retail | May 30, 2016

New Videos: Adam Alter Breaks Down Consumer Choices

Adam Alter is fascinated by the decisions we make. Why do we buy certain products and ignore others? How do environmental cues—everything from the weather to colours to geography—shape our moods and interactions? In his New York Times bestseller Drunk Tank Pink, and in thought-provoking keynotes, Alter shares his insights on the science of human thought and decision-making. And in these videos, Alter tackles important questions at the intersection of psychology, behavior, and marketing: How does having an audience affect your performance? Do scents really make products more memorable? And how can your company leverage “choice architecture” to make the sale every time?

Our first clip sees Alter examining performance through a unique lens: pool players. “Does it matter when there are other people around?” he asks. “Are you behaving and thinking differently because you’re in a room filled with other people?” As it turns out, the better the player, the more a crowd bolsters his or her ability, engagement, and motivation. 

Here, Alter investigates the use of scents in marketing—a relatively untapped frontier. Does a product with a distinct fragrance have better staying power than one without? According to Alter, our brain’s limbic system has an extraordinary capacity to pair scent with memory, thereby forming deeply embedded associations. Watch the clip to learn how new sensory experiences are taking marketing to the next level.

What does it mean to be a “choice architect”? “People don’t know how to value things,” Alter explains “They just have a set of general guiding principles that are very malleable, that change across time.” It’s up to you, as the marketer, to be the architect of your consumers’ choices—and as Alter reveals, guiding consumer behavior might be easier than you imagined.

In our final video, Alter makes another lesser-known association. The shape of an object—for instance, a logo—directly conveys a tone or mood, and often even a gender. More angular, jagged shapes evoke power, strength, and dominance, whereas rounder shapes connote warmth, caring, and nurturing. What does your logo say to customers?

For a keynote speaker on the cutting edge of marketing, decision-making, and consumer behavior, book
Drunk Tank Pink author Adam Alter by contacting The Lavin Agency today