The Unconscious Impact of Brand Exposure

Yesterday’s article, for all its mediocrity (sorry about that), did spark an interesting question from Yann.  He questioned the extent to which the ads I was discussing would generate business for those companies. As I mentioned in my reply to Yann, at least part of the way in which advertising works is to “register” a brand or product at an unconscious level. Given the way in which the unconscious mind works (by associations) I’m convinced that the unconscious benefit is likely to be maximised when unconscious awareness of the ad coincides with positive emotions.  Even if the humour has little or no relevance to the product, the fact that the two exist together at that moment in time can have a positive impact. Part of the support for my theory comes from the fact that the only meaningful correlation that people who track advertising have been able to identify from […]

The Easiest Way to Spend Money

Today I had the last of five or six conversations with my brother about buying a camera. I’m no Annie Liebovitz!  But I did get into SLR photography many years ago and have had the good luck to take one or two half decent photographs over the years – including one of the Brooklyn Bridge that my brother has in his house.  It’s a good picture, although not so good that he’s ever asked me to sign it or anything. Probably the best picture I ever took was of a sculpture.  I was in Paris and took a black and white photo of a Rodin work called The Woman Under the Stone (only that in French, I imagine).  By over-exposing the picture perfectly, the dark weathering of the sculpture was magically transformed into a dramatic blend of shimmering shades.  Of course, this was in the days when you didn’t know […]

The Psychology of Investment Decisions: Follow Up

I’d like to pick up on a long reply to yesterday’s post because I hope I can be more constructive than I was able to be yesterday. Here’s is Pam’s reply to yesterday’s post: It’s interesting to read how the rational and unconscious minds often pull us in opposite directions. Your point is well taken that people often think they want A but actually choose B because it fulfills an unconscious need, want or desire. It is good to bear this in mind. If you are looking to invest your money though, at some point – unless you choose to navigate the investment world yourself – you will likely be forced to make a choice between various options and advisers available to you. In essence, you are trusting your future to advice of someone and their investing philosophy and strategy. The question then becomes in whom do you trust and […]

The Edge of Reason: The Psychology of Investment Decisions

Perhaps some of the most interesting blog debate I’ve read recently has been on Rod’s Personal Investment Strategies blog.  It’s been a while since I did any consumer behaviour research with financial institutions, but in many ways my journey into consumer behaviour and away from traditional consumer research began during a consumer focus group about pension choice, back in the 1990s.  It was the fourth long and tedious group discussion with people who were considering investing in a pension scheme, during which they told me how they wanted independent advice, a range of funds and a provider with good financial security.  At the end, after everyone was getting up to go, one of the group asked another, who had been a little more vociferous than the rest, where he was planning to get his pension.  The reply led to several of the group soliciting the details of someone who I […]