Ring Pavlov's Marketing Bell with Custom Clothing
Image source: Shivaraichandani.blogspot.com
Commercials can be pretty ridiculous sometimes. You start with somebody who's practically suicidal because his life is just so unbearably miserable. As soon as he gets his hands on that new product, suddenly he's surrounded by happy, sexy people who start dancing because they just can't contain themselves. This type of marketing strategy is completely over the top, but the funny thing is that it works.
That's what researchers call affective conditioning. Basically, affective conditioning is when you transfer your feelings about one object over to another object. Let's suppose that you see a commercial of a cute puppy cheerfully playing with a ball. That makes most people feel all warm and fuzzy inside. By slapping a logo next to the puppy, marketers are taking your warm-fuzzy feelings about the puppy and transferring them over to the logo. Now, you're more likely to feel warm and fuzzy about the company. Image source: Urbansociety.com.au
Researchers proved the effectiveness of affective conditioning by presenting test subjects with two different pens. One pen was objectively better than the other, but before the test researchers showed test subjects a commercial wherein the sucky pen was associated with sunshine and other feel-good ideas. The group that saw this commercial selected the worse pen 70%-80% of the time.
This research shows that exposing consumers to your logo under the right conditions can change how they perceive your brand. For example, let's suppose that your business is near the bustling Primavera Sound Festival. People at the festival are dancing, drinking, and generally having a good time. Based on the principles of affective conditioning, all of those feel-good emotions are being wasted because the partygoers aren't associating these feelings with a brand. In order to capitalize on this marketing opportunity, all you'd have to do is expose the partygoers to your logo, such as by handing out free samples of your product or by having a team of marketers wearing custom clothing with your logo -- and bam! The partygoers will start to adore your brand. Image source: Blog.lib.umn.edu
This is another reason why diary studies have such a huge impact on consumers. Constantly thinking about a brand and writing positive things about a company will cause people to mentally connect.
Effective conditioning is one of the easiest ways to market because you don't have to have a good product or service. All you need to do is let something else make people happy, and then present them with your logo to reap the benefits.
That's why businesses shouldn't ever skimp on custom uniforms for their employees. Business owners should constantly strive to reinforce positive affective conditioning by pairing great customer service with the company logo. You can turn your business into a live-action commercial that will make customers feel better about your company.
For the most part, this research only confirms what business owners already know: deliver a top-notch product and put your logo on everything. It's certainly not rocket-science, but you'd have to be crazy to miss out on this marketing opportunity.