Understanding human needs is critical for effective targetted marketing. However, these needs are not always easily detectable. People are not fully aware of their own underlying motivations or of the forces that determine their own behaviour. In fact, we often mislead ourselves when we attempt to explain our behaviour in our desire to act as rational human beings. Sometime we do not want to admit or even realise the real reason for our behaviour because it is, more often than not, irrational.
For example, when we fall in love, we know we are in love, we feel we are in love, but this does not explain why we are in love. Love is something that we simply experience.
Putting this in a marketing context, it is clear that a brand or organisation has both an identity and a personality. When we ask consumers why they buy a brand they respond rationally and often describe the brand’s identity, ie. the objective or explicit characteristics observed by the conscious thinking brain which are easily verbalised. However, a brand also has a personality – intangible traits that differentiate it from its competitors – which we experience but cannot easily verbalise.
For example, in many countries most consumers initially cite taste as the reason why they consume a certain brand of beer. However, in blind taste tests most "loyal" beer drinkers can’t differentiate their brand from other similar products. The truth is that in these countries the most successful beer brands are those that symbolise group cohesion, equality and male bonding.
Motivational research provides an understanding of the following:
- What are the unconscious category drivers?
- How do consumers experience your brand versus the competitors?
- What personality traits does your brand exhibit?
Effective strategic marketing requires an understanding of how consumers experience a brand. With Implicit, we can help you understand brand relationships by exploring core needs of consumers and explaining how people relate to the personality of a brand.