Same Soda, Different Story! How Will People Respond?

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Companies put a tremendous amount of thought into the logos and labels and commercials that they make for their products. But how much of a difference does this actually make? Doesn’t the customer just overlook all this information and find the product with the best features? Wouldn’t two identical sodas taste the same if the brand was stripped away? 

Well, the answer shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to all the psychologists out there. Our latest study goes so far to show that the brand logo and the brand story have such a big impact on the mind of the customer, that it can actually change the experience of the product itself, all the way down to the way it tastes! 

We set up a booth at a farmers market and had folks choose which of two sodas they liked more. The catch, of course, was that the two sodas were exactly the same. One soda was presented as a “family owned small-batch craft soda with hints of cherry, no additives, no preservatives and top-tier taste.” The second soda was presented as “Plus Cola from consolidated brands in New Jersey.” 

Remarkably, each of our participants thought that the soda with the creative brand and the interesting story tasted better than the soda with the generic brand, even though they were exactly the same. And what did they say about the “family-owned small-batch craft soda” specifically? One participant said that it “almost tasted sweeter.” Another reported, “it has more flavor,” and a third pointed out that it had “notes of Cherry, and just the south, you could feel it in there.”

These findings highlight why psychology and creativity play a huge role in transforming customer’s preferences and experiences of products, and the reason behind this transformation has to do with the way that the brain processes information. Simply put, our brain doesn’t have the capacity to dive into all of the details behind products, so we end up using a handful of shortcuts that help us understand the world better and make decisions. Understanding these psychological shortcuts is a key to marketing success.

In the case of our experiment, the brain collected information that surrounded the customer’s experience of the soda, like the creative brand label and the interesting brand story, and this information actually influenced how the brain processed the taste of the soda. The creative branding created a frame for the product experience, which helped customers identify and experience the product in ways that were consistent with the message. That’s some powerful psychology! 

When we create creatively worded advertisements and lean into our large database of psychological shortcuts, we create a product experience that makes your competitor’s brand look and taste like that “generic brand” in comparison.

At Intermark Group, we’ve conducted a series of social psychology experiments that help drive home the powerful impact of psychology in marketing. Give us a call at 833-578-1314 or email us at [email protected] to discuss how we can help you turn psychological insights into great creative.