What products do you like to purchase? Do you really like the products that you are purchasing, or are you being told that you like these products? We would love to think that most of our decisions are solely based on our preferences, but are they?

A company’s commercials and advertisements try to sell us on the idea that we need to buy products that we don’t really need, and yet we still buy them. Eventually, we realize that these products don’t fit into our budget and we stop buying them, which in turn hurts the company.

This act confirms that the consumer behavior model has lost a lot of its credibility. Sure, we might see something that might be interesting on television, or a side scrolling ad on the Internet, but to really win in this down market, companies need to be more strategic and insightful with the marketing moves they make.

Our human change behavior is based upon a grid with five columns and seven rows according Dr. BJ Fogg from Stanford University. But the five factoring columns are:

1.       Perform new behavior (unfamiliar behavior)

2.       Perform existing behavior (frequency, intensity or duration)

3.       Increase behavior (frequency, intensity, or duration)

4.       Decrease behavior (frequency, intensity, or duration)

5.       Stop behavior (cease ongoing behavior)

Many businesses only use the first two behaviors to determine how to market their product. As a business, encouraging all of these behavior changes with consumers can contribute to a brand’s sustainability. An example of a business that executed the five factoring columns of this study is RedBox®. RedBox®, a DVD rental kiosk, was something that was so simple, and yet genius.  This business had consumers perform a new behavior, by having them go to a kiosk for $1 video rentals, which they weren’t used to doing. After consumers started getting acclimated with $1 movie rentals, it began a cycle of consumers performing the existing behavior of going back to the kiosk instead of going to a video rental store.  After performing the existing behavior, consumers started to increase their behavior of going to the kiosk, which meant consumers started to rent more than one movie at a time.

This is where the competitor, video rental stores in this example, should be worried. There will be a reactive behavior on one end of the spectrum, simply by default because the behavior has been increased on the other end of the spectrum.

After renting $1 movies from a RedBox® kiosk, do consumers really want to rent a movie for $4.99? This leads to the start of decreasing behavior toward that brand. This is why you see Blockbuster® starting to decrease in sales. Consumers have realized that the rental process at Blockbuster® is not as sustainable to their entertainment needs as Redbox®. Finally, with decreasing behavior comes the behavior that stops, which is essentially why Blockbuster® filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

There are many things that marketers can learn from just studying simple psychology and anthropology. Understanding the human psyche is the key to learning where to strategically place your brand.

– Earl Robinson is an intern at Airfoil Public Relations, a high tech PR agency with offices in Detroit and Silicon Valley.