When selling products, keep in mind that it is not always about product details. It is about how consumers feel about the product or brand. As humans, we use the fast part of our brain when making decisions. The fast part of our brain is non-rational and uses subconscious influences to make decisions. It picks up on mental cues and shortcuts to form judgments. The fast part of our brain is responsible for a “gut feeling” or an impulse buy. When making product decisions we rely on these subconscious influences, not the facts.

Our fast brain usually overrules the slow, rational part of the brain because that’s easier for us to do. If we used the slow part of our brains every time we were at the grocery store or mall, we would be there for hours. Brands allow us to make quick purchase decisions instead of evaluating the details.

A great example of this is choosing political candidates. The facts are complex, so our fast brain steps in and uses cues like body language, actions or demeanor to form opinions about the candidates. After the political debates this year, people expressed concern about how each candidate performed rather than what their opinions were on a particular subject. Likewise, it’s a brand’s behavior in public that will separate it from its competition, not facts.

When a brand is marketing a product, brand personality—what the brand says and does—and how the brand behaves is important. You can strategically use traditional and social media to trigger mental short cuts to get a consumer to think about your brand first.

When your brand behaves positively, the consumer won’t just pick your product one time. They’ll pick it over and over again. They will become loyal customers. Find ways to pick up on mental shortcuts so your consumers don’t have to think twice when choosing between your brand and the competitors’ brand regardless of price or discounts.

Positive brand behavior:

  • Be emotional: Create deeper emotional connections—be more personal, authentic and congruent.
  • Be trustworthy: Inspire trust among consumers by engaging in meaningful conversation related to issues, topics and products that surround the brand’s core values.
  • Be creative and innovative: Continuously spark interest in loyal and new consumers.
  • Be compassionate: Make consumers feel good about their purchases.

With social media, brands are able to interact with consumers on the same platform as they interact with their friends. It can be a great way to increase trust between brands and consumers. Once a brand earns a consumer’s trust, the consumer is more likely to spread the brand’s message to their followers. A brand can then be validated through word of mouth recommendations online. Take advantage of the fact that your brand can be so much more than a product on a shelf or a name on a billboard. It can be an interactive personality that authentically engages with consumers.