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

Oct 28, 2022

Today I am very excited to have Dr. Matt Johnson back on the show to talk about Branding That Means Business, a new book he has co-authored with Dr. Tessa Misiaszek (who will be on the show in a few weeks talking about her background and the aspects she brings to this fascinating project). Matt was on the show in 2021 talking about his other book, Blindsight (which he co-authored with Prince Guhman, who was also on the show last year.) Matt is a professor, researcher, and writer, who received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology/Neuroscience from Princeton University in 2013.

His focus now is on bridging the gap between science and business; to accomplish this, he works across several fields including behavioral economics, consumer neuroscience, and experiential marketing. A contributor to major news outlets including Forbes, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, and VICE, and a writer for Psychology Today, he regularly provides expert opinion and thought leadership on a range of topics related to the human side of business. He advises both start-ups and large brands and has served as an expert-in-residence to Nike’s Innovation Team in Portland, Oregon. Matt is so much fun and a wealth of fascinating information. We are going to talk about so many awesome things today so you don’t want to miss it. 

Show Notes:

  • [00:42] Today I am very excited to have Dr. Matt Johnson back on the show to talk about Branding That Means Business, a new book he has co-authored with Dr. Tessa Misiaszek.
  • [02:48] Melina and Matt share the similarities in their lives. 
  • [04:08] Matt shares his background and how he found himself in the world of neuro and behavioral science. 
  • [05:53] His second book, Branding That Means Business is written for the business practitioner on how to build brands and how companies can create enduring brands with consumers and markets. 
  • [08:49] One of his goals when writing a book is to write for as broad of an audience as possible within popular science, but also for very niche behavioral science readers. 
  • [11:11] Every experience you have consuming content is potentially going to be featured in some sort of written word. 
  • [12:22] Twitter can be an amazing resource. Incredible business minds and academics are sharing on Twitter.   
  • [15:15] The rule of the brand is to create trust. Trust is an absolute game changer when it comes to consumer dynamics.     
  • [17:55] When information or an advertising claim comes from a brand you trust it is much more System 1 oriented and it changes the decision-making process to be much easier and free-flowing. 
  • [19:59] Building a brand is like building a house. The goal isn’t to just build the house and structure, but ultimately to build a home that creates a positive emotional experience and a sense of warmth and belonging.  
  • [22:39] Interactions within the brain and how you feel about it — those associations are so key. 
  • [23:16] A brand is an element of the company. It is a tool of the company that adds unique value above and beyond the products themselves and it helps the company differentiate itself from industry competitors.  
  • [26:36] We need to know what our brand associations are so we can change them or embrace them.  
  • [27:46] How the brand is sculpted at the level of the brain and the consumer and how that is aggregated over the entire market can be very different.   
  • [30:36] After research, KitKat completely changed its marketing in Japan and it had a huge impact. 
  • [31:50] So often companies and people end up really making things so much harder for us than they have to be. If you let go and have the current take you then you can get somewhere more meaningful. 
  • [34:28] Our job as the brand manager is not to be the guardians of the brand image but as the caretaker of it. 
  • [36:20] Micro and nano influencers have smaller audiences, but because they are very engaged followers that can be very effective. 
  • [38:14] Many people are willing to partner with brands that mean something to them.  
  • [40:26] Among younger consumers there is a “learned allergy” to top-down advertising. This is one of the reasons why TikTok has been so huge with product advertising. 
  • [43:22] Organic marketing and integrated content are becoming more and more attractive.  
  • [46:14] If it is perceived to be a small brand the expectations are that it is going to be a brand that you really know, you could directly interact with it, and you could possibly co-create with the brand. This differs from big brands who should adopt this different strategy. 
  • [47:59] Differentiation and consumer perception are important. It really matters to consider consumer perceptions in terms of those expectations.  
  • [50:31] Melina shares her closing thoughts. 
  • [52:20] Knowing what is going on in the world and finding how you can relate your brand to the current conversation is so key to using branding effectively in your business.

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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