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The Brainy Business | Understanding the Psychology of Why People Buy | Behavioral Economics

Jul 6, 2018

This episode discusses the Top 5 Wording Mistakes Businesses Make — a highly requested topic when I did a survey on The Brainy Business Facebook page, which, if you do not already like that page I encourage you to check it out. There is a great discussion there, and I share different content including a lot of tips and you can connect directly with me and others who love behavioral economics.

I’ve broken the Top 5 Wording Mistakes down into five categories: too literal, too boring, too much, too vague, and too confusing. 

Show Notes:

  • [01:37] Today’s episode is all about the Top 5 Wording Mistakes Businesses Make.
  • [03:37] If you have made any of these mistakes, it is important to know that you are not alone and you are in good company. The wording mistakes are easy to change and fix. 
  • [05:12] I’ve broken the Top 5 Wording Mistakes down into five categories: too literal, too boring, too much, too vague, and too confusing.
  • [05:30] An example from the too literal category about a top-notch local nail salon. 
  • [09:25] People need to have the message properly framed for their brain.  
  • [10:49] Thinking, “it is still true and it was a good thing then so it can’t hurt now” is not true. Keeping that old sign up is damaging your reputation now. 
  • [12:04] Finding a new way to frame the old literal message will help you stand out and be more effective. 
  • [13:41] Another example in Too Literal is talking about features instead of benefits.
  • [16:23] Features and literal translations rarely break through the clutter and don’t get remembered. When you are too literal, it is just noise. Use interesting, catchy wording to break through the clutter.
  • [16:55] The next mistake is being Too Boring. 
  • [19:21] With a boring name, it will not stand out and you’re not going to talk about it even if it is your favorite. 
  • [22:48] Let’s talk about Cotton Candy grapes. Would we have come to the place of thinking they taste like cotton candy without the prompt?
  • [23:55] In this situation, we have all been primed with the concept of cotton candy. Very likely we wouldn’t have all said it tastes like cotton candy but now we did.
  • [24:32] The other concept that comes up, in this case, is the concept of expectation. 
  • [25:58] When we believe beforehand that something will be good it generally will be good and when we think it will be bad it will be bad. 
  • [27:32] You probably know that dopamine is responsible for enjoyment in the brain and it drives a lot of our behavior, but studies have shown that anticipation is where the dopamine is released versus the treat itself.
  • [30:31] The lesson here is to be interesting to get attention.
  • [31:45] The next wording mistake businesses make is including too much. 
  • [32:13] Our brains get overwhelmed easily, way quicker than you would think. This wording mistake is the most common offense.
  • [34:33] When your conscious brain is too bogged down with information for it to be easily remembering, it can’t block and help with your making good decisions. 
  • [36:14] The point of marketing is to get people interested enough to go to your website, pick up the phone, or come in person. The thing that you are trying to get them to do is take the next action. 
  • [37:56] It is more effective to have one message you are trying to get across to get someone interested enough to learn more. 
  • [38:36] The 4th wording mistake is being too vague. Melina shares a study from a grocery store. 
  • [42:06] Our brain will latch onto an anchor even if it is arbitrary. Look for times when you can get to something specific that is not tied to something literal. 
  • [43:45] Understanding how these concepts work together is important if you are trying to implement some of these.  A lot of this work together to help you be more effective. 
  • [44:25] The last wording mistake I see businesses make is being too confusing. 
  • [45:20] What is it that I want my ideal client to do and how can I make it easy for them to understand what it is and take the next step? Our brains are busy and quick to move on if what is there is confusing. 
  • [46:51] Having one task for everything that you put out there so that it is not confusing for them and it is really clear is key. 
  • [50:30] What is your interesting and not so literal and not vague way of messaging that isn’t confusing?
  • [51:19] Melina’s closing thoughts.

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