Paying Attention to Barriers [Insight]

Some information I recently read in a very interesting article by Colin Ho made me take a new loo at what we call “barriers” in connecting brands with consumers.

The article included information on how consumers tend to gravitate towards negative information in a stronger way than to positive. It explains that we are hardwired to pay attention to navigate information and less so to positive information.

For me, it all comes down (again) to the reptilian brain include fear, acceptance, survival, curiosity and superiority.

Think about some common behaviors we all experienced that show that attractiveness to the negative side… our gravitation towards that side of life.

When there is a car accident, we all slow down… and try to look

At car races, we are quietly and secretly wishing for a wreck; for those Latinos that attend bull-fights (in our home country), we again are quietly and secretly wishing for the bull to get the “matador.”

The white paper I reviewed showed that this attraction to the negative side is much stronger than any attraction to the positive side.

So if consumers are much more moved by the negatives, shouldn’t we be paying more attention and increasing the importance of the, (or the avoidance of them) in our messaging?

There is the issue I see; that as marketers we don’t pay that much attention to the barriers and focus on the positives only, thus not getting an accurate picture of how people make decisions.

We focus on how great our brand is and all the great things it does (or will do) for you Mrs. Consumer; we exclusively focus on ensuring great satisfaction with our product instead of mixing in the failures you could avoid without it. It’s a tricky mix, because we don’t usually as marketers like to mention anything negative when we are putting our brand on the pedestal; but it seems that taking that chance and head-on addressing negatives (or the avoidance of them) in some way will not only create more attraction to our message but will connect better with how consumers really look at their world.