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The Hidden World of Customer Behavior: How to Tap into the 95% for Brand Loyalty

According to scientific estimates, only a small portion of our thinking – around 5% – is conscious and deliberate. The majority of our cognitive processes, as much as 95%, occur beneath the surface of our awareness, in the realm of the subconscious.

Although customers may not always be able to explain why they behave in a certain way, businesses that are able to tap into this hidden potential can develop a deeper level of brand loyalty among their customers.

According to Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman and author of the book, "How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market":

  • Probing the unconscious mind of the consumer has tremendous value beyond advertising. By understanding these deep thoughts and feelings, R&D experts can design products that better meet consumers' needs and desires.

  • In-depth, one-on-one interviews enriched by using various techniques from clinical psychology and sociology are superior to focus groups for eliciting information from customers. These insights are relevant at all stages of the product life cycle, from introducing a radically new product to identifying new product opportunities.

  • All knowledge can be used constructively or harmfully. As marketers and R&D experts, it's important to use that knowledge to benefit consumers and make clear what is appropriate and inappropriate uses of knowledge.

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