Dec 28, 2018
This behavioral economics podcast episode is the final
installment of my series on the five senses. We’ve already talked
about sight, smell, taste and hearing. Today, we dig into the sense
of touch. Touch is one of the topics that I’m the most excited to
share with you. Touch is directly connected to buying behavior in a
way that is fascinating to behold.
We value things more once we have touched them, and the triad of
the endowment effect, perceived ownership and loss aversion are
triggered directly by touch, which I will get into during the
episode. I talk about how touch works and share scientific studies
and real life examples that will help illustrate how this
fascinating sense can be incorporated into your business.
- [07:32] Touch is directly connected to buying behavior in a way
that's fascinating to behold.
- [08:23] Touch is directly linked to emotional language.
- [09:05] We can get along without most of our other senses. It's
not the same with touch.
- [09:59] Our sense of touch and having contact with others is
important for development throughout life.
- [10:45] Touch is the social glue that binds us all
- [11:17] Touch is important for the development of people and
- [12:07] Developing emotionally makes one more receptive to
- [12:44] The wisdom of Dr. Seuss.
- [13:33] Our skin has many nerve endings. These nerve endings
have different jobs. Fingertips have nerve endings for pressure,
and that is why they can read braille.
- [15:27] If I asked you if water was hot or cold your answer
would depend. As with the truth about pricing (where it isn’t
really about the price) – it’s not about the water and its
temperature, it’s about everything leading up to the touch and
temperature that matters.
- [15:52] Nerve endings are different than emotional touch and
- [17:13] Emotion and touch are very closely linked, and we form
bonds with the way things feel.
- [17:42] TEAMWORK - Human contact is important to our
development throughout our lives.
- [18:04] Touch has been shown to impact the overall
effectiveness of teams.
- [19:01] Waitresses who touch the arm of a patron in a platonic
way (whether they are male or female) have been shown to get more
- [19:40] Providing comforting touch is part of who we are as
humans and it impacts our relationships and how we do
- [19:52] Use touch with caution and make sure you are always
incorporating appropriate touch.
- [20:32] Whether we realize it or not, the texture of the paper
an item is printed on says a lot to our subconscious about the
business as a whole.
- [21:47] That first impression is everything and could be
impacting every decision from that point forward. Invest in high
quality materials that reflect your brand and message.
- [22:38] If you want to show you are out of the box there are
many options – I have gotten wooden and metal business cards and
they definitely say something about the person who gives them to
- [22:54] Think about everything that is physically touched. They
all say something about your brand.
- [23:54] Merely touching an item greatly increases the ownership
over that item.
- [24:29] Our brains want us to reach out and touch things.
- [25:28] Smart companies know that touch increases
- [25:58] Far too many stores neglect the power of the dressing
room with poorly-lit, messy dressing rooms.
- [26:34] A personal shopper is a very easy way to experience the
clothing and decide what you like. People would buy more if every
store experience was like this.
- [28:04] Advice from What Not to Wear. Color, pattern, texture,
and shine should be incorporated into every outfit.
- [28:21] Texture matters because we can see what something might
feel like with our eyes. This creates visual interest and
- [29:51] Similar to the paper you print things on, texture and
the power of touch are actually a big influence on how people
perceive you…even if they will never touch your outfit.
- [30:24] We can emotionally “feel” something with our eyes, and
it helps us to make decisions about the person in front of us.
- [30:39] The feel of a piece makes a big impact on purchase
- [31:28] Think about your packaging also.
- [31:54] The power of touch without touch - the benefits of
envisioning yourself touching an object or an image of an
- [33:31] Well-chosen words can make your brain trigger its
texture centers so you are responding as if you were touching it –
triggering perceived ownership, loss aversion, and an increased
likelihood of buying.
- [33:48] The truth of the matter is this – touch – whether it is
actually happening in your hands or simply in your mind, impacts
- [35:24] BRAND - Brands need to think about the way they make
people feel and how that ties in with their overall
- [36:00] The materials you choose for everything you do – from
physical products to chairs in the lobby and business cards,
postcards and letterhead all impact the perception (and likelihood
- [36:58] All the senses are impacting our lives much more than
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