinking process.
Did you compare your choice to all of the available offerings?
Did you analyze all of the terms, parts or ingredients?
Did you check out the various sources of supply?
Did you do a thorough investigation of the company?
I could go on and on and on (and that's the point).
You can't "reason" your way to a decision.
There's too much information and not enough time.
Plus, your motivations are emotional and complex.
And, largely, hidden from your conscious awareness.
In fact, you don't really know... yourself.
Instead, you use mental shortcuts.
Practical, but not perfect.
I refer to those heuristics as "feelings."
Scientists call them "mistakes" or "cognitive biases."
A successful brand is one that is aware of its own biases.
And which manages those feelings in order to appeal to others' biases.
Especially ones driven by aesthetics, control and identity.
Do you understand your audience's biases?
Are you aware of your own?
I find it quite interesting.
Ask business owners if they understand cognitive biases and they'll look at you sideways.
But everyone thinks he or she understands branding and marketing and leadership.
And that's the biggest business bias of all.

Tom Asacker