By: Elizabeth Urbic
Scan across the grid below and watch the dots at the intersections fill in and then change back to white as your eyes move across. If you focus exclusively on one white dot, or if you hold the grid too close or too far away, the illusion stops.
The scintillating grid allows you to become consciously aware of one aspect of your out-of-consciousness processing system at work. Your vision system automatically sharpens contrasts on surface edges to make it easier for you to separate objects from their backgrounds. The grid’s design forces your vision system to attempt to construct surface edges that do not exist. Scanning the grid reveals this ongoing process that you normally do not notice. Seeing the dots appear and disappear on the grid demonstrates that we do not passively perceive reality, but instead actively construct reality using more than basic sensory inputs. To our conscious processing systems, however, it still feels like we just perceive reality. That’s why the grid is called an illusion.
The cognitive mechanisms at play here have great implications in the world of marketing and advertising. Traditional marketing programs do not take the out-of-conscious processing system into account and therefore miss the potential impact of its undeniable influence on consumer behavior. We are awash in continuous streams of signals from our internal and external environments; the subconscious mind encounters these signals first and makes directions, which lead to behaviors. Consumers cannot break from these directions–we cannot help but see dots appear as we scan the grid, even when we know they are not really there. And so, the most thought-out or creative advertising campaign is only as effective as its incorporation of what appeals to the subconscious thought process.
There is tremendous value in understanding consumer behavior at this level. The following recommendations for improving a marketing/advertising campaign’s efficacy are based upon measurements of what consumers not only attend to, but subconsciously respond to.
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By: Jenny Shi
Having a high brand equity is like having a good reputation: people tend to like you, have positive attitudes towards you, or even want to be associated with you. With that being said, brands with higher equity are usually associated with luxury, quality, or class. Brands such as Rolex, Mercedes-Benz, and Chanel (among some of the highest brand equities) are pretty much the A-list celebrities of the business realm.
You’d think market researchers would have brand equity all figured out since it’s such a critical component to making a brand or product flourish. On the contrary, brand equity is rather immeasurable, despite the many efforts to quantify and analyze it. The general definition is simply that it is the value of the brand, which might encompass consumers’ awareness and attitudes of the brand, or even its stock value.
For some companies, brand equity is what brings on the sales. We see this occur especially in high fashion and luxury brands. People buy Louis Vuitton purses because they want to feel wealthy and chic and look their best. People also buy these products to fulfill a deeper need – perhaps they want to feel successful and superior, or they might anticipate wearing these products might get them noticed by others. Brand equity can also be an influence in decision-making of brand product purchases. For instance, you might find yourself in a supermarket trying to purchase chocolate. The selection provides Hershey, Russell Stover, and Lindt. Unless if you’re a masochist, you’ll probably go for Lindt, the most premium choice out of the three, presumably because of the name and the high quality of chocolate that it ensures.
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By: Alvina Ng
As society advances, and innovation is becoming more and more imperative to the workplace, there is one trait that I feel is paramount to the survival of an organization: creativity. You need intelligence, you need personality, and you need team-players, but creativity seems to be the trait less mentioned, especially since some people think of creativity as a trait exercised by those with an inclination for the arts. However, there are more subtle forms of creativity; there are avenues in which creativity can blossom, especially in institutions like schools and organizations.
My impression of businesses is that a lot of employees may not understand their potential for expressing their creativity in their work. And why should they? For many it’s mundane work – it’s a 9-5 (or perhaps even longer nowadays) ordeal of sitting at a desk getting things done. Unless your job is one that specifically demands creativity, I believe most people aren’t aware they can use creativity in their jobs.
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