Every week I do improv comedy. And I see a lot of improv comedy shows. If there is one thing that I have learned about people (improvisers and theater goers) through this activity, it is that we make snap judgements. As a marketer, I know how important it is to utilize the patterns of these judgements in a brand.
In fact, the entire process of improv involves taking snap judgements (our own or others’) and turning them into a story.
Even more surprising perhaps is that there is consistency and pattern between people’s first impressions. During warm ups, when we do free association games there are certain topics that come up time and again – certain words even – no matter what configuration of people is in the room. More amazing still, when improvisers ask an audience for a suggestion during a show, certain questions elicit the same exact answer from 70% or more of audiences. We may want to be unique, but the fact is we are rather predictable.
There is an ideal that we all strive to be open-minded and accepting. When we business owners configure our brands, we look to speak loudly and publicly so our target markets will find us. But the truth about humans is that our minds work in patterns, recalling the things that we have seen recently or the associations that have built up over time. Very often, there is a group think to those associations even when we believe we are thinking independently.
As a small business owner, your job is to plan out your branding and marketing in a way that plays into brain patterns.
Don’t just assume that you can create a new association with a color, a word, or a tone. Do the research on what associations people already have with the symbolism you are choosing – before you make it public. Utilizing patterns that already exist gives your growing brand more strength to become a hook in your customers’ minds so that they will start to associate your product or service with YOU!