Using science for marketing goals.

Image Courtesy - BBC
Image Courtesy – BBC

Ever seen a person act irrationally. Well there might be a simple age old answer to that.. behavioral bias.

Marketers can take advantage of a hardwired ancient bias in all human beings. Which for one associates a great weight on losses versus gains. Ever wondered why fear is a greater sales agent than happiness, wonder no more.

Ever wondered why we prefer half a gift right now rather than one tomorrow but if offered the same gift in the future with a one day delay for half vs full gift we prefer to wait the extra day in the future. Defies logic doesn’t it.

The evolutionary answer would point towards the fact that mistakes could easily lead to death in prehistoric times (before we had a written history that might assist in remedying mistakes) and hence our minds are hard wired and allocate a greater importance to errors as a survival mechanism.

Why we do what we do and why it doesn’t always make sense!

Our hard-wired ancient behavioral biases make us act in irrational ways but once understood they can be used to influence decision making. E.g. Losses have a greater impact on our decision making than gains. To quantify it we need twice as much of a gain to offset half as much of a loss. This is a relic of the fact that in prehistoric times, mistakes could easily lead to death and hence our minds have been evolutionarily coded to allocate a greater emphasis on remembering mistakes and avoiding them in our decision making. For marketers that translates as fear is a greater sales agent than happiness.

Want to know how to influence people. Simply put, understand and use their biases to influence their decision making..
We all have ancient hardwired biases that irrationally influence our decision making and when used tactfully can lead to desired results. E.g. As an evolutionary mechanism our brains allocate a great weight or emphasis to losses versus gains, because in prehistoric times mistakes could easily lead to death, hence our minds have evolved to remember the mistakes as a survival technique i.e. fear is a more compelling sales agent than happiness.
To understand in greater depth the root of such bias, how it makes us act irrationally and how deeply imbedded into our minds these bias are click on the image to read other fun facts and even take a few tests that will shed light on the burgeoning field of behavioral economics.

Why we’re all taught to like the same thing, Or at the least within a range of things.

The Choice Equation.
The Choice Equation.

From early childhood we are made to aspire towards the same goals and covet the same things. Individuality is encouraged but within confines. It is a false acceptance of Individuality because in reality true individuality is discouraged and sometimes literally beaten out of people.

The Mantra can be rephrased as – Be the best that you can be (do the most that you can do) vs. do whatever you want to do.

The individual self is a threat to the mass produced nature of the corporate complex. Individuality means variety, but the systems of mass production can only profit on large numbers of the same objects — A limited range of desire is required and hence a conformist desire is projected.

E.g. Forget getting to design your own car you can’t even pick any color. You can only pick colors from those offered by the car company. Now sure you can get it painted in any color you like.. but why not then sell a blank car at a discount. Do I hear the universal echo of “economies of scale” being shouted by business people everywhere, not to mention law enforcement that might need to describe the color etc.

This seems practical and it is.. for products though not for people. The thought that a range of options is the same as true individuality when made towards a lifestyle and choice of career is what is truly stifling for the human condition.

This is the case because if we did not in some way confuse conformist desire with true desire we would see through the mirage that is consumerism and its promise of fulfilling our inner desires with products.

Hence we are confused into thinking we are individuals when in reality we are being cajoled into conforming to pre-molded roles that can then be categorized, segmented, marketed to and finally capitalized on.

Think Differently

Born Again Neon

Slowly but steadily; What goes around comes around. Neon – The flag bearer of the 80’s is here once again.

Since fashion and trends do in some manner signify the general mood of the times. Is there something that drives a style to make a come back at this moment in time?  If the popularity of colors can be interpreted as a reflection of the prevalent mood and times let’s hope Neon colors signify a more optimistic outlook for the future indicative of a recovering economy and a blindingly-brilliant-bright light at the end of the tunnel.

A New Bond

Daniel Craig has done a great job with becoming the new 21st Century Bond. It seems common sensical now to think that the Bond of yore would never have survived in the post-bourne era.

Bond had to become tougher and more action-packed, less focus on the suave and more on the martial arts and brawny parts in the movies.

The franchise recognized the need to update Bond. While Pierce Brosnan did justice to the suave facet of Bond he could never have convincingly been a lethal bond. In that role Daniel Craig has done a great job.

How America can lose weight!

Universal health care is the only way America can combat obesity.

Because only then will the FDA reign in the food industry and tax / restrict unhealthy foods that makes health care expensive and Americans obese.

With universal health care and the FDA under one roof (public sector) the left hand knows what the right hand does and vice versa.

Just cause you’re offended doesn’t make what I’m saying wrong. Criticism is not disrespect.

One of my favorite writers Salman Rushdie speaks on what he knows best “Freedom of Speech”. Salman Rushdie is the author of numerous books, a multiple award winner & has been in hiding since the late 80’s because the Iranian Ayatollah issued a Fatwa (A Death Edict – Asking any & all Muslims who see him to kill him) against him for his book “The Satanic Verses”.

But most importantly he beautifully sums up how today “Offense” & “Respect” are being used to muffle free speech, stifle debate & undermine any criticism.

He chides Indian Congress Party leader and heir-apparent Rahul Gandhi for indulging in vote-bank politics by banning him (Salman Rushdie is an Indian born author) from attending the Jaipur Literary fest and using the issue for political mileage in the recently held UP Elections (a state with a sizeable muslim population).

See the Video

MTV India dabbles in folk music.

Rural Games - Qila Raipur, Ludhiana, Punjab

A lovely video & song created using the sounds and the imagery of the Annual Rural Olympics held in Qila Raipur, Ludhiana, Punjab.

MTV India’s Music Director Sneha, Folk Singers Sultana & Jyoti along with a melange of characters from the games give folk music a much needed make over. Using the technology & tastes of today .. They give us a folk dub-step beat with Exotic Imagery!

Check out the Music Video

& here’s the making of

This world is to be shared.

There is renewed interest in the debate on multiculturalism & whether it’s truly possible for society to be secular. Many have stated that it is a failure & the recent attacks in France have only charged the debate further.

I though am a firm believer in multiculturalism and its benefits. Opponents to multiculturalism, in my opinion, are merely slow-adapters to change (you have some of those everywhere, many were adverse to the internet!)

The dangerous & disturbing trend is how those who oppose it are resorting to violence. Whether it be far right groups in Europe or marginalized minorities in western & developing countries.

To see how the benefits outweigh the teething problems read on…

Lost Great Wall of China found in Mongolia.

The Great wall of china, one of mankinds greatest collective accomplishments is actually longer than initially thought.

Researchers working on the man-made structure which can be seen from space found remnants of a high wall deep in the gobi desert using google earth technology.

Read on….