Today our expert guest is Leslie Zane, nicknamed “Miss Question” by her business school classmates. Leslie Zane’s endless intellectual curiosity fueled her search for the elusive key to changing customer behavior. Working in brand management for blue-chip companies, she found success to be remarkably “hit or miss.” So she struck out on her own and founded Triggers to help companies create consistent success. Over the past 25 years, the company has developed a track record in accelerating growth through its unique expertise in changing instinctive brand purchase.

Leslie had been working in brand management for top companies like Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson, and while she learned a lot, she always felt like we could be doing better in marketing. Half of all marketing initiatives were hits, while the other half were misses. There had to be a better way. She felt that the key had something to do with the customer’s gut instincts about a product.

Our conscious mind is resistant and skeptical of the marketing we see in our daily lives. It knows it’s being sold to and it pushes back. But only 5% of our decisions are made with our conscious mind, and the other 95% is made by our subconscious minds. This is where brand associations form in the first place. So it stands to reason that this should be where we focus our marketing efforts. And the great news is, it takes far fewer resources than traditional marketing.

How do you go about marketing to your customers at a subconscious level? There are two simple rules for growing brands:

  • Your brand has to have the largest physical footprint in the brain.
  • You need to have more positive than negative associations.

There are also subconscious cues you can establish in your marketing that help you connect with your audience. The old world of marketing thought the best way to grow was to stand out. While that’s partially true, our brains are hardwired to recognize the familiar first. What gets us to stop is recognizing something familiar in a product. So the first rule toward building a large footprint in the mind is to build off of things that already exist. This will help your brand stay relevant and branch out in the brain quickly.

The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway

“Don’t be like everybody else. Don’t go against the conscious mind to persuade people and convince them, that’s going to take you a very long time to achieve. Instead, go through the subconscious. Connect with things that people already believe and already have in their memories and gain the subconscious advantage. That’s how you can really make some inroads faster than all of your competition. If you do that, you’re going to see your growth accelerate, because the truth is that every brand and every company has untapped growth potential.”

Thank you for joining us on The Daily Helping with Dr. Shuster. Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Google Play to download more food for the brain, knowledge from the experts, and tools to win at life.


The Daily Helping is produced by Crate Media

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