In the world of shopper marketing, effective ads are more than wobblers and colourful visuals.
In his book Decoded, Josh Kaufman describes that we process and interpret information based on colours, shapes, and sizes. He calls this, largely subconscious input ‘diagnostic signals’.
These signals play a crucial role in how we interpret information and ultimately make purchasing decisions.
Let’s explore why these signals are so important and how they can be leveraged for successful shopper marketing.
1. Perception isn’t always as intended:
Human perception might seem straightforward, but assuming that consumers perceive advertisements exactly as intended is misleading. Just because something is communicated doesn’t guarantee it’s being received accurately.
2. The eye’s limitations:
Our eyes are not like cameras that capture everything in focus and color. We primarily focus on a small central area, and the periphery is blurred and less colorful. This phenomenon highlights the significance of peripheral perception in our interaction with brands and products.
3. Autopilot and peripheral perception:
Our “autopilot” brain is constantly scanning our surroundings, seeking stimuli that deserve focused attention. Peripheral cues like colors, shapes, and sizes play a pivotal role in catching our autopilot’s attention.
4. Effective communication through blurriness:
Communicating brand value through peripheral vision is a powerful strategy. Ads that convey their message even when the consumer’s focus is elsewhere can be incredibly effective in shopper marketing.
5. The role of distinctive cues:
Distinctive cues, such as packaging design elements, build strong associations between the brand and its message. These cues help shoppers quickly recognise and find the products they’re looking for, even in the blur of peripheral vision.
6. The brain’s question: ‘What Is It?’
Before consumers can assign value to a product, their brains need to answer the fundamental question, “What is it?” The recognition of diagnostic cues plays a critical role in this process.
7. Leveraging what we already know:
Our brains store a wealth of information about familiar objects. For instance, we can recognise a car due to its diagnostic signals, like the combination of four wheels, a box shape, windows, and doors. This exemplifies the power of pre-existing knowledge in influencing perception.
8. The dominance of vision:
Vision takes the lead when it comes to the autopilot’s processing, accounting for a significant 90%. This underscores the importance of visual cues in shopper marketing and brand recognition.
9. Importance of Diagnostic Cues:
Understanding and utilising diagnostic cues are crucial. While there’s room for creative adaptation, changing too many diagnostic cues simultaneously can lead to confusion and decreased brand recognition.
Recognising the power of peripheral cues and what consumers already know, we can create ads that catch people’s peripheral attention and drive purchasing decisions.