Through the analysis of some successful products or advertising actions, the evolutionary and non-psychological and contextual reasons that influence human behavior and produce actions that, if analyzed through a logical vision, appear completely meaningless.
The solution is a little alchemy, that is, the magical manipulation of perception to indirectly guide the behavioral response.
Logic is not always the best choice and human behavior is most often irrational
Thought and logical approach naturally have great success in the field of physics, however it seems that, dragged by the certainties of logical rules, we let ourselves go and we decided to apply logic in all areas of life, so as to be able to lull ourselves in this fantastic sense of mastery over a world that is incredibly complex.
Being logical certainly has its benefits but they are obtained at a cost: in a purely logical world there is no place for less sensible and “magical” solutions. In real life logic does not dominate, human behaviors are in fact due to two factors: logical reason and real reason.
Learning to decipher the cryptic reason behind most human behavior and untying it from basic logical reason is important for understanding human behavior.
Sometimes the first step towards understanding a given behavior is to ask yourself “stupid” questions, for example if you want to create a successful advertisement for a toothpaste, the first thing should not be the analysis of generic sales data. pass but ask yourself a simple question “why do people brush their teeth?”, trying to go beyond the most logical answer.
The reason we don’t ask simple questions is because once our brain has found the logical answer it stops looking for better ones, with a little “alchemy” or “magic” you can always manage to find more suitable answers.
The human being makes decisions for psycho-logical reasons
The psycho-logical factor is what has guided all our evolutionary actions, it is an alternative and unconscious logical system much more powerful than we believe. Human beings are extremely social animals, so this context is very important to us and guides most of our behaviors considered irrational.
At this point it can be deduced that all research on human behavior and artificial experiments in the absence of a social context are not useful.
This implies that numerous data, obtained from studies carried out under artificial conditions and which do not take into account the context, very often do not present the real situation, also it must be remembered that data, numbers and percentages always analyze something that happened in the past.
Is human behavior really illogical or is it only if framed in logical study methods?
The behavioral economy differs from the traditional one because it decides not to follow only the logical path and the “what” (what works in an advertising campaign, what works in a website, etc.), but mostly focuses on the aspects with no sense of human behavior and their “why” (why do people brush their teeth?).
Very often human behavior appears meaningless because the motivations and reasons from which it arises are judged in the wrong way, we are driven by evolutionary instincts that are smarter than our logical thinking is. There are things to which we attribute value and function although it is difficult to rationally justify them, in this perspective it is therefore possible to be at the same time perfectly rational but wrong.
Since behavior is not strictly logical but psycho-logical, very often it can become completely contradictory, and for example there are two completely opposite but equally effective methods of selling a product: scarcity makes a product sought after (not many of them possess it therefore must to be a good article) and yet the reverse is also true, many people own a product, so it must necessarily be an excellent article.
A decisive factor in determining human behavior is the context, it can influence our perception and judgment, at other times our decision-making process seems completely random and unconscious. This may be partly due to our evolutionary system, to be able to deceive others we must first deceive ourselves.
The human being is able to expose and comment on his emotions, but the cause of his emotional state very often eludes him, this puzzle can be solved through thought or practical experiments. Let’s think for example of a delayed flight message without any indication of timing, the sensation it arouses will be of stress combined with uncertainty.
However, if the same message was shown by displaying a certain timing on the possible departure on the screen, the stress situation would be combined with a sense of control of the situation, the minutes or hours of flight delay shown on the screen would allow a passenger to organize themselves.
Uncertainty can create an emotional response more powerful than the loss of punctuality, however if asked the passenger why he feels annoyed, he would indicate the delay of the flight as responsible and not the lack of clear information.
According to behavioral science, an almost insignificant change, such as adding the minutes of delay of a flight, can alleviate the emotional state of a client, this same attention to details that appear insignificant can be applied in other fields.
For example, making a train 20% faster can cost millions (logical solution), while making it perceive 20% more comfortable could cost almost nothing (psycho-logical solution).
Very often we justify our unconscious behavior with a rational reason a posteriori and sometimes both coexist. For example, why do we brush our teeth?
The logical reason would be the maintenance of dental health, but there is also another unconscious and primary reason that justifies the mint taste of most toothpastes, that is, social acceptance.
Percentages and math averages can be misleading
Relying on traditional economy data and percentages can very often lead to erroneous conclusions. The parameters and calculations of the average focus on the central slice of the market while innovations usually happen at the extremes.
Failure to comply with the media or conventional rules can lead to the discovery of a slice of the market or of talents that no one else would find by following the conventions, this is because the context and the order of the choices influence the decisions in an unconscious way.
For example, it turned out that if between two completely logical options, one more expensive but more inclusive while the other less expensive, a third worse option is added than both, the choice will fall much more often on the more expensive option but what time it is perceived as a deal, however leaving only the two logical options the choice will fall much more often on the less expensive one.
We must also understand that the importance of something is subjective and therefore cannot be expressed with data or numbers, the value is completely psychological and can therefore be created or destroyed in two ways: by modifying the object or its perception through a little of magic or mental alchemy.
One of the functions of advertising is precisely to attract attention to the positive aspects of a product, influencing its perception. An example of semantic alchemy can be seen in the rebranding as Chilean Sea Bass of Patagonian Nototenide (Patagonian Toothfish), adding a topographical adjective to the name of a food can increase its perceived value and therefore the price.
The reason why human behavior very often moves away from logical reasoning
One of the reasons for the irrationality of human behavior is the reporting: of status, of trust or towards ourselves. For example, you choose to use an Uber because there is a digital recording of all the races and an increasingly strict control of the driver’s background, all these elements indicate dedication.
A well-known and famous brand is often an element that inspires confidence, if you take the example of the Hoverboard or Swagway or Soarboard, you notice that there has never been a defined name for the product because it was purchased by several Chinese manufacturers and then renamed by distributors, in the absence of a known brand it was impossible for customers to get an idea of the category and reward the best manufacturer.
The feedback cycle, that is the repetitive choice of a given brand because it is better and that pushes the manufacturer to perfect the product, has been broken, for this reason the article has never taken off. There is evidence that the relationship between the customer and the service provider is often strengthened after the supplier satisfactorily resolves a problem encountered by the customer, creating a more solid relationship than it would have been if the problem had never occurred.
We often draw unconscious conclusions based on environmental clues, the process is more psycho-logical than purely logical, our brain has not evolved by making decisions based on precise mathematical calculations, but we have learned to make decisions from the risks contained based on limited non-numeric information.
Thanks to interactions on the environment or oblique influences we can indirectly control our actions and emotions, for example we cannot dilate our pupils directly but we can use an indirect action to obtain the same effect, like entering a dark room. This type of oblique influence can be applied in different fields to produce the desired unconscious emotions or actions.
One product that has managed to elicit this type of effect is Red Bull, which sports all the characteristics of a placebo: it is expensive (status reporting), it has a strange taste (trust reporting, indicates that the product must have some effect) and it is sold in small dose containers (unconscious implication: small doses indicate that it must have a powerful effect).
A study has proven that by serving the same cocktail with three different names: vodka cocktail, fruit juice cocktail and vodka cocktail and Red Bull, to three groups of people, although they all drank the same cocktail, who believed they had drunk the one that identified Red Bull among the ingredients, behaved and felt more drunk (reporting to themselves, placebo effect).
So reporting to oneself or others implies behaviors that cannot always be rationally explained. This teaches us that placebos must be slightly absurd to work, in fact according to traditional economic science a drink like Red Bull should not be successful, the market analysis attests that customers want inexpensive drinks and in large containers, yet Red Bull it is irrationally a successful product because it appeals to our subconscious.
Irrational and unexpected elements are often more effective transmitters of meaning than rational motivations. The job of an advertiser or designer is to magically model the objective reality in order to create the desired emotional or perceptual result.