Whats up Empire,
Joshua Woodward here.
For all of you private labelers out there listen up. If you have spent any time building a private label company this podcast is going to help you strengthen, develop and boost the traffic around your brand.
A few months back we had our good friend Daryl Weber on the show to share the 101 version of his branding teaching. He is back this week to give us his second portion to this teaching and man oh man was it packed with gold.
If you find just as much value as I found from this podcast and the previous podcast Daryl has since put out a book titled Brand Subduction. You can find out more on his website at, http://www.daryl-weber.com/
You can find Our last podcast at,
If you want to know more about us and all we are doing go to, http://www.theonlineempireacademy.com
Until next time Empire,
Have a great day!
Joshua Woodward and the O.E.A. team
— Transcripts Below This Point—
What's up, online empire academy? Joshua Woodward here. Today we have Daryl Weber on and this is the 2.0. We had him earlier on just to talk about branding, to get this idea started. He recently put out a book called Brand Seduction. It goes through the idea of how neuro science can help marketers build memorable brands. Yes I'm reading that because I couldn't remember all of it.
Daryl, how are you doing, man?
I'm doing great, man. Thanks for having me back.
Absolutely. I'm excited. If you guys hadn't watched our last live show with Dean and I, both of us are getting passionate about branding, especially with some of the things that Amazon's rolling out and some of the things that we're doing as a team. Branding is becoming more and more relevant and more and more important with becoming an ecommerce seller. We talked about how important it is to set your future up to develop a brand. I think it's so timely and so exciting to have Daryl on again, especially with his book coming out that's all about branding. I think it's a really timely thing.
Daryl, will you just give a little background about this book and how you got started with this concept?
Sure. It started out, I was fascinated by how the brain works and how the mind works in general. In undergrad I studied psychology and focused on cognitive neuro science. Just out of that fascination for wanting to understand how people work. How we tick.
I started working in marketing over 15 years ago now. Advertising in a brand strategy consulting firm. All through that time, I was always curious about how the psychology of it fits into this whole thing. A lot of marketers are thinking about these different ways of reaching people and connecting with consumers but it felt like they weren't truly understanding how they were connecting to the consumers minds and brains. It felt like they were making a lot of assumptions. The science wasn't quite there.
Just because of that I wanted to dig more deeply into it and say, “How do consumers minds operate? How are we getting them to buy one thing over another? How does consumer loyalty work? How do we get someone to be habitually buying our brand or product?”
These are things that have been studied. There's a ton of research on consumer psychology and consumer behavior. There's academic journals and people who study this but it wasn't getting communicated over to the marketers that I thought could benefit from it.
With my book, I was fascinated by that stuff. I was reading it, I was interested in it. I found that all the people I was working with weren't aware of it. I wanted to write a book that could really translate it over and bridge that gap. Do it in a way that was insightful, fun to read, hopefully entertaining and interesting. Also just easily applicable. Especially the creatives in marketing. I don't know if your audience knows but there's a lot of these creative types that work in advertising and designers. They tend to not be so interested in the science-y side of it.
I wanted to write it in a way. It's more ted talk style. It's interesting and it's what fascinates me about these kinds of things and how the mind and brain works. I wanted to communicate that over and do it in a way that's applicable and can help us build better brands if we have a better understanding of how the mind and brain works.
It's the initial [impotence 00:03:59] for it.
I love it. There's so much of it that I am so illiterate. My dad always talks about not being computer savvy. He's like, “I'm just computer dumb.”
I'm like, I feel like any time I start getting into, obviously neuroscience is such a huge topic. Then as branding as a whole, it is a scary thing in my opinion. I'm like, oh my gosh. How do I develop a brand that's going to appeal?
One of the takeaways I'd had last time I had talked to you was this idea of giving people something to attach themselves to. I think you had given the representation of, give them the drill not the hole in the wall. I don't know. I've taken this same mindset. I want to build something with my brands that actually changes history.
It's really stuck with me. I get excited about this idea of branding.
You said, assumptions not actions. I love this idea. So many different people are making assumptions, so many people are doing that. You've actually taken action and given background and given these studies a real book. Something that I can tangibly hold and look at. Can you explain? How do we even get started?
One of those assumptions is this idea that consumers are rational. We think if we give a better product at a better price and we show them, here's how my product is better than the competitors, consumers should buy that product. Right? That makes sense. In a classical economics, that model makes sense. That's how people should operate.
Unfortunately the truth is, humans are just not that rational. We tend to make poor decisions, we make quick decisions based on gut feel. As many scientific research is showing and studies are showing, we're just not as rational as we think we are. We tend to think, yeah, I know why I bought this thing or I know why I made that decision. There's so much that influencing us sub consciously. Things that move us or subtly nudge us from one thing or another that we're just not aware of.
That's what I thought was fascinating. That was one of those key assumptions that I see marketers make all the time. That we need to convince the people that our product is better. Yes, that can work. Certainly the conscious mind does play a role. There's really a lot more going on beneath the surface that is maybe tricking us or that's just not fully available to consciousness. That's what I wanted to dive into.
I can give you some examples of that, maybe make it a little bit more real.
A classic example of when our brain just takes a trick. They're called [heuristics 00:06:58]. These are rules of thumb or shortcuts you can think of them that the brain takes and they evolve, evolutionarily they made a ton of sense. Back millions of years ago we had to make quick decisions, you didn't want to think too much about things. You just had to know, should I go this way? Is that a predator? Is this something I can eat? Should I camp here?
You had to have a feel if that was right or not. If you spent too long deliberating and trying to figure it out, maybe you missed the chance to eat something. It wouldn't work.
Our minds evolved to be sort of lazy in a way and not take too much energy or effort. To go with what quickly feels right. There's a lot of these things called heuristics that help guide us.
I can talk you through a couple examples. One great one is called anchoring. Probably if your listeners looked into the science behind pricing they've come across this. If you're exposed to a number, it can be any number, it'll effect how you then perceive and act on numbers following that. Even if it's totally unrelated.
Dan [Arieli 00:07:56] is a great behavioral economist. I think he's out of Duke university right now. Did a fascinating study with his undergrads. He had them all right down the last two digits of their social security number. That's two random digits. Doesn't mean anything. They write it down, they ignore it.
Then he had them do an auction with real products. It was chocolates and wine and a bluetooth keyboard, electronics. Things you sort of are aware of but don't actually know the price. He had them bid their real money on it. It was a few hundred kids in these classes and he did over a few classes. You have hundreds of samples here. What he found was amazing.
The people with the higher number social security numbers, the last two digits, my last two digits are nine and seven so I would be in that top number. Those people tended to bid on average three times more than people who had a low social security number.
What the heck?
That's amazing to me. A totally random number. If you ask them, “of course my social security number didn't effect my bid with my real money. I wouldn't let that effect it.”
Clearly there was an effect there. Our minds are being tricked by something totally random like that. There's been tons of studies that show a similar thing. That's why with pricing – You see amazon does this for sure – you see the crossed out list price then you see a lower price. That's proven to sort of work. It's like oh, I would have paid that.
Or infomercials, of course tap into this. “$500.” Cross that out and say, “No, $400 or $300.” Then it's like, “Just three payments of $29.99.”
You're like, now that sounds like a bargain. Anchoring is one of those classic effects. There's tons of these. They're all subtly influencing our behavior without us realizing it. That's the key. That anchoring. We don't know it's happening but it's happening.
Oh my Gosh. I've totally seen that tactic used on Amazon. Realistically it's only a few cents. I've seen it literally where on Amazon's birthday or Amazon day or whatever they called it, there was things for one cent cheaper and it had this big x over it. I was like, this is ridiculous.
It totes for me I was like, there's a time on it. It's scarcity. It's dealing with all these different areas that I'm going, oh no, I've got to buy this bluetooth speaker.
I never wanted a bluetooth speaker before this but now I want one because it's got an x'd out price. What would you suggest to us as sellers? What would you suggest that we do to tap into that carnal nature, I guess. You're talking about evolution. How do I tap into that?
It's true. I know it might sound a little crazy but we are primal creatures. At our core. We evolved for millions of years. We didn't evolve for wal-mart and shopping in stores and shopping online on amazon. We evolved for survival in the Savannah. Our brains still function that way. We're really using ancient machinery for a new purpose.
We like to think that we're these modern creatures and we know what we're doing but no. Our bodies are still thinking they're living in the Savannah. In terms of evolution, the modern digital world is a blink of time. We're still the Savannah creatures. Navigating through this digital world.
I think having that mindset actually helps. I do take that view in my book of looking at the evolutionary psychology of how the brain evolved, why these tricks of mind are there. They did serve a purpose and were very valuable at the time. Now it's not as useful.
Sorry. That was going back to why we're looking at it that way. The way I explain it in the book, I go through how the unconscious mind operates and a lot of different angles. How we actually perceive the world is … There's a lot of illusions you're probably familiar with optical illusions. There are auditory illusions. How we see and piece together the world is based a lot on our expectations. What we expect to see matters.
For example, with taste. A wine bottle. The price of the wine bottle will effect how we actually taste it. A more expensive bottle has shown to actually taste better than if you put the same bottle with a lower price. They've actually done brain scans that have shown the difference. It's the exact same liquid but because we told someone it was $99 versus $9 they tasted differently and say it tastes much better at $99.
Are you serious?
There's all these kinds of things. I talked about, emotions is a great one. Everyones talking about emotions and how we need to tap into consumers emotionally, connect with them emotionally. What I found in working with marketers is that there's a lot of confusion about what that means. What emotions really are.
I try to give an updated definition of what emotions are and how we can tap into them. I think people are becoming more aware that maybe we're not as rational as we think, they think that means we need to reach people emotionally.
What's happening is, you might see this trend in advertising today, is that a lot of brands are doing very emotional advertising. Every ad seems to make us cry or laugh. Something super touching with sad piano music playing. You're crying by the end of it. You're wondering why a shampoo brand is telling you how to live your life and you're crying for it, right?
I think they've taken it to this very literal definition of, we need to be emotional in our advertising. Actually emotions are one of these evolutionary tricks that get us to act. Emotions exist to get us to do the right thing. If something pleases us we want to do it more. If it disgusts us we should avoid it. If we're angry maybe we should fight it. They're really evolutionary at their core. They actually help drive our decision making.
If you look at them that way, emotions become this much more subtle thing. I talk about how we can build brands that create the right gut feeling and this right sort of subconscious emotions. I think typically we think of conscious emotions like happiness or pride or sadness. Actually subconscious emotions are very powerful and that's what's guiding our decisions.
The way that could come to life for somebody, listeners who are building brands themselves. You can build a brand personality or brand mood or a feel, that's super important. I think people really discount that. They don't think it's that important, how my brand looks and feels or it's personality or it's tone of voice. Those things, that's telling your subconscious mind, is this a brand I trust? Is this something I'm excited by? Do I want to move towards this? Am I attracted to it?
Those little hints your subconscious is picking up on all of them. As marketers and brand builders we should make sure that everything is building that right gut feel for your brand. That's really what's going to drive people to it, not necessarily the conscious message that we tend to spend most of our time building.
It's so messing with my brain right now. You're talking about commercials. I love cars. I have always loved cars. Ford is putting our a brand new Ford GT. This car costs as much as a house. You think of Ford as being this big brand. It's low prices. You go to the Lincoln's, they're a higher brand to get a better car. Here is this Ford GT as much as a house and the entire lead up to showing this vehicle on their commercial is this kid riding in on this 1980, I think it was a 1986 GT. I'm spacing the exact bike. It's targeted towards this audience who in the early 2000's saw the GT but couldn't buy it.
Now that generation, who rode these 1980's BMX bikes, is looking at this and going, oh my gosh I'm having this emotion. I'm having this feeling about this vehicle. Dude, it's so. You're talking through this. I had this emotion. I was only able to distinguish this bike because I've sold those parts before. I was like, I know what bike this is. I know who they're trying to attract in this. I'm like, oh my gosh. All the kids that are around this would have been the same age as the person watching this video when that bike came out.
It was like, so many different levels and touching on so many different things. The majority of it, one of the biggest question is, can Ford sell a car in the Ferrari level and in that Ferrari price tag? What would you say to that? They've touched on so many different things. What would you say to us as sellers wanting to price our stuff at where it should be, not where we think the market would hold it?
That's a great example from Ford. I'm sure they're tapping into some nostalgia there, right? People who remember that. That's a great association to connect with their brand.
In terms of having higher priced things, I think Lexus and Toyota. It's the same company that owns both. I think they're very smart to divide those two brands. It allows Lexus to just be purely luxury. That feels like a luxury brand. You know you're going there for certain things. You know it's going to be priced at a certain level. Then it also allows Toyota to own the more value oriented family type vehicles and live that purely.
If you tried to have a Toyota that was high priced like a Lexus, it would dilute both sides of that. It wouldn't allow the luxury to be the poor luxury status symbol that it is. It would say, everyone's driving this car. You want some prestige and exclusivity up there.
I think that's really smart that they separated it out. Ford, I think, would have that problem too. Ford is more in that Toyota territory. I know they have a range of vehicles. To do a true luxury product would be hard and not so believable from Ford. They probably need a different brand to own that part of it. Each brand wants to have it's own feel and personality. If you try to move it across two or a few different ones it gets muddy and it's a little tricky.
I'd say for your listeners, there's a bit of price elasticity within any category. You can push it a certain amount. If you really want to have a different offering, if you want to have a different feel, reach a different target, a different consumer, I would say look at having two different brands for those.
That's really good. One of the things we were tackling was, it may not be appropriate to have pool floaties and technical equipment in the same category, under your same brand. I think it's good to hear even from you. Kind of separate things out a little bit. Have an account that's dedicated, just for the listeners, that's dedicated to technology. Have an account that's dedicated to family fun. If you're going to have two totally …
A $500 computer is not going to sell with the $6 sand toys. I don't think it's going to work on that same level. I think this is all so interesting. What are some other things that you found in pricing that are kind of changing the industry?
Price is one of those associations that really lend a big impression of a brand. They're an important factor in how consumers will now view the whole rest of your brand. Often price is that window or lens that they then judge everything else by. Ill give you an example of brands I've worked on. You'll know the vodka, [cattle 00:19:33] one versus grey goose. They're priced pretty similarly but if you look at the category of those super premium vodkas, this is about 10 years ago I was doing this work, all the brands seemed to be doing very sleek and minimalist clean design. That's what grey goose was.
Cattle one had a very different look and feel. It was a bit more rustic, heritage. It had some history to it. It was more robust of a bottle. If people who didn't know the brand, if they just saw that bottle thought, that's kind of a mid market vodka or even lower tier vodka. Just from the look of it.
When they saw the price of it, it put everything in a different perspective. They said, oh, that's a premium vodka just based on the price. Now they saw those design elements in a different way. They said, “That's a real deal vodka. This has history to it. This is authentic.” These are probably what people … Back in old Europe they didn't really know but they're guessing Poland probably drank even though the brand is from the Netherlands. It's Dutch.
It gave it this true heritage. That price made such a difference in how they see the rest of the brand. I think people see price as at the end of the, you've convinced them to buy it and now they see the price, they're going see if they buy it or not. Think of it at the front, too. That's going to change the perceptions of how people see your whole product, just like I said with he wines. If you see a high priced wine you're like, oh, this is going to be good stuff. You taste it and you're probably more likely to like it and and pay attention to it.
All those things can matter.
Wow. My notes are already full. I know that I'm going to have to go back and listen to this because there's so many little things that I know I could press into and I know I could ask more questions but I'm just trying to wrap my brain around … Just the idea …
One of the questions I have is, what about … you just talked about the label and how the bottle looks. What about packaging? How do we optimize the customer experience with our packaging?
Packaging is so important. Design matters so much. It's a classic saying: a picture's worth a thousand words. I think we spend so much time on the message that we're going to tell and the unique selling proposition and what the headline is. The look and feel, without any words being involved, communicates so much. Right?
They tell you what this brand is about, who it's for, where it's from. Your subconscious is picking up on those little hints and queue's and telling you how to feel about this thing.
Even if you don't think about it consciously, even if it's a quick glance from a shelf across a room, your subconscious is really picking up a lot more than we realize. All those things matter so much. That's a point I hit home in the book, too and explained more how to do it. Quickly, being clear on what your brand's personality is, I think is the start. That'll be your basis for how you then build all your brand tools and communication.
Trying to articulate it and get it down, is my brand … I just describe grey goose as clean and sleek and minimalist and premium, versus cattle one which is authentic and heritage and has this story to it. Feels robust. It feels very different. Those are very different brand feels even if the product itself is basically identical. It's very hard to [inaudible 00:22:54] the liquids.
The brands feel very different. If you can define your brand's feel and say, okay, we want my brand to feel … Whatever it is. Modern or if it's fun or cozy and fluffy. Whatever it is. Be abstract about it. It doesn't have to describe the product, it's describing the feeling and the mood of your product. If you can get that down …
To get abstract you can use some words, adjectives help. Go beyond language. Images, doing a moodboard, that can totally help. Even sounds or characters from movies or TV shows that tap into a piece of your brand. Those things are important. Most marketers discount how important they are. That's where I'm trying to push people to say, this is the unconscious side of your brand and it's super important.
If you can get a real strategy behind, this is how we want our brand to feel, that then can be used to brief your designers. I think graphic designers are great at this. They know that a slight difference in color shading or a different angle here or a different type face or font makes the brand look and feel very different. They know how important that is.
I think marketers and business owners tend to lose sight of that. They're like, “it's just a decision. It's just if it looks cool or not.”
No, that's super important and that's going to effect how your consumers and customers look at you and if they're going to decide to buy you in the end. For design, I know this is a long answer. Get your brand personality down first. Be abstract about it, be really clear about it, then make sure that's coming to life through your design. Make sure your design is speaking, communicating that personality you want. That it's different from the competition, that it stands out, that it connects with your consumers in the right way, that it's doing all these right things.
So you can really think strategically about your brand's personality and feel. I don't think enough people do that.
That's really … My private label people, you need to write notes on what he just said. That's absolute gold. I'm thinking about the things that I've been working on. I've talked several times in the podcast about me and my dad having our bike company, these old vintage [schwins 00:24:58]. Building this following around it. What I've recognized is we haven't always optimized our listing titles to match the feel of our brand. What would you say to …
Primarily the majority of us are selling on amazon, ebay, etsy, shopify, those kinds of things. We're creating our own listings, we're creating our own titles. What would you say to those people to optimize those titles to actually run into … Everything we've talked about. This feeling, this emotion, this …
Everything we've talked about. I don't know how to put my finger on it.
The brand's tone of voice you could say or the personality. The same is true for headlines. It comes down to this: how you say it might be more important than what you say. A lot of people focus on the message. I'm going to tell them this thing is different and whatever. That's still important. You still want to have a good message. We can talk about that. The conscious side of it.
The unconscious side of it is the tone that it comes through and the voice that you're saying it in. That will instill trust and credibility and fun and liveliness or whatever it is you're trying to get across. I'd say make sure the how and the voice that it's being said in is what you want to communicate because that's also communicating.
In terms of the what, which still is important, the conscious side of it. Make sure you're not just describing your product. This goes back to that quote that we talked about last time that the consumer doesn't just want a quarter inch drill, they want a quarter inch hole.
If you describe the drill in detail it's like okay great, that's the drill, I guess I want that. Really, why are they shopping for a drill? It's because they want a hole. It's because the job that they want it to do and the result we want out of it. Keep that in mind. I think we have a tendency, especially when you're selling a very specific product to just sell the product and tell you what that's about. Remind yourself, why is the person even looking for this at all? What job does it solve in their life? What is the problem that they're looking to be solved? Have your headline speak to that problem.
That'll tap in, oh right, that's what I need solved. That'll hit them more directly. Otherwise it's indirect. “Well, I need this hole. What do I need? I guess I need a drill. This is the drill I need.”
It's like, hey, this is going to fix your hole. Boom. I got it. That's what I need. Anything you can do to reduce friction like that is going to be helpful.
We talk about key words all the time and it's a huge subject but I think that key words can be boiled down to what you said: why is this person looking for your product at all? Why are they googling charger or whatever they're googling? Why is it they would even google your product and/or search it on amazon? What would you give? Just a last word before we head out. What would you give to the audience?
Just a piece of advice, you're saying?
I think I probably hit on my main themes a lot today. I guess my biggest thing, when you're looking at what customers need and I see a lot of people do market research today. This is a more sort of practical example. If you're doing surveys or focus groups or asking people, saying, “Hey, would you buy this product?”
Remember, you're asking their conscious mind and their conscious mind is probably going to give you some kind of justification or reason why they think they might buy something. That's often not the real case. You can still talk to people. It's still good to get their conscious reactions. Just make sure you're looking behind their words. Look at the real motivation. Why are they saying what they're saying? What do they really mean by that? Try to probe a little deeper.
If you can, getting more abstract and saying, how does that feel? How would you make that feel? I like to use collages and different exercises where you get people to put abstract images. You kind of get a sense for how they're relating to a category or product. That stuff can be super valuable.
I think we have a tendency to ask people directly to do a survey, would you buy this? Things things are highly unreliable. I think a lot of market research has been flawed. The best way obviously is to see if people will actually buy your product and tweak things there. Behavior never lies.
If people are doing that kind of market research where they're straight up asking, make sure you're doing it carefully and looking behind their words and around their words. Not just taking it at face value.
Behavior never lies. That's is a huge note right there.
What's the best place to get in touch with you and also get your new book?
Yeah, thanks. You can learn more about me and my book, I got a couple products I'm selling myself. It's all at daryl-weber.com. That's D-A-R-Y-L dash weber, W-E-B-E-R dot com. The book again is called Brand Seduction. You can find it wherever books are sold. It just started hitting shelves in April. It's on Amazon, kindle edition. There's an mp3 version. They got the whole thing going. It's just launched. I'm super excited about it. I would love to hear what anyone thinks. If you want to give me feedback I'm always welcome to it.
Perfect. Man, thank you so much for coming on. I will need to go back and listen to this several times.
Sure, yeah. Thanks so much for having me.
Until next time. Empire, have a fantastic day. I will make sure to put the original link to the beginning podcast in the description below. Go check that out. He has also a product called base brights. It's really cool. Even the branding behind that. There's some amazing content there, guys.
I hope you enjoyed it just as much as I did. Get in touch with us on Facebook as well as on our youtube page.
Until next time, empire, have a fantastic day.