Contrary to the popular opinion, the good business idea is not so hard to find. The hard part is to make it happen. There is still a large number of people who think they can immediately cash in any light bulb than flashes inside their brain. But the truth is that the road to success has turned into a pretty long and bumpy ride in today’s increasingly competitive markets. There are various ways to start a business and create the product but if you don’t turn it into a brand and develop an effective promotion for a successful launch it will simply crash into a large graveyard of unrealized business ideas. No matter if your business is small or large, B2B or retail, branding will always be among the most important aspects of it.
The Genie From The Bottle
In this ever-growing competition, the modern man has become spoiled and highly demanding. He expects from every business to be almost like a genie from the bottle, ready to fulfill his every wish. And his greatest desire is to possess things nobody else does, confirming his independence and individuality. By establishing a strong brand with a unique voice you’re actually creating the promise that all these wishes are your commands. Branding serves as a showcase of your offerings – what can your customers expect from your services and products, and what is it that makes you different from your competition. There are three plains of your brand’s identity – who you are at the moment, who do you wish to become, and how your customers perceive you to be.
Finding the right measure between these three questions is what will position your business at the top of the first page of search results. Although there are some basic rules for this forever-changing game, every efficient Search Engine Optimization expert knows that the best results always require a deep psychological foundation. If you’ve ever tried it, you’re aware that all the analytics tools in the world are not enough to figure out completely what is it that makes the audience to purchase, click, favorite, or share. It seems that you’ll need a crystal ball for the job, but if you’d just check out the basics of behavioral psychology you’d realize that the answer has been there all along, buried deep inside us. So let’s do some digging.
Since the foundation of every brand is its logo and since the website is the place of its promotion people tend to include as much eye candy as they can. But this approach is highly questionable and can very often produce quite the opposite effect. While having an attractive and engaging design is certainly the plus, the organ that needs to be properly fed is the brain. Take colors, for example – there are loads of websites with bold and flashy colors used to attract the eye, but in the process, they create repulsion inside the brain. You need to be aware of how psychological properties of colors affect the way we feel before you choose the color palette for your design. That way you’ll not only prevent some undesirable effect but will also be able to dictate the feelings and moods of your visitors and thus highly influence their behavior.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that the sense of sight should be neglected. We are primarily visual beings, but the brain is the one who interprets all the images. They key is to find the right balance between the two. And we’re not talking only about the colors – how you shape things is equally important. Think of it this way – with lines you choose you’re building a corridor that needs to lead visitors to your sales funnel. You’ve already established the positive mood and the feeling of belonging with the right use of colors, so now they’re confronted with your CTA buttons. Now or never, right? Well, a simple use of round edges can easily seal the deal by drawing their attention to the center of the button. And if you think that’s all you should check out the number of psychological patterns that hide beneath a carefully chosen font style.
The Dungeon Master
Now that you’ve become a dungeon master of your website that’s only the half of the job done. The next step is to persuade users to play your game. In other words, your task is to draw the searchers to your website and there is no better promotion than the one through the social networks. But before you start sending out the invitations you need to know who you’re gonna send them to. Is your company young and innovative or you’re a reliable veteran with lots of experience? Are your products and services high or low cost, do they offer quality or value, or both? Although we said at the beginning that you need to be like a genie from the bottle, you can’t produce miracles for everyone. So the first step is to determine your target audience based on your offerings. When you decide who you’re gonna invite for a game night it’s time to start talking about the prizes.
Excellent choice, sir
One of the most useful behavioral patterns can be found in the fact that every customer will attribute the higher value to the things he already owns. Known as the endowment effect it is an unquestionable thesis that we tend to increase the value of things we get our hands on. And if we decide to sell it we ask more than it is really worth. You can use this self-centric human characteristic to increase their ownership of your products simply by encouraging involvement through suggestions and feedback. Here UserVoice can be a very useful addition to your social media accounts.
One for you, one for me
If you encourage their involvement, that feedback can’t remain unanswered. One of the oldest psychology-based promotional tactics lies in reciprocity – everybody expects to be given something in return. It can be just a response to their feedback, or you can go an extra mile and prepare some annual presents. Nothing fancy, though – the gesture is much more important than the value.
It’ll take only a minute
We’ve all been through the negative experience with various call centers. Have you ever questioned yourself why do you feel harassed every time you pick up the phone? The answer is simple – the amount of requests always exceeds the value of the prize. With its picturesque name, the foot-in-the-door method teaches us to start with the smallest requests and increase them gradually over the period of time. In other words, if we persuade users to make small commitments – opening emails, downloading contents, etc. – they’ll more likely agree to the larger requests later, such as inviting their friends and sharing your content.
Can you be more specific?
It is well-known that people react to the same situation differently, based on their perception. What may seem like a gain to some could seem like a loss to others. But the reason why this framing effect has become so important (and thus useful) today lies in the fact that people spend just a couple of seconds to make up their minds. So choose your words carefully because the way your content is framed has an enormous impact on your user’s reaction. Don’t bombard them with praise of your products and stay away from complicated sentences – the gain must be clear at first sight. If you want to go a step further you can use the decoy effect – include an option in a clear negative light that will point to ‛the right one’.
Someone to trust
We’re constantly worried how others perceive us and rarely our decisions are really our own. That’s why the acquiescence effect can be a double-edged sword. if you’re not aware of it you could lose a lot of customers in an instant. You may have studied their behavior, but that behavior can be quickly changed so we can become more like others. On the other hand, this can be a great advantage – with the right influencer on your side you can change the opinion they have about your product.
Open For Business
You know how your business looks at the moment, but you show just the part of it. You know what you want it to become, but you keep your aspirations well-hidden. First, set up a pleasant atmosphere and make them feel at home. Then invite them to the table. Start with small stakes, point out the advantages. Have some well-known faces around. Praise the products they’ve already acquired and keep the others visible on the shelves. It is a place where the house never wins. But once they accept you as the dungeon master, you’ll be the one to take over. And, as the chosen ones, they’ll gladly embark on that adventure.