I had an interesting discussion of recent. It revolved around the power of branding – in particular, high street branding. It was around the idea of trusting the products you purchase. Consumers tend to trust products with a particular label on it. In fact, they are more likely to trust a product with any label on it. Let us delve deeper…
Washing the Brain
Capitalism has allowed for there to be a face on every single item you purchase in your weekly shopping. In other words, when you are shopping for groceries, whatever product you are buying there is already a brand that you go to without even thinking about it. For example, butter is next on the shopping list and, without even thinking about it, the Flora packaging is what your brain is telling you to look for (or whatever butter is your preference…maybe even margarine).
Brands have unlocked a door in the human brain which allows them to control how you percept them and almost implant their image into your mind. David Eagleman, a well-known neuroscientist, offered the idea (in his fantastic book ‘Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain’) that you do not remember such actions of the day because your brain is so accustomed performing that action, it does not require your conscious mind to be aware of it taking place. Actions such as opening the front door when you come home from work. Do you remember that action at any given time? Do you even think about it? The answer for the majority is ‘no’. It’s embedded into your brain that this is just something you do.
This trust in branding has a major impact on pricing, and the worst part is people would still pay ludicrous money for something which has many cheaper alternatives. For example, I recently went to Homebase looking for a few things I could use to clean my car. The brand Karcher popped up many places. However, when looking at the specifications of alternative products, they were exactly the same, if not better, than what Kaucher offered. Yet, Kaucher products are significantly more expensive. In fact, there was a man looking for the exact same product as I was and he picked up Kaucher without thinking twice about it. It’s amazing how our trust in brands has us spending our money oh-so illogically.
I believe big brands have done the same thing…or at least similar. In particular, the names which have been around a long time, before our generation. The majority of our parents are not as actively aware of marketing tactics as we are. They easily trusted brands because there was a lot less competition. The internet wasn’t really a thing, it definitely was not as commonly used as it is now. That trust was passed on to us when we were younger. We shop at a lot of the same places or follow a lot of the same brands as we have grown up with them. For example, if I was to purchase some fish fingers, I would always go to BirdsEye without thinking twice about it. I’ve grown up with seeing BirdsEye in the freezer, therefore I’m accustomed to seeing that and lean towards them when looking for fish fingers.
Back to the Question…
…if a child saw an Apple fall from an Apple tree, would they pick it up, take it inside, wash it and then eat it? Or would they leave it because the Apple’s from Tesco come in a fresh clean packet, which is how they are used to receiving their Apple’s?
Is the reason kids prefer the Apple’s from the supermarket because of our parents? And their sub-conscious teachings of brand loyalty?
What do you think? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram!