The Subconscious Experience
Art Markman, writer for Psychology Today, in an article entitled Ulterior Motives: How goals, both seen and unseen, drive behavior, discusses how the food industry tricks us into eating more than we should when we snack. It’s as simple as making sure there’s lots of the food item displayed on the packaging. A paper in the October, 2010 issue of the Journal of Consumer Psychology by Adriana Madzharov and Lauren Block says that people eat more food from packages with many items pictured on it than from packages with few items pictured on it. That is, the beliefs that the package has more in it and that the portion size is larger led people to consumer more food.
If I asked you why you just mindlessly consumed an entire bag of your favorite snack food, would that have been your answer? Probably not. In fact, you may not even be consciously aware of why you felt compelled to over-indulge your snack craving. How did the food company know about you when they deliberately designed that package to entice you? We know. It’s called Experience Psychology and it’s changing the way companies are deliberately designing their CE programs.
Every contact point where your customer engages with your company engages both a conscious and a subconscious reaction in the customer. Neuromarketing research has discovered that age and gender are two determining factors that determine how the subconscious functions in the buying process. It isn’t just the buying process that stimulates the brain’s subconscious reactions. The Customer Experience also includes how the customer perceives your company subconsciously in all the ways that the customer comes into contact with you, whether that’s through your company’s public service image to your customer service to how the you treat your employees.
As your company considers how to reassess and redesign your customer experience, think about how much you know about the customer’s subconscious thought processes. How would knowing how many “cookies” to display on your packaging make a difference to the bottom line?