As Seth Godin in his book This is Marketing states, “I’m not rational and neither are you.”

In a world full of data, stats and evidence, it can be easy to think that the way we make decisions is entirely based on hard facts. In reality it’s not quite like that and the part of the human brain that is responsible for feelings is the same part that makes some of our best decisions.

But how do you communicate with this part of the brain that has no capacity for language? Through aesthetics, or in branding terms – design. As global brand expert Marty Neumeier states in his book The Brand Gap, “in a society that’s information-rich and time-poor, people value feeling more than information.”

I’m don’t claim to know more than the next person about the inner workings of the human brain, anything I have picked up is simply courtesy of other people who are much cleverer than I am. However, the idea that we make decisions based on what we feel, not just rational thinking, makes sense when it comes to thinking about branding. It feels right.

Branding has the power to speak to the irrational tendencies of human beings through the language of feeling. By communicating with aspirational design and words, brands invite their audiences into a new, more fulfilled world. In reality, this could be something as mundane as everyday as Mr Muscle inviting you to ‘Clean Less and Live More’, through to something more conventionally aspirational (at least for some) like Land Rover telling you to ‘Get your escape plans ready’. Both are exciting, in their own way, and create an emotional feeling that runs deeper than the chemicals in the bottle or the parts of an engine.

Simon Sinek, in his famous Ted Talk on The Golden Circle, shares brilliantly on the science behind how we make decisions. We use his Why, How, What thinking with all of our clients in our brand strategy framework. If you’ve never watched it, then it will definitely be 18 minutes well spent. Enjoy!

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