The article Why Do People Fall in Love, published in the Huffington Post in July of 2012, looks at several studies – each focused on a different love-related trait. Think of it as the answer to Frankie Lymon’s question, “Why do fools fall in love?“
We’ll share excerpts from the science stuff, then discuss what this can mean to your brand.
1. Similar Political Views
“A recent Rice University study published in the Journal of Politics found that we tend to choose partners with similar political views — in fact, couples who swing the same way politically outnumbered those with similar personality traits, appearances, and religious beliefs.”
Remember when Chick-Fil-A president, Dan Cathy, shared his political views with the world?
And, do you think folks who watch Fox News are more likely to go to Wal-Mart or Target?
I’ve been married for 14 years and, to this day, my wife hasn’t shared with me who she’s voted for in ANY election … and, honestly, that may be a blessing.
I don’t believe that our country has ever been more politically charged and divided than we are today. It feels like the good of folk’s political views out-weighs the good of the country’s needs anymore.
From a marketing perspective, we can exploit this – or let it gobble us up. Understand your target – not just age, sex, race and income – that’s the easy stuff. What does your target care about? What type of customers do you want (don’t say, “breathing”)?
The easy answer is to remain politically-neutral, right? But that’s easier said than done.
I may not know what my wife has done in the ballot box for the last decade and a half, but I know who she is as a person. I know her views and her values. You can’t and should NEVER want to hide those. Understand which or your brand’s values align with your target and flaunt the heck out of them. Not everyone agreed with Dan Cathy, but those that did are now even more fearfully loyal.
“Researchers at the University of Texas found that women with a low waist-to-hip ratio (in which the waist is significantly narrower than the hips) are subconsciously more attractive to men than those with wider waists.”
Wow, who financed THAT study?!?! Dudes dig hot chicks. Stop the presses!
But before you roll your eyes and call us all chauvinists, we’re not alone…
“An Australian study found that, subconscious though it may be, women tend to prefer male faces that are symmetrical (which is often considered a sign of good health).”
“If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife…”
Seriously, who ever listened to Jimmy Soul’s advice? Appearance is vital.
If you want people to fall in love with your brand, take a good hard look in the mirror. Do your branches look safe and appealing? What decade do they look like they’re from? Does your brand image carry over to your staff (suits are ok for some brands, polos for others)?
“A survey by the University of Chicago showed that people who agreed with altruistic statements, like ‘I’d rather suffer myself than let the one I love suffer,’ reported more happiness in their marriage than those who did not concur with those statements.”
Do you need to justify that community involvement to your CEO? Quote this study.
Credit unions and community banks talk this talk all the time. Put the customer first. Do good in the ‘hood. Offer your staff PTO to get out in the community and make a difference.
4. Location, Location, Location – Leads to Shared Cultural Values
“A study published in the journal Psychological Science found that men who live in cultures where food and money are scarce tend to find heavier women more attractive than thinner ones. These men may see the extra pounds as a status symbol; a buxom figure signals having the means to purchase plenty of food.”
There is nowhere in this great country like southern Louisiana. We know, we have a client there. People talk different, think different and act different. So how can Regions and Chase Banks have an advantage?
If you need to differentiate your brand from a larger, foreign competitor, embrace your culture.
5. Don’t Act Your Age
“A study from the journal Current Anthropology found that men from five different cultures showed a preference for females with youthful features like large eyes, a small nose, and full lips. Don’t be too quick to write these men off as pigs, however: These findings show that we subconsciously seek out partners who are most likely to be able to reproduce.”
Alright, I know we don’t want to physically reproduce with our market – we’ll leave that kinda talk to what the “Big Bank” do to their customers every day (if you know what I mean).
But, this point is valid for those of use who look at our lobbies and ask, “Where are all the millennials?”
In the same way that YOU want younger customers (because they will “produce” more), the younger customers look for youthful features from you. If you look and act like their dad’s bank, all you’re going to get is their dad.
To acquire millennials, you must understand them. According to The 2014 Millennial Impact Report, the following are identified trends:
- Millennials engage with causes to help other people, not institutions (See #3 above).
- Millennials support issues rather than organizations (See #1 above).
- Millennials prefer to perform smaller actions before fully committing to a cause.
- Millennials are influenced by the decisions and behaviors of their peers.
- Millennials treat all their assets (time, money, network, etc.) as having equal value.
- Millennials need to experience an organization’s work without having to be on site
They want to interact. They prefer quick information (look at the rise of Vine). The lowest price, alone, is not enough. They likely will not jump in with both feet, but test you with one product and be insanely loyal when you’ve earned it.
6. Mirror Image
“Participants in a Canadian study were less likely to choose people with similar-looking faces for a short-term relationship, they were more trusting of people with faces that resembled their own — and therefore more likely to end up with them in the long term.”
In just about every seminar I’ve ever presented, I preach that we do not sell checking accounts and loans, we sell trust. If we want our target to love us, we need them to trust us. To get them to trust us, the research supports that we need to understand them and align our brand to their traits.
Here’s a worthwhile exercise. Identify your best customers. Analyze them. Does your brand align with their wants and needs?
So there you go, Casanova, go make the world fall in love with you. Just don’t come complaining to me when your little black book (and lobbies) get too full.
John and Paul were spot-on when they said, “All You Need is Love,” but when it comes to branding, they may have missed the mark a bit when they proclaimed, “You Can’t Buy Me Love.” Expect an investment of time and money to understand your target, to look your best for them, to put them first and to have them hear you talk their talk.
In addition to being a strategic consultant, MarketMatch is also a nationally and internationally requested speaker. Contact us to bring our marketing ideas to your next conference.