Anticipation – How Businesses Can Reward The Brain

PR Newswire 2010 Survey

It’s Friday.  TGIF, because one of myfavorite businesses is busy updating their website and I can’t wait to see what they have done this week.   Last week I got to see that they had restored one of my favorite vehicles from the past, a 1955 Chevy, but then I also loved the 1971 Land Cruiser that they restored ,the 1965 GTO ….. No, they are not hiring an ad agency to update their website, and they are not giving it to their teenager to do it.  They are doing it themselves.

The beauty of the internet is that it allows consumers to follow their passions.  People are eager to find articles and information about the things thye are going to buy or hope to buy in the future.

According to the second year of an Opinion Research Corporation consumer preference survey sponsored by Adfusion, consumers say they’re more likely to read and act upon articles with brand information.  It also shows that the trend is increasing for all forms of online advertising, including email offers.  Consumers prefer brands that give them information.

53% of those surveyed said they were “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to read and act upon an article they read online about a brand.  When you look at more specific information it is 66% for those between the ages of 25 and 34.  For those making at least $75,000, 60% responded positively to online brand information.

The business I mentioned in the first paragraph is a small business in a small town.  But look at another car website that is known across the nation.  Edmonds puts all sorts of car information at the consumer’s fingertips.  As a business person it is imperative to have your radar screen up and find out where your customers (the blip on the screen) are.   Then figure out how you become the blip on your customer’s screen.

For those of you who like to dig a little deeper there is a great article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  Our brains reward us when we start to expect getting what we want.  That’s right.  Just the anticipation of getting it starts the same reward mechanism in our brain as actually having it!

What is the best way to trigger that reward center in the brain?  Is it one picture in a magazine?  Is it a billboard that someone sees while rushing their children to school?  Is it an ad that interrupts their favorite music, or television show?  Or has a better reward center emerged that puts that information at the consumer’s fingertips?  The computer with images, videos and words rewards the consumer’s brain in a much better way than any other means of advertising.

So, today a consumer could look at the 1955 Chevy and their brain will reward them with the feel, the sound and even the smells of that vehicle.  Or look at the 1971 Land Cruiser and its ride is much different, but their brain could trigger all the rewards of that vehicle.   Another consumer will look at the latest women’s jewelry, or purse and know what if feels like when then are wearing it, even before they have purchased it.  Another consumer will be looking forward to their date tonight and go online an find out what restaurant will be the best one to go to.  People concerned about issues like social responsibility willl find the brands like McDonald’s who are willing to talk about their company and its social responsibility.

So it is Friday.   Some businesses are quickly reading their horoscope hoping it tells them that today is their lucky day.  Others are looking at the new ad they placed in a magazine that makes them feel real good.  Meanwhile other businesses are busy posting what their customers want on websites, blogs, sending out emails of interest, talking to their customers on facebook, or letting people know about the great event they are having.  Meanwhile these businesses’ new customer’s brains have already rewarded them and they can’t wait to get to these businesses.  They can feel and see the jewelry on their arm, they know how their new car is going to look and ride, they can taste their favorite meal and those thoughts will guide them to what they found on the internet.

(If you need help in knowing how easy it is to keep in touch with your customers email me at


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