Usable Insight – Want to be like Apple?
- Adrenaline –excitement
- Dopamine – pleasure
- Oxytocin – connectedness (= brand loyalty)
Want to be like Apple?
Here’s the secret. Create and then time the delivery (to build up anticipation) of a product (sorry “services” don’t deliver the same “kick”) that puts a smile of delight on your customer/consumer and that fully engages their sight, hearing and emotional and kinesthetic feelings (you might even add smell if you’re in the food business).
When you do that, you not only hit the “trifecta” of the positive experiences of excitement, pleasure and connectedness, you trigger a great outpouring of many of the neurochemicals and experiences listed above. In addition, it’s bathing people in an escape from a joyless, boring, frustrating life they might be having. It’s also like hitting the jackpot on a slot machine and then guess what happens? People continue to stay connected to your product and your brand to keep them from experiencing the crash off of all those positive feelings.
How do you go about discovering what triggers those experiences?
Don’t do a focus group.
Instead hire energetic, friendly (not pushy), engaging psychology, anthropology and sociology majors at your local community colleges (if the community colleges don’t have such “soft” majors you might need to go to the colleges, but then you may have to deal with those students’ “attitude”).
Identify your target market and where they go shopping, what movies they see, what coffee house, fast food or other restaurants they frequent and markets they shop at, etc. or just have them visit an Apple Store near them.
Have your cheery scouts then identify when anyone appears to be smiling or frowning and that their smile or frown seems to be related to where they are at vs. a conversation they are having. Then have them go up to those people and say, “Excuse me I am doing a project (the people don’t need to know that it’s not for school) and I noticed a big smile or look of frustration on your face and I am trying to tune into what makes people happy or unhappy about their immediate environment if you wouldn’t mind telling me. Also, although I don’t work for this store or theater that we’re in, what is a specific thing they could do to make you even more pleased or that they should stop doing so that you’re not so frustrated with them?”* This information may help answer the wishful “if only” reactions that customers and consumers have right at the moment of having a positive or negative experience. BTW have your “scout” give out a piece of chocolate or something as an expression of appreciation.
Then have your scouts come back and share those observations.
Why do this?
Too often companies become enamored with their products and fail to recognize if people feel similarly or worse companies will minimize when people are very frustrated with a product and then do nothing about it.
This exercise helps you not only catch people where they spend their money, but where they have experiences they either like and want more of or dislike and want to stay away from.
What Apple, Steve Jobs and now the people who have internalized his way of looking at the world have the ability to do is to see into a future reality that would put a smile on their customers’ faces and trigger the release of all the neurochemicals above.
* BTW, if you’re a young enterprising college student and did this study on your own and sent the results to the CEO of the company, that would be an amazing way to distinguish yourself from your other job hunting peers. So for all parents of college age students reading this, you might float the idea past them.