Conservatism Cognitive Bias – Why We Fear Change
Why do we tend to stick stubbornly with old ideas? How can neuromarketing present new information to replace old habits? Neuroscience research shows that people have deeply-embedded ideas and beliefs that the brain uses when making decisions. Learned over a lifetime, lessons we have learned during our lives become cemented in our memories.
When a new situation arises that requires a decision, our fast-thinking intuitive brain compares it to similar past decisions. In many ways, it’s a survival technique. However, that same tendency toward conservatism also keep us from taking advantage of new opportunities.
Established Brands Rely on the Conservatism Bias
For most people, shopping for a new car is a major decision. A bewildering variety of makes, models, and dealers is available. Oddly enough, people tend to buy the same brand of car repeatedly. Sometimes several generations in a family have always bought cars by Ford or Chevrolet.
While that’s a good thing for established auto makers, it makes it tough for new brands to compete. Overcoming people’s tendency to stick with past choices can be an almost insurmountable problem.
The Conservatism Bias Can Also Kill Brands
While establishing long-held reputations for brands can maintain sales figures, it can also backfire. Chrysler Corporation, now Fiat Chrysler, once had multiple brands, including Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth and Desoto. Each make had a loyal following. Over time, though, first Desoto and then Plymouth became associated with older drivers. Despite efforts to update those brands to attract a younger demographic, that association kept new owners from buying them, and now both are gone. Successful marketing can work with conservatism biases in several ways:
- New Brands and Products Can Appeal to New Audiences – South Korean automakers Hyundai and KIA faced huge challenges in entering the US auto market. Up against established companies, they had to attract customers with established brand preferences. By offering models at much lower price points, with more included features, and with warranties up to 10 years or 100,000 miles, they were able to overcome conservatism biases and begin growing their sales. Innovative designs and good reliability added to their success over time.
- Selling Established Brands Can Ensure Success – A proven strategy for businesses is to take advantage of the conservatism bias and feature products that have long-established reputations and brand loyalty. However, competition can be fierce. By offering superior customer service, competitive pricing, and outstanding marketing, though, even small businesses can compete successfully in most market areas.
- Overcoming Conservatism Biases Is an Option – Where many businesses feature the most popular brands, offering secondary brands or new brands is an attractive alternative. As KIA and Hyundai demonstrated, success depends on comparing those brands to established ones in specific areas. Price, better warranties, fresh design concepts and other features can lure people away from the leaders. To succeed, focus on what makes your products and services stand apart from long-established offerings. Targeting potential customers who aren’t the focus of competitors is also effective.
- Aim Marketing Efforts at Non-Conformists – In every product or service category, most businesses rely on marketing to the largest groups of potential clients and customers. However, there are plenty of people who take pride in not following the leader. Focus on a new, untapped group of consumers. Use neuromarketing strategies that speak directly to their non-conformity. Younger consumers and underserved groups are attractive targets.
- Offer a Wide Range of Choices to More People – For many businesses, it’s possible to compete successfully by offering both established brands and new or less-known brands. By using a range of neuromarketing techniques, you can expand your potential client and customer base and provide products and services that have a broader reach. With effective marketing, you can succeed by both using and countering conservatism biases.
Neuromarketing Professionals Understand Cognitive Biases
Traditional marketing generally ignores the cognitive errors that affect sales. Instead, typical online marketing efforts stick with old-fashioned advertising and marketing guesswork. Neuromarketing, on the other hand, understands how the emotional, unconscious brain makes decisions. Through that knowledge it can take advantage of neuroscience research and utilize or overcome the effects of the brain’s cognitive errors. The result is more effective marketing that can increase sales conversion rates as much as 500%. Contact us today for an in-depth analysis of your online marketing and information on how we can help you boost your sales and leads.