How quickly does a customer make a buying decision? More often than not, much quicker than we imagine, even for expensive purchases. That is because the decision is about more than money. And sometimes because the decision was probably already made on some level. The customer had been thinking about buying that Ferrari and was just waiting for one more thing to tip the scale. That thing was emotion.
The left brain was calculating the cost, resale value and how much money would be spent, while the right brain was visualizing how great it would feel to zoom down the road with the wind in your hair and the sun at your back and envious passersby wishing they were you.
We have been conditioned to believe that the quality of a decision is directly correlated to the amount of time and effort that went into making it. But snap decisions underpinned by intuition can be every bit as cautious as deliberate decisions underpinned by months of rational analysis.
The adaptive unconscious is the human sphere of consciousness that “leaps to conclusions.” Now, the adaptive unconscious is not to be confused with the murky, conflicted unconscious, which harbors our desires, memories, and fantasies. No, the adaptive unconscious can quietly and with astonishing speed analyze a tonnage of data; for example, the tons of data that today’s consumer must process in comparing products.
The human mind is capable of flying on autopilot for many intellectually sophisticated tasks. The adaptive unconscious can size up the world, warn us of fraud or inauthenticity, set goals for us, and make efficient, sophisticated choices–all in the blink of an eye.
I want the longer-life battery, even though it’s more expensive.
I choose Duracell because they always last longer.
We can make up our minds in seconds, even nanoseconds. And once we have reached a conclusion, we resist changing our minds. That is one reason it’s so difficult in many markets to overtake the brand category leader. Customers made up their minds years ago about that brand, and they are resistant to change. That’s good news for you, if you happen to be the brand leader. If you are not, you have got some innovating and differentiating to do.