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

May 30, 2023

Creating brain-friendly experiences involves understanding how human psychology and behavioral principles can be integrated into the design of products and services. By recognizing and leveraging these concepts, brands can establish a stronger emotional connection with their customers and create experiences that resonate long after the interaction has ended. In the podcast, Melina Palmer advocates for infusing behavioral economics concepts into business practices and learning from Disney's approach. She encourages brands to delve into the "why" behind their existence and explore principles like framing, nudges, and nostalgia to foster lasting relationships with customers. The goal is to deliver unforgettable experiences that keep customers coming back for more, just as Disney has managed to do, time and again.

  • Discover the art of blending novelty and nostalgia to create Disney magic.
  • Unravel the secrets behind Disney's scarcity and identity-based marketing techniques.
  • Learn how to improve customer experience during those unavoidable wait times.
  • Implement Mickey's Ten Commandments and Imagineering Team's guiding principles.
  • Uncover brain-friendly storytelling methods that boost revenue generation.

Show Notes:

  • 00:00:00 - Introduction,
    Melina introduces the podcast episode, which is about the behavioral economics of Disney. She talks about how Disney is part of our culture and upbringing and how it is a complex web of companies.
  • 00:06:42 - Disney's Focus on Innovation,
    Disney's focus on innovation and constantly working to be better has stuck with the company for over 90 years. They balance expectations with surprise and delight in a way that works with the brain's bias for the status quo.
  • 00:09:19 - Nostalgia,
    Disney embraces nostalgia in its parks, movies, and merchandise. They keep some things static over decades to evoke a feeling of nostalgia and balance it with new adaptations to keep it fresh.
  • 00:12:17 - Novelty and the IKEA Effect,
    Disney incorporates novelty and the IKEA effect, which is the idea that people value things they helped create. Disney has little surprises throughout its parks, like hidden Mickeys, and Easter eggs in its movies. They also let people create their own experience with the brand, like embroidering names onto Mickey ears.
  • 00:15:00 - Emotional Bonding,
    Being part of the fun and shaping the experience makes people emotionally bonded to the Disney brand. Helping pick out Mickey ears or discovering hidden Mickeys can prime memories and conversations and helps people like the brand more.
  • 00:16:07 - Scarcity and Buzz,
    Disney's scarcity of specialty ears creates buzz and excitement among park visitors, who love to follow the crowd. This generates social proof, making the limited item even more popular and highly sought after. It's a stroke of genius by Disney to create scarcity in a way that gets people talking about the brand.
  • 00:19:22 - Thoughtfulness in Experiences,
    Disney is known for being thoughtful in their experiences, making even the bad moments an experience all their own. By creating fun and engaging interactions including, hidden Mickeys, and themed line experiences, Disney turns waiting in a long line into a dopamine-generating, anticipation-building experience. This thoughtfulness is a gift that people repay with loyalty and fandom.
  • 00:23:18 - Mickey's Ten Commandments,
    Mickey's Ten Commandments are a set of guiding principles that define Disney's values and handbook. Two commandments that stand out are to "avoid overwhelm" and "tell one story at a time." By simplifying the customer experience, reducing decision fatigue, and thinking through every experience, Disney can remain the happiest place on Earth for over 65 years.
  • 00:28:17 - Imagineering Process,
    Disney's Imagineering Team goes through a process of asking questions to guide every new project, starting with what could it be and ending with how did we do? By using this process, Disney creates a flexible approach that allows for variety while still maintaining a high level of thoughtfulness and attention to detail.
  • 00:31:03 - Starting with Story,
    Disney starts by creating a great story and then builds everything around it. This approach is different from the standard approach where a product is created, and then a story is created around it. By starting with a story, Disney ensures that the audience is emotionally invested in the story and the products or services associated with it.
  • 00:31:51 - Brain-friendly Experiences,
    Brands can benefit from creating brain-friendly experiences by starting with a story. Starting with a story creates a sense of emotional investment and makes the experience more memorable. Incorporating various concepts from behavioral economics, such as framing, nudges, and nostalgia, can help create a more brain-friendly experience.
  • 00:33:36 - Insights and Inspiration,
    Disney is a master of creating a balance between novelty and nostalgia in their experiences. They recognize that people want to share their childhood experiences with future generations, and they create experiences that allow them to do so. Disney also pays attention to the true end of the experience, which is not when someone leaves the park, but when they can relive the experience through photos. Companies can learn from Disney by creating similar brain-friendly experiences.
  • 00:35:09 - Making Memories,
    Disney understood the true end of their experience, which was the moment when people could relive the experience through photos. They worked with Kodak to paint the park in colors that would look best when printed on photo paper, creating amazing, stellar pictures that helped make the memories stronger. Creating brain-friendly experiences involves paying attention to the details that make all the difference.
  • 00:35:08 - Conclusion,
    Melina's top insights from the conversation. What stuck with you while listening to the episode? What are you going to try? Come share it with Melina on social media -- you'll find her as @thebrainybiz everywhere and as Melina Palmer on LinkedIn.

Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show. 

I hope you love everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or other compensation.

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