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Marketing to Habits

July 20, 2012

In writing our previous piece of content regarding Apple’s recent court battle with Samsung, I ended the blog with this line; Apple has branded itself so incredibly well with regards to tablets that it is inherent in our minds to automatically look for iPads when talking about tablets, and it really got me thinking. I’m not one for conspiracy theories, however when you dive head first into behavioral marketing and branding, it’s easy to get sucked into the power behind brand marketing.

Branded – The Movie

For many years movies have warned us about the influence of advertising. From the obvious scene in Wayne’s World where every product was featured in a two minute clip in blatant and hilarious advertising, to BMW’s partnership with the James Bond Franchise, to Columbia Pictures joint ventures with Sony products.


Branded - Movie Trailer


We are bombarded with hidden messages every single day of our lives. When we browse the internet they are everywhere, so much so that we’ve grown to not even realize we’re being targeted. Even ‘respectable’ news sources have began integrating paid advertisements into their news hour to masquerade as significant news stories.


A new movie, set to release on September 7th, takes on this issue of brand marketing, advertising, and behavioral marketing in an entirely new way. Being that it’s a Sci Fi adventure it has its fare share of aliens, futuristic technology and tugs at your deepest fears, but Branded will lead us down an interesting road where advertising controls our every emotion through a hidden code (in this case they use QR Codes) embedded in all forms of advertising.


Branded – The Reality

What’s absolutely amazing about my Apple comment with regards to this new movie is that there are companies who have so expertly branded themselves that their audience, you and me, have literally become a part of that brand. The audience does not only consist of brand advocates, but it’s moved beyond that to literally become part of our behavior, part of our subconscious so that we don’t even realize that when a Samsung Galaxy tablet advertisement pops up during a search, we will automatically search for the iPad without even thinking twice about it.


How do they do it? How does a company market themselves so supremely that they literally become a habit? Starbucks is successful because it has marketed to habits, and once a habit is formed it is difficult to break. Apple has routinely produced the first, and most often the most efficient if not always the most affordable, tech products for over 30 years. Even Target has become a habit of so many consumers that going shopping on the weekends at your local Target chain is part of your routine.


One study from Duke University estimated that habits, rather than conscious decision-making, shape 45 percent of the choices we make every day, and recent discoveries have begun to change everything from the way we think about dieting to how doctors conceive treatments for anxiety, depression and addictions. – New York Times


Every single thing that we do at any moment that we are in the grocery store, at the mall, at Target, on the computer, even what shows we watch, is categorized and used in advertising and marketing. Scottsdale marketing firms have become so adept at understanding how to message their audience that the audience does not even realize they are being targeted. And when brand loyalty becomes a habit, you have reached the gold mine.


Not sure how to tap into your Fan's habits? Give us a call today!