Competing for Hearts, Minds, and Habits | Part 1

by Gregg Palazzolo | August 2017

It has been said so many times before. It has been said as an excuse, a justification, an explanation of irrational behavior, and even as a joke. But, it’s nonetheless true.

Humans are creatures of habit.

Sometimes it seems like the world around us is operating on a loop. If you stop to look around in any strip mall or office hub, you realize that you could be in the center of Anywhere, USA.

The buildings you walk by are built to the same specifications with a distinct feeling of sameness in façade. Window displays, interior layouts… chalkboards on the sidewalk outside every café. Every restaurant menu offers some variation of the same trendy dish and lays it out in the same top five trendy fonts. Business models are clinically modeled around several politically correct ideals in such a way that makes it difficult to believe there’s any actual adherence to them.

The effect is overwhelmingly boring, inauthentic, and safe. The word we like to use is complacent. You’re following the rules, doing all the things that are working for other brands. You may even feel secure in your replication methods, especially upon seeing them replicated all over the country. The thing about complacency is that while you feel safe, it is only because the underlying danger is subtle. Operating on a fad-level leaves you vulnerable to becoming obsolete, especially if you are not constantly re-evaluating your strategy. You’ll find yourself plateauing and unable to continue growth.

These days, trends change on a daily basis. Sometimes even swifter than that. Why spend the energy trying to keep up when you can create your own trend? Set your own course? Create something that speaks to you and your audience. Speak to their minds, their ears, their eyes, their hands, their hearts. Why not? Your audience is made up of people, living breathing human beings who react to the sensory, who are most intrigued by something that can jolt them out of the ordinary.

The human brain is one of the most, if not the most, complex things on earth, and yet it is hardwired to blur the same into the same into the same into the sa… The monotony is exhausting. This uniformity primes the brain, but will prioritize based on immediacy.

So, it’s time for an all-out assault. Give your dreamers, thinkers, tasters, smellers, readers, and feelers something to focus on. Something worth focusing on. It’s time to wake them up. It’s time to bring them to their senses.

You need to carve out a space in the minds of your audience. Statistics, replications, and bottom lines are not going to get you there.

This is branding at its core.