What Content Triggers Really Drive Customer Decisions? The Hero, The Sage, The Temptress, The Devil

A modern superwoman in flight, probably a business womanFrom Made to Stick (Chip and Dan Heath), chapter entitled, “Emotional”:

…[P]eople make decisions based on identity. They ask themselves three questions. Who am I? What kind of situation is this? And what do people like me do in this kind of situation?….

Notice that…people aren’t analyzing the consequences or outcomes for themselves. There are no calculations, only norms and principles…It’s almost as if people consulted an ideal self-image: What would someone like me do?

Taking a deeper dive on this: how do archetypes fit in here? The Hero, The Warrior, The Sage, The Mentor, The Devil, The Trickster, The Innocent…and on and on. These mythic characters which Jung considered part of our collective unconscious, are easily identifiable everywhere you look in mainstream culture.  As customers–if we take this from a marketing slant– make those split second decisions, they are not only considering what someone like them would do, but seeing themselves as that person in their mind’s eye. Are they only seeing “someone like them,” or is it that they are “seeing” themselves  as the embodiment of one of these blockbuster archetypal characters? Bottom line: Marketing wellspring.

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