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Creativity Unlimited: Thinking Inside the Box for Business Innovation by Micael Dahlen

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17

The brain is lazy

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We acquire habits that are difficult to break, and we are generally disinclined to change our behaviour. This is one of the most important reasons why so many innovations fail. The adjustments they required in human behaviour were simply too great. The brain tends to choose products based on preconceived patterns, which works to the advantage of established companies and brands.

Just as the brain has a tendency to get stuck in particular ways of thinking (riverbeds and thought tunnels), our choices and preferences within product categories become fixed due to what is termed conceptual fluency. Put simply, conceptual fluency means that we find it easy to understand and relate to a particular concept. By concept we mean here a product or a product category.

The easier it is to understand what insurance or a car is, the better we like it. Understanding what insurance or a car is at first glance might appear to be trivial in this discussion. Surely everyone knows what cars and insurance are, and this is true for most product categories. But as we know, the brain is lazy and doesn't like to exert itself more than absolutely necessary, so the faster it can understand something, the happier it will be. In other words, you can say that the faster an answer comes to mind, the better we like it (irrespective of whether it is actually right or wrong, since your brain ...

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