- Andrew Goldstein
Marketing & Economics in 2021
Updated: Mar 23, 2021
Our unconscious dominates us, and we make decisions in a much more emotional way than in a logical way. That's where the famous MENTAL TRIGGERS come in.
In short, they are stimuli that are sent to your brain, often in disguise, that will affect your emotions, mood, memories, etc. to influence your decision-making.
Each day you get to make more than 1,000 decisions, from defining which time to get out of your bed, what clothes to wear, to which way to go to work.
Most of these decisions we make automatically.
We don't even think, when we realize, we are already doing it.
This is because in order to make decisions, we have to put our brain to work consciously, and it takes a lot of energy. So, for simpler situations, our brain ends up making decisions without realizing it, unconsciously. This is where the mental triggers act, in these decisions that do not pass through our conscious.
Let's give you an example:
Remember the day, in your school's art class, when you were still a child, and that your teacher praised the drawing you had done, in front of everyone?
And how much it made you feel special?
Without thinking, you start drawing more at home, copying magazine designs, training for more and more, drawing better (often this decision is made unconsciously) because you want that dopamine rush again, you want to feel special again, to feel exclusive.
Exclusivity can be used to set off mental triggers in you, and consumers alike. Companies exploit these triggers to assist in directing your decision-making. In fact, there are many companies built around this model, take Founders Card for example.
For a further example think the special discounts made "for you", gifts on your birthday, benefit levels, etc.
Another mental trigger widely tapped into by companies and organizations is scarcity.
You may have seen some advertisement worded like this:
“… LAST UNITS, LIMITED EDITIONS…”, etc.
The scarcity is linked to our survival instinct.
We need to take advantage of it before it's over!
Clear examples have sprouted up throughout this pandemic, in which stocks of toilet paper and alcohol gel have run out of establishments. Lot's of which way be under the sink in your bathroom as you're sitting here reading.
Just like these, there are several other triggers that are used, such as:
The important thing, as a consumer, is to know that MENTAL TRIGGERS exist in advertising and that they are often used to influence your choice, so it is good to stay alert, get out of the automatic impulse buy, breathe a little and think hard before making any type of important decision. By making conscious decisions, we have the opportunity to innovate in decisions!
This is also good for you as an entrepreneur or business owner to know. Not just to boost sales, and views on ads, but to better suited to formulate a strategy that holds a more ethical ground. Doing so will not just have a positive mental effect on you, but your consumer as well.
Who would you rather shop with a brand that cares, and that you can trust, all while having far competitive deals? Or one harvesting this information to only manipulate the general public to line their own pockets? Mental triggers are a factor in all expert marketing speech, but it is important to use them responsibly and ethically, never with the intention of deceiving customers.
Brand Strategist & Content Writer