In this edition of Coast Digital’s Friday Knowledge Share, new Coastie Charlie Taylor presented his claims that perception can radically change the way in which audiences, and the companies themselves, can view a brand.
After explaining his points, he used additional resources to support his claim by showing us a video of the talk “Perspective is Everything” by the excellent Rory Sutherland.
Sutherland is extremely engaging and clear with his points and illustrates his argument by citing a recent study in Japan in which red traffic lights were given timers to inform drivers of how long they have to wait before they can drive again.
The results showed that the level of road rage decreased because drivers were more content to wait because they were aware of how long they had to wait, even though the amount of time was exactly the same as before.
Therefore, the way people can feel about the very same thing, e.g. waiting in traffic lights, can feel completely different depending on the perspective they are given through the use of reframing.
Take my money?
Sutherland strings this same idea into an economical standpoint by stating that people can be either happy or unhappy about the same thing that they have to pay an amount for, it just depends on the way in which the transaction is framed.
As a point of reference, Sutherland discusses how the renowned square-shaped cereal Shreddies was remarkted as a “diamond” edition of Shreddies, which did have a positive effect on sales due to the perception of them being a new form of shreddies with a good sounding name and good looking shape, yet they were actually just Shreddies turned diagonally!
Sutherland then closes his speech with a great analogy by stating the following: If a Michelin star restaurant creates fantastic food, but the restaurant has a peculiar smell and is dusty, putting your efforts into creating even better food isn’t what should be focused on.
He states that the context of where a person eats their meal is inclusive of the total amount the customer has to pay for their dining out experience in relation to the value of the meal (ingredients, expertise, labour) but also the cleaning, maintenance and intended atmosphere of the surroundings.
So if the meal is already of a very high standard, putting substantial effort into creating marginally better food and not dealing with the issue of cleanliness will actually result in far less of a positive impact.
Instead, the focus should be on making the restaurant fresh and clean to match the food’s high quality for the sake of the customer’s overall experience.
Appreciate what your strengths are to help you grow further
The lesson to take away is that changing the perspective on what you already have can make you appreciate it so much more.
Instead of trying to improve what is already great about what you do, it is better to realise that this particular aspect is already great and spend more time trying to improve other areas instead.
So if you already have a strong aspect of your website that you’re trying to improve further, it may be better to spend time looking at digital marketing channels to both optimise what you already have and promote your business to the right audiences.