How to Improve Consumer Preference


Consumer preference can be so elusive. They choose your brand today then a competitor launches something a little different and off they go. You tweak your product and regain an advantage, just for a different competitor to change something else and you’re chasing your tail again.

But there is a better way.

Customer Preference is emotional not logical.

Consumers do not weigh-up the relative advantages of product A over product B in a measured and logical way. They make their decisions quickly, what Kahneman called System 1 thinking. The decision is emotionally driven, not thought through and logical.

That, of course, is what your brand and communication are all about. But to gain lasting preference you need to do better than just have great branding and communication. You need your product experience to confirm the branding message.

Every time your consumers use, eat or drink your product there needs to be something in that experience that reminds them of your brand message. That rings true with your branding and differentiates you from your competitors.

If your branding is more upmarket, there needs to something in the experience that feels more luxury. If your branding is more environmentally conscious, there needs to be something in the experience that prompts the consumer to believe your product is greener…

Improving long term Consumer Preference

Consumer reactions are emotional not logical. What prompts your consumer to believe in your product may not be what actually makes it better. A look, a feel, an aroma, a texture, the hint of a taste… 

Making the logical, rational improvements to your product will only get you so far. Understanding how to improve your consumers’ emotional – unconscious – reactions to your product experience is how you out-manoeuvre your competitors and gain lasting preference for your brand.

Chris Lukehurst is a Consumer Psychologist and a Director at The Marketing Clinic.

Understanding the connections between the consumer experience and their emotional responses.