Sales & Marketing

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Three hidden forces that motivate customer behaviour

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I recently interviewed Jonah Berger, New York Times best-selling author of “Contagious”, marketing professor at the Wharton School of Business, and consultant to global brands like Facebook, Google and Unilever.

Berger proposes an unequivocal truth: your customers are being influenced right this second. If you’re not in control (or at least a part) of these influences, your brand will suffer, popularity will shrink, and customers will simply look elsewhere to be inspired.

Here’s the good news. With the right approach, you can take control of your brand influence and ensure that today’s customers continue to be there for tomorrow’s future. Let’s explore the three hidden forces that motivate customer behaviour. 

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(1) Social influence

We live a life defined by social influence. “Not me!”, you might be screaming. Berger is quick to refute these claims, and his research backs up the point. Consider this: we see social influence as an active current in the world around us, but very rarely do we see or judge ourselves through the same lens. We see conformity and imitation in others. Or maybe we see an overt attempt by some people to be different or unique.

Collectively, we suffer from a lack of perspective and perception. This manifests itself as an almost complete lapse of personal awareness; that feeling that our lives and actions cannot possibly be the result of subconscious social influence. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

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The first step is to acknowledge that most of your decisions are shaped by social influence. As Berger asserts, we can use this knowledge to create happier, healthier lives for ourselves. In the world of business, self-awareness can make us more influential, help guide smarter decisions, and spur motivation in ourselves and others.

Once you grasp the gravity of social influence, you can begin to make the shift from influenced to influencer. That’s a step that any savvy brand or marketer would love to take.

Read on the next page as I detail how you can master the curiosity gap and why the problem of securing customers isn’t about poor attention span, but an abbreviated tolerance.

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