Use Of Psychology In Business – Be Careful Not To Do This!

As marketers and online business owners, we have to be very careful about the associations we make with our messaging and marketing. Here's what I mean: I remember years ago there was a Dairy Queen commercial that advertised their new hamburger.

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In the ad, they showed this new hamburger on top of an ice cream cone. I suppose the thinking was, Dairy Queen is known for ice cream so they wanted to inform viewers that they also served burgers.

But the way they did this visually, by stacking the burger on top of the ice cream cone was me at least. The association this immediately made in my head was "Hamburger > Ice cream," "Hamburger > Ice cream," "Hamburger > Ice cream." Uggghhh, disgusting!

It made me immediately think of hamburger-flavoured ice cream, or beef-flavoured ice cream. It made me wonder what that might taste like. Disgusting!

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Here's another example: I went to use the washroom at a sports bar. I go inside, and there what they'd done is made the men's urinals out of old metal beer kegs that had been cut open.

My immediate first thought was, "That's not necessary...why not just have regular urinals, who cares?" Then, as I "continued using their facilities" let's say...I began thinking, "Huh, returning the contents from which it came. Interesting."

But then I started making the following association: "Beer keg > Urine," "Beer keg > Urine," "Beer keg > Urine"...ugghhh at this bar tastes like urine! Disgusting! Needless to say, I didn't finish my pint!

Now these are of course negative associations, but what about positive associations? Can you think of any? What association do you have when you think of your favourite luxury brand? How does that make you feel? Big brands work very hard to keep their associations positive...things like elegance, exclusivity, quality...things like that.

So for yourself, consider the messaging that you're sending. Are you keeping things positive and making your audience feel good when they think about you? Or are you maybe making some negative associations that you aren't aware of?

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Geoff Blake, Ten Ton Online

Hey there, I’m Geoff! Business, marketing, and the web can seem like a tangled, confusing mess, right? Well if you wanna get clear, straight info on all this stuff (no gimmicks or hypey nonsense)...then you're definitely in the right spot! Start here (free!)