The goal of using the Neurogenetics of Marketing / Branding / Copywriting / Video and Sales is to collapse the sales cycle. In other words, how do we get someone from … “Not Being a Customer” … to becoming a “Customer for Life”… Faster!
We want to use this more scientific approach in every communication we create, wherever and whenever possible.
How To Use Science To Get Customers For Life!
From a scientific viewpoint, customers will only buy your goods and services when there is biological change within them. I am going to greatly simplify the following for easier digestion of this complicated science; a buying decision can only be made by a potential customer when their brain shifts from one chemical state to another. This shift must be orchestrated in such a manner that they focus their attention and personal meaning on the offer.
This biological viewpoint provides us with a new way to examine what we are doing in marketing and sales. Inside this context, we see that the main job of marketing and sales is to deliver information in a way that creates neurochemical change in the buyer. In this paper, we will look at how we can most effectively create this biological change in our potential customers.
The key phrase to remember is: “Information Does NOT Cause Transformation.” For information to cause transformation in the buyer, it must be delivered in a manner that creates neurochemical change. Today many companies get caught thinking that just because they have delivered information to the potential buyer, they have adequately done their marketing/branding job. However, as far as our biology is concerned, nothing could be further from the truth.
If our marketing, branding, copywriting, video or sales efforts are not creating real biological change in the receiver, we are, in effect, wasting our time. The words or pictures may be pretty, but the question that needs to be asked is, “Are they causing the kind biological change in the potential buyer … that will lead them to become a long-term customer?”
The Red Tree Strategy
The 25,000 or so genes that exist in your body today had to fall through the “Sieve of Evolution” before they ended up in you.
To understand the scientific view of marketing and branding, it is important to recognize that a set of genes existing in each and every one of your cells is exquisitely fine-tuned to help you perceive novelty in your environment.
Why? Because when you pay attention to novelty, it increases your chances of survival. For example, the more our ancestors paid attention to novelty, the greater their chances of survival; and, thus, the greater chance their genes would be passed to their heirs. Millions of years ago, when our ancestors walked through the savannah, it was those who paid attention to the rippling grass (hiding the crouching predators) whose genes survived and were then passed down to us.
The ancestors who did not pay attention to novelty got eaten … and their genes did not make it through the Sieve of Evolution. Therefore, each generation that came before you “selected in” genes that have become more and more exquisitely fine-tuned to perceive novelty because these genes aided species survival.
Here’s why we call it the Red Tree Strategy. Behind my house in Colorado, there are about 100,000 green trees. When I ask someone to look up the hill out back and tell me what they see, they say, “A lot of green trees.” However, if there were one red tree amongst all the green trees, the first thing their brain would be forced to pick out is the one red tree.
The key thing to remember is that their genetic program is dictating this behavior. They have no choice! In marketing and sales, we want to use this genetically- implanted program to our benefit.
When you think of a market space that has no “red tree,” one of the most obvious examples that comes to mind are gas stations. Conoco, Shell, Shamrock, Gas and Go, etc., are all gas stations, but which one really stands out? None. Why? Because no oil company has implemented the Red Tree Strategy for branding and marketing its gas stations.
You don’t want to enter the market without a Red Tree Strategy or you will be lost in a haze of ‘sameness’ and not be able to stand out in the potential customer’s mind.
In the end, no marketing, branding, copywriting, video or sales effort should ever be produced without an understanding of how and why to implant the Red Tree Strategy.
Novelty Is Not Enough, You Must Have Meaning
In order for an idea or product to have longevity, sustainability and power in the marketplace, novelty is not enough. Something else has to happen; that something else is meaning. Novelty can get your attention, but in order for you to take action and stay connected to a product or service, you must believe that value will be added to your life. So it can be said that any idea, concept or product can enter the marketplace and create novelty, but the less value it adds to people’s lives, the shorter its longevity.
An Example: The Pet Rock
In the 1970s, there was a perfect example of this “high-novelty, low-value, less-longevity” concept. A fellow came up with the cool idea of a pet you did not have to take care of … a rock! He put a rock in a box, stamped “Pet Rock” on it and the idea took off like wildfire. Hundreds of thousands — possibly millions – of people bought this silly little novelty. The problem was its longevity was extremely short-lived. Why? Because the pet rock did not add meaning or value to people’s lives. Any concept, service or product that creates enough novelty can indeed get the market’s attention. But to achieve longevity, it has to be perceived as adding value to the buyer’s life.
The advantage of the Red Tree Strategy of Marketing and Branding is that with enough novelty and meaning, we can quickly get the attention of the market and keep it. And most importantly, we can do it much less expensively while maintaining our position longer. You don’t want to enter the market with the same old thing everyone else has and throw gobs of money at a traditional marketing campaign, because that strategy alone will not create the biological change you need to create in the buyer’s brain.
Imagine how hard it would be, and how high the costs could be, to get quick market attention and position if you were going to introduce another 7-Eleven, department store or diet drink that follows the existing norms of the market. Imagine how short your product’s longevity would be if you added no more value to the customer’s life than what already existed!
We want all of our products and services to access novelty and meaning — to build customer longevity.
Are You or Your Business An Alpha Dog?
In addition to genes that force us to pay attention to novelty, we also have genes that force us to follow those we identify as the “Alpha Dogs” in our environment. These are individuals who we believe can help our personal “thriving and surviving” chances.
We are genetically wired to unconsciously follow those we identify as Alpha Dogs in our environment. You can have many different Alpha Dogs in your world, in many different categories: fashion, beauty, music, spirituality, politics, business, etc. For example, you might identify 50 Cent as the Alpha Dog in hip-hop music, Warren Buffett in business, the Dalai Lama in religion, Brad Pitt in acting, the iPhone in mobile phones, the Prius in electric cars, etc.
We want to make sure to develop all marketing and sales materials to ensure that the market and our potential customers see us as an Alpha Dog in our respective market(s) that can enhance their personal survival or thriving chances. Then customers will be compelled at a genetic level to follow our lead.
The Hertz #1 Strategy: Concept Networks and Hierarchy Genes
To understand the Hertz #1 strategy of marketing and sales, you need to understand two elements of Neurogenetics: Concept Networks and the genes that code for Hierarchy.
First, your brain has what are called Concept Networks. Concept networks are where you store information in your brain, so you can easily find it later. Each concept you encounter has a category network in which you can place the details of that concept. For example, kinds of apples go into your fruit network, kinds of vegetables into your vegetable network, cell phones into your phone network and education companies in your education Concept Network. These Concept Networks are actually physical networks in the brain, made up of neurons and neural connections.
The ability to place the correct concept in the correct Concept Network is very important for your survival. If your brain could not put the right detail about a concept in the right Concept Network, your life would be insanity! In fact, in the brains of those with schizophrenia, Concept Networks do not function properly. Because schizophrenics can’t file or retrieve information effectively from Concept Networks, neural chaos and lunacy ensues.
You also have genes that code for Hierarchy. These genes code for where you “fit” into the tribe (family, work, sports team, etc.). Are you a leader or a follower? If you are a follower, where in the pecking order of the group do you fit?
The genes that code for Hierarchy not only help us find our place in the group, they allow us to see where others fit. The sooner we observe where others fit, the sooner we can then decide where and how we fit.
Determining where people fit is a genetic drive that cannot be stopped. If your genes that code for perceiving Hierarchy were somehow damaged, your surviving and thriving chances would be greatly diminished. You would fail to know how to “fit” into your world.
This Hierarchy mechanism fires not only for people, but also for places and things. We are continually trying to position products and services into a pecking order — just like we do people!
Hierarchy Genes and Concept Networks
Waterfalls, cars or computers, the brain is first driven to figure out which Concept Network the item fits into. Then our Hierarchy genes kick in and we classify where these waterfalls, cars, and computers “fit” into the pecking order. Niagara Falls, Lexus and Apple land at the top for many of us, with the rest of the items in these Concept Networks fall lower in the pecking order.
When it comes to marketing and sales, we want our company to be #1 in the pecking order. When that happens, we automatically activate Hierarchy and Alpha Dog genes and force people to place us above others in the pecking order of our category — and then they are driven to follow us.
Hertz: We Are #1
In the rental car market space, Hertz was very smart. They called themselves number one … first. So what did Avis have to call themselves? Number two. What did Budget have to be? Number three … etc. No matter how crowded your market is, you want to define a position as high up on the pecking order as possible; if not at the top, at least as a Red Tree with Meaning that allows your goods and services to stand out in the buyer’s mind.
Putting It All Together
Remember, we want to use all of the above, including:
- Biological Change (must happen in a potential customer before they will buy)
- “Information Does NOT Cause Transformation”
- The Power of Novelty
- The Red Tree Strategy
- Meaning Leads to Longevity
- Alpha Dog Genes
- Concept Networks
- Hierarchy Genes
- The Hertz Strategy: We Are #1
The goal of using the Neurogenetics of Marketing / Branding / Copywriting / Video and Sales is to collapse the sales cycle. In other words, how do we get someone from … “Not Being a Customer” … to becoming a “Customer for Life” … Faster!
For more information contact:
JW Wilson, Executive Director
The Advanced Learning Institute