Products are made in the factory but brands are created in the mind even though we consider ourselves logical and modern human beings the majority of our decisions are made by the ancient instinctive subconscious part of our brains sometimes referred to as our reptilian brain.
Let’s have an insight into one such example in the field of marketing in the 1970s Japan’s economy was booming and Nestle was looking for the way to transform that into dollars obviously the option they chose was coffee but not so fast it was no secret that Japanese consumers loved tea greatly.
So Nestle tested the market cautiously before jumping in there an several focus group asking consumers from every age group what they thought of Nestle Coffee surprisingly everyone loved it all focus group came back incredibly positive Japanese consumers really liked the taste of coffee Nestle executives got excited and they shifted into high gear preparing a rollout plan to have coffee on every shelf in Japan huge sums were spent on marketing and distribution and coffee hit the market with a blast and then it wasn’t as expected Nestle Coffee just wasn’t selling in Japan.
Is there anything more depressing than an empty coffee shop it made no sense every study showed that Nestle Coffee would be the next big thing but Japanese consumers stuck to tea Japanese consumers liked the taste of coffee but simply chose not to buy it faced with this challenging situation.
Nestle decided to bring in the superstar of marketing clutter repel clutter repeal was not your typical marketer for starters he was actually a child psychiatrist who had spent years working with autistic children but because of this experience he was convinced of one thing that people can’t tell you what they really want he believed that the real desires that drove humans were unconscious ones and only very few people were aware enough to understand them clawed are called this is reptilian instinct an example of clutters work was with Jeeps latest models which hadn’t been selling and the company couldn’t understand why clutter came back with the oddest of suggestions go back to using round headlights clutter realized that for American consumers a Jeep meant freedom it was the symbol of Wild West of running free and equivalent to horse for Americans the Jeep was the modern horse when Jeep had changed their headlights shaped from round to square they had lost that connection because the headlights no longer looked like a horse’s eyes Jeep changed it back and the sales went up unbelievably.
Now back to Nestle in Japan when clutter arrived he was quick to understand that Japanese consumers had no connection to coffee no early childhood association Japanese kids grew up watching their parents drink tea lived with the smell of tea in the air and ate tea flavored snacks was it any surprise that as adults they chose tea over coffee so what did clutter recommend yes the coffee candies suddenly hordes of Japanese kids began to discover the taste of coffee through dozens of different candy types from there they eventually moved on to cold sugary coffee flavored drinks and then to lats and then before they knew it big steamy mugs of Nescafe coffee not bad for a market that wouldn’t buy coffee just 40 years ago the key is no matter what story you tell make the buyer the hero.