Newsletter #024 • 6 February 2019
Customer Centric
The weekly digest for the customer-obsessed
Dear Earthling,

Why do we buy the things we buy? 

When I was a kid, my eight-year-old brother convinced my mother that she had to buy a set of knives from the royally named Shogun Series. He had seen this ad on Televendas, a Portuguese home shopping show, and became obsessed. 

Why? Because there were ninjas on the ad and my brother was avidly training to become one. (He ultimately settled on hotel management; some call him the Shogun of Reception.)

We may think that the decisions we make are logical, based on rational thinking rather than emotions. But that’s not always the case, particularly when it comes to shopping. 

I’m certainly no stoic consumer. I refuse to drink the Portuguese Beer That Must Not Be Named. It has nothing to do with the flavor, as much as I might try to tell myself otherwise. Meanwhile, I can’t get enough of The Super Bock That Lived — the true beer of Portugal, the beer of my fellow Northerners, every sip of which reminds me of who I am and where I come from: Maria Rodrigues Almeida, the Good Belletrist of São Martinho do Campo. 

So why are we so loyal to certain brands? What’s the psychology behind our purchases? And how can you use this to your business’s advantage?

This week, our very own Rafaela Cortez wrote a mind-blowing piece on the psychology of consumer behavior, how memories and emotions interfere with our decisions, and what customer service has to do with it. 

Happy readings — and shopping!


P.S.: We’ll be having a CS-focused webinar with our friends at Helpshift on “How to leverage AI to build lean, productive teams in 2019,” on March 5. Register here if you’re interested.

🔖  This week's top picks 
💓 Fifteen shades of brand: the psychology of consumer behavior
The next time you hear a happy customer talk about how much they "love" a product, hold the eye roll and ask yourself what products you can't live without and what it was like when you first fell for them. Brand loyalty, it turns out, might very well be a kind of infatuation, a complex interaction of memories and emotions that plays to our sense of self.

This week on the Unbabel Blog, Rafaela Cortez writes about the psychology behind our love affair with Coke and other corporate coups de foudre.
🌟 MailChimp’s cofounder shares the best ways to get to know your customers
If there’s one advice that business owners hear over and over again, it’s know your customers. After all, they are the ones who buy your product and service. Without knowing and understanding how they think, you can’t build a successful business.
🤔 Why are they all women?
Present-day digital assistants keep our diaries in order, give us directions and take care of our correspondence. They are, first and foremost, virtual secretaries, which means they are filling a role traditionally played by women. Not so coincidentally, Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Apple’s Siri all have one thing in common: they are female.
😇 Do mentions of God persuade customers to buy?
What does God have to do with the risks people are willing to take? The answer, new research suggests, depends on the nature of the risk.
👀 Supposedly 'fair' algorithms can perpetuate discrimination
How the use of AI runs the risk of recreating the insurance industry's inequities of the previous century.
💡 Speaking words of wisdom

Is loyalty the same as a deep love for something? I don’t want to bring the “L” word into things but I guess I really do love a lot of the brands that I use.

— Vicki in “Consumers and Their Brands: Developing Relationship Theory in Consumer Research”

Pssst, tweet me.
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