So Psyched: Using Psychology to Supercharge Your Marketing


Truly great brands tap into consumers’ needs, wants, and self-image. They sell an image, a dream, or a solution to a problem consumers are facing. They become associated with certain moments, experiences, desires, or feelings. And they take up space in consumers’ minds. It’s no accident that some brands reach this level of success. In fact, it’s science. Or, more accurately, it’s psychology.

Here’s how psychology can become a marketer’s best friend.

Get Inside Your Audience’s Head

Great marketers play psychologists all the time. They put their audience on the equivalent of the psychologist’s couch and figure out their hopes, desires, goals, and ambitions. They analyze consumer behaviors and habits to figure out how, when, and why people shop. They dig deep to understand motivations – and what appeals to their customers.

In short, successful brands strive to understand what their audience is thinking and what they make the choices they make. Because when you understand both the what and the why you can build a marketing campaign that caters to this. Create something that taps into those core emotions, and you’ll draw attention – and build trust.

Some ways to do this:

  • Research your market. Understand who your audience is and what they want.
  • Know your problem. Understand what problem your product is solving – and what emotional need you’re serving.
  • Understand the customer journey. Research the steps consumers go through when moving from awareness to conversion.
  • Know how to talk to your audience. Your marketing campaign should reach the right audience in the right ways. Think ToV, colors, style, and marketing channels when reaching out.

Guide Your Customers’ Choices

Henry Ford famously offered his Model T only in black to reduce “analysis paralysis.” That approach is even more valuable today, in a time when consumers are overwhelmed by ideas, information, and choice. Your goal is to solve a problem, not add a new challenge to your consumers’ lives. Make your offer relevant to your consumer’s emotional needs, but keep it simple. Streamline options and choices. Simplify your product lines. Guide consumers through the purchasing process. All of these approaches will reduce analysis paralysis, build trust – and boost your conversions.

Some examples:

  • Website heat mapping. This shows how people use your website and lets you improve your design so what you’re offering aligns with users’ natural approach.
  • Quizzes and walkthroughs. Funnel your audience to the right product for their needs – and gain valuable consumer info while you do it.
  • Rethink your sales pages. Combine sales pages where the product differs only by color or size. Use color swatch buttons instead of lengthy dropdown boxes – this will make your offer seem simpler.
  • Build a cohesive offer. Make sure your products fit together and make sense as a product offer. Diluting your brand and offer only confuses consumers.

Understand The Impact of Design, Language, and Color

The most powerful brand identities and marketing outreach efforts look great, sure. But they look great by design. Branding and marketing are strategic. They leverage color, design, and language to create a certain image and tap into audience emotions. There’s a reason McDonald’s is outfitted in red and yellow – those cheerful, kid-friendly colors also stimulate appetite. Meanwhile, environmentally friendly brands love to lean on “natural” colors like green and brown, while yoga and relaxation-oriented brands prefer “calming” pastels and neutrals.

But color is just one part of the occasion. Materials, design, and language all evoke particular emotions – and create a sense of alignment with a brand. A high-end furniture brand might create marketing materials using wood or even leather. A high-tech startup might skip the physical and focus its efforts entirely on cutting-edge digital experiences. And a boutique, artisanal distiller might invest heavily in storytelling.

As a marketer, it pays to understand the psychological impact of:

  • Texture. Thick card stock suggests a high-end experience, while metallics and foils suggest a futuristic approach.
  • Color. Warm, cool, bright, bold, and textured colors all land differently – and are associated with different feelings and brand “worlds.”
  • Imagery. Calm, washed-out visuals suggest warmth and relaxation, while bright illustrations suggest movement and energy.
  • Language. Bold, punchy language makes a different statement from calm, meditative language. And prioritizing storytelling over imagery creates an entirely different experience.
  • Physical vs. digital. Digital is convenient and high-tech, while physical materials create a personal, high-end experience.
  • Packaging. An incredible unboxing experience creates a sense of inclusion – and makes your buyer feel special.

Want to Pick an Expert Brain?

The psychology of marketing is a huge topic, but you don’t need to be Freud or Jung to benefit from it. If you’re looking to supercharge your marketing with branding and campaigns informed by the field of psychology but don’t know where to start, get in touch with StellaPop. We can help you get into your consumers’ minds – and guide them towards better buying decisions.

See Also:

Strive for ‘Brand Intimacy’ to Emotionally Connect with Your Customers

Speak Your Customer’s Love Language to Build A Brand They Love

Connectedness: The Art and Science of Emotional Engagement

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