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Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy by Phil Barden

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3

Decoding the Interface

How the Autopilot Perceives Touchpoints

Perception is the door through which our marketing activities enter the mind of the consumer. Whether it’s a promotional offer, product, pack, website or TV ad, perception of the signals that make up the interface between the brand and the consumer is the very first hurdle. This is why Kahneman integrates this key interface with the outside world into his decision-making framework. This chapter shows how perception works and how we can use the core insights to optimize our marketing activities.

The power of perception

Let’s have a look at the following example to illustrate how powerful perception is and how it influences our decisions. Looking at Figure 3.1, which of the three women appears most attractive to men? And why?

Figure 3.1 Which of the three women do men find most attractive?

Source: Shutterstock.com

c3-fig-0001

About 70 per cent of all male respondents choose B (irrespective of the order in which the photos appear). But where does this dominant preference come from? What is the difference between the photos? The reason lies in the relationship between hips and waist size. All over the world, the most ‘valued’ ratio is 0.67. The further the ratio moves from this ideal, the less attractive it appears to men (A = 0.8 / C = 0.9). This shows the ability of the perceptual system to detect even the smallest differences and ...

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