Learning Psychology Through Marketing: Positioning, First and Last Impressions

There are millions of ways of looking at the human psyche, different angles. Vets know about people by learning to deal with animals, bartenders learn through observing how people interact at bars, GPs know though the stories that people tell them, etc…Business people can learn through marketing. Magic happens when you start to look at the same thing through different angles.

So, I was reading that book about marketing, that basically placed the idea of positioning as a core pillar in marketing. What is positioning : It says when you associate your business with something, you’re pretty much doomed to that forever. Which has wonderfully good effects, but can put limits.

For instance, Xerox was extremely popular among the older generations for copy machines. They did try to expand by manufacturing tons of various electronics, including computers and other things, and many of their products where excellent and of better quality that the top selling brands…Their advertising department spent millions to promote other products, comparing them to the top brands, it was a major failure, and we know why.

That’s it, when you have positioned yourself, meaning you have associated a concept, product, service, experience, or word with your business NAME, you’re doomed to that no matter how hard you try later and how much money you invest in getting people to expand their vision of what you do or sell. “People don’t like to change their minds”. It’s the perception they want to have that always prevails, not the real truth.

What does that have to do with psychology?

A lot my friend !

You know the whole big advice about first impressions. That’s positioning. The first time people see you, they unconsciously put you a set of stickers and store you in a box of their memory. The human mind is not very good at opening that box over and over to adjust stickers, wipe them, rewrite, etc…too much of a hassle. Do make a good first impression. Do dress well, do groom, do be nice. Hopefully, it also matches who you really are, these are all things everyone wants to have at all times. You don’t have to dress in a suit all the time, but beware! Dressing casually is indeed often associated with not caring anymore and wearing crap with the excuse “It’s cool, it’s casual”. People will think your attire looks cool only of you’re wearing nice (cool) casual wear. Clothing communicates self-worth, which is the main ingredient of people’s perceived value of you when they never spoke with you…before you even get to speak, a first impression is already made.

How about men-women relationships? Oh…that’s the best part!

When I read about positioning and the difficulty of changing the customer’s perception of who you are becoming, I can’t help thinking of conversations I have had with guys or girls on unrecoverable relationships. One person in a couple did something wrong at some point, and could just never undo it. The other person would have lost attraction forever and see them as untrustworthy, someone causing pain, someone scary, a whinny, a too kind of a man, etc…Sometimes you may think “He/She never forgave me” and that wouldn’t be true. If a man cries during a conflict with his woman, most likely that positions a man as a certified wussy. Once you get that title, it’s hard to undo it. There are millions of other example where people may have forgiven, but attraction and love are just gone because of negative positioning. Reality about who you really are, and who you became now doesn’t matter anymore. you could be nearly anything you want, and even turn out to be a very demanded and attractive person for many, that one person you did bad positioning will not easily, if ever, change their own negative perception of the romantic part of you.

The flip side of the coin is positive positioning. If on your first encounter he/she falls utterly and thinks “That’s it that’s my soul mate. I know it, I feel it!!!”, very likely, what happens next is irrelevant to how that person will be attracted to you. Once the mind is convinced of something, it doesn’t matter whether it is true or not, it will be very hard to undo. That partly explains why you’ll see people marrying two months after they met each other. Of course attraction and complementary psychological profiles play a great role but if you convince your mind that you will marry that person, and if you’re not the only one there, then the minds will assuredly reinforce this conviction and find a way to achieve that.

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