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(Re)defining Brands Through Human Fundamentals

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This pioneering research redefines the way we market our products and services. Artificial segmentations based on personality differences offer weak foundations on which to build brand strategies. To deeply engage us, a brand must have a solid inner architecture deeply rooted in the fundamentals of humanity. Beneath all the phantasmagoria of global marketing communication, lies order and rhythm, the source code of our human behaviour.

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(Re)defining Brands Through Human Fundamentals

  1. 1. (RE)DEFINING BRANDS THROUGH HUMAN FUNDAMENTALS
  2. 2. Hi! My name is Constantinos Pantidos and I believe that companies could improve people’s lives even more effectively if they had deeper human insight.
  3. 3. For consumer satisfaction to be as complete as possible, we must take care not only of the needs consumers understand and are able to evaluate but also and especially the ones they are not consciously aware of
  4. 4. While 95% of our purchase decision making takes place in our unconscious, we tend to spend a disproportionally high time on product characteristics and price and promotions because they are easier to grasp
  5. 5. Instead, this presentation delves into the unconscious mind of the consumer, the 95% that really matters, and makes it possible for marketers to build irresistible brands
  6. 6. Beneath all the phantasmagoria of global marketing communication, lies order and rhythm, the source code of our human behaviour
  7. 7. Our psyche consists of a code
  8. 8. We are an ordered pattern of fundamental motives capable of generating life
  9. 9. Biological Value Brain & Body Systems Cognitive Operations Psychological States Human Morality Behaviour Rewards Engagement The pathways of human behaviour While the models for shaping brand strategy used by most multinationals today ignore the contribution of modern sciences such as neurobiology and cognitive science, BRAND AVIATORS™ use a comprehensive model having an evolutionary foundation and a multidisciplinary approach enabling marketers to build consumer propositions that are impossible to resist
  10. 10. Driven by my belief that marketers can enrich people’s life I analysed the motives underpinning over seventy global categories of goods, using an approach including: • client workshops & brand communication decoding • motivational research & psychology • cognitive linguistics, affective neuroscience and biology • cultural anthropology, sociology & philosophy and • the proprietary tools of BRAND AVIATORS™, my brand strategy agency
  11. 11. Over the last 10 years I have cumulatively examined: • 150,000 pieces of communication of global brands • 400 motivational research studies • 1000 books, articles and white papers on everything important that has been written about the specific categories of goods • 800 books, articles and white papers on the various disciplines that study human behaviour • 100 client workshops
  12. 12. All highly successful brands clearly, coherently and consistently express our fundamental human motives, activating them at the deepest layers of their deployment
  13. 13. These are our fundamental human motives, the irreducible, ineradicable parts of human experience, the vital aspects of human nature. Their force culminates into human life.* CONNECT CONTROL The wheel of motives™ GROW CARE BALANCE DESIRE FEEL SAFE SEEK PLAY CREATE DEFY TRANSFORM TM * A book will shortly be published, extensively analysing the motives underpinning 20 categories of everyday consumer goods and our fundamental human motives. It puts forward the most integrated platform for engaging people to date.
  14. 14. What follows is a brief analysis of the fundamental motives underpinning consumer behaviour and, indeed, our entire human behaviour.
  15. 15. THE MOTIVE TO FEEL SAFE: To exist we must feel safe. If we do not feel safe major systems in our brain are blocked. To explore, to create, to grow, to be ourselves, we must keep fears at bay. Nature helps us achieve a feeling of safety by dampening any fear and receiving rewarding stimuli. Our mind takes every opportunity to reproduce this battle of good versus bad; when good forces win, it is always reassuring.
  16. 16. Motive Main biological advantages / survival value Possible neurosystems involved Examples of cognitive operations Main psychological states Main sociocultural manifestations and reinforcers Feel safe Detection of threats, Dissipation of fears, Endurance via rewards, Creation of optimism that facilitates success Reward systems (opioid neurosystems that induce a sensation of pleasure and suppress pain), Fear dampening systems, Defensive system Retrospection, Reminiscence, Comfort and enjoyment, Believing, Increasing positive emotions, Constancy, Coping, Resolution of emotional conflict, Incognisance, Anthropomorphism Stability, Regression, Renewal, Nostalgia, Daydreaming, Comfort, Hope, Happiness, Satiety, Plenitude, Joy, Bliss, Instant gratification, Reward, Perfectionism Postponement, Shame, Guilt, Humbleness, Self- sacrifice, Narcissism Belief systems such as religion, Morality, Ethics, Mores, Folkway, Tradition, Authenticity
  17. 17. THE MOTIVE TO SEEK. To continue to exist we need to stir interest in life. Humans like the familiar most of all because it brings security. But quickly we become frustrated and bored, and we seek escape. Lack of arousal leads to boredom which is responsible for a series of negative behaviours. Nature made the very act of searching and the moment of discovery intrinsically pleasurable in order to jolt us towards gaining access to all types of resources. Our motive to seek is omnipresent and helps us see further, what we could become, and to take the necessary risks to succeed.
  18. 18. Motive Main biological advantages / survival value Possible neurosystems involved Examples of cognitive operations Main psychological states Main sociocultural manifestations and reinforcers Seek Arousal of interest, Location of resources, Integration of diversity, Flexibility Seeking system, Arousal optimisation system Search, Scanning ability, Arousing emotional experience, Improvisation, Experimentation, Detection, Divergent Thinking, Choice, Differentiation, Sensing, Free association, Breadth-of- attention, Intrinsic motivation, Cognitive flexibility, Incidental learning Excitement, Anticipation, Expectancy, Arousal, Restlessness, Emotional vertigo, Contrast, Thrill, Sense of freedom, Curiosity, Experimentation Independence, Mobility, Flexibility, Diversity, Alternativeness, Novelty, Variety, Risk-taking, Opportunism, Adventure, Exploration, Discovery
  19. 19. THE MOTIVE TO PLAY: To live life for its own sake is the essence of life. To fully live, one must be fully present where one is. To live the moment is an exhilarating experience that assumes spontaneity: To live every instant to the full, to live at all, one must let go. Through play, we find ourselves able to experience life intensely. Free from all pretentious seriousness, and any need, urgency or necessity, play allows humans to experience all aspects of our nature, to be fully human.
  20. 20. Motive Main biological advantages / survival value Possible neurosystems involved Examples of cognitive operations Main psychological states Main sociocultural manifestations and reinforcers Play Focusing on the present, Generation of vitality, Integration of incongruence, Fighting of adversity Play systems, Reward systems Immediate Intuitive awareness, Aggressive Ideation, Expression of affect- laden Images, Intensification of emotions, Absorption, Aesthesis, Pretention, Make- believing, Symbolisation, Free Association, Representation, Anthropomorphism, Experimentation, Improvisation, Divergent thinking Spontaneity, Whim, Frivolity, Fun, Gaiety, Cheerfulness, Jubilance, Exuberance, Flamboyance, Colourfulness, Zestfulness, Mischievousness, Teasing, mockery Celebrations, Entertainment, Satire, Humour, Sports, Games
  21. 21. THE MOTIVE TO TRANSFORM: To survive in an ever-changing environment, humans must be masters of change. Our capacity to create images and our ability to transcend the moment helps us incarnate different roles, experience hidden values of our personality and try on different characters to see who we may really be. To adapt to new situations we need to suspend ourselves and often make others vanish. To deceive, outmanoeuvre, manipulate and incorporate our environment we use no lesser devices than imagination, projection, transference, prediction, manoeuvring, synchronicity and synergy.
  22. 22. Motive Main biological advantages / survival value Possible neurosystems involved Examples of cognitive operations Main psychological states Main sociocultural manifestations and reinforcers Transform Mutation, Synchronisation, Simulation of scenarios Anticipation of the consequences of our actions Shifting systems, Decoupling mechanisms, Symbol systems, Mirror neurons, Imaginary function Foresight, Imagery, Fantasy/make- believe/as if thinking, Symbolic representation, Association, Suggestion, Reversal, Diagnosis, Affect modulation, Pretending, Transformation (set shifting, cognitive flexibility, reordering of information, breaking out of old ways of thinking) Fascination, Amazement, Awe, Peak experiences, Projection, Transference, Disorientation, Illusion, Entering & participating in Imaged worlds, Deception, Manipulation, Seduction Multiple casting of life roles, Multitasking, Multiple-reality of everyday life, Suspension of reality through technology, media, Replacement of the event and the object with images, Pressure for short- cuttings, Increasing speed of change, Superstitions such a as toasts, Mysticism
  23. 23. THE MOTIVE TO DEFY: We only grow by negating what exists already. When reacting to sameness, to the standardised, to the given, humans refuse to accept anything less than that which they deserve. Self-destruction is life gone wrong, life not lived. We seek to integrate small doses of death into ourselves, so that its image is rendered trivial, while integrating small doses of life so that we are not overwhelmed by its ecstasy. Consuming ourselves we make the most of our life. From destruction we emerge renewed, from nothing we leap forward.
  24. 24. Motive Main biological advantages / survival value Possible neurosystems involved Examples of cognitive operations Main psychological states Main sociocultural manifestations and reinforcers Defy Elimination of threats through violence, Escaping from dangers, Narrowing down thought, Integration of conflicts & resources, Preparation of vital deceleration, Enablement of creation Aggression system, Panic systems, Emergency systems Aggression, Compulsively focused attention, Incorporation, Distraction, Disregard, Negligence, Rejection Fear, Phobia, Anger, Rage, Pain, Obsession, Fixation, Predatory feelings, Frustration, Agitation, Disturbance, Horror, Feeling of disequilibration, Decay, Perversion, Malevolence, Self- punishment, Incapacity to live, Submission Counterculture, Wars, Defiance, Movements, Subcultures, Terrorism, Vandalism, Criminality, Waste, Love for danger
  25. 25. THE MOTIVE TO CREATE. The mind does not passively receive information; it is engaged in its creation, it has a point of view. To exist, we need our life choices to be justified, so that our life adds up. We are, primarily, the construction of our narratives. Through the choices we make and the stories we tell ourselves and others we create and maintain our self, we express our personality. We feel our life by composing it, we live through moments that have content, we recreate life on a daily basis. Being ourselves is intrinsically rewarding. Participating in the mechanism of destruction and innovation, we continuously fight decomposition by composing life. Through creation, we attempt to impose our subjective self on our environment, to exist, and leave our imprint on the world.
  26. 26. Motive Main biological advantages / survival value Possible neurosystems involved Examples of cognitive operations Main psychological states Main sociocultural manifestations and reinforcers Create Construction of self, Claiming individuality, Finding solutions, Leveraging brain and body systems All the systems in neocortex working in various combinatory ways to harness the entirety of the mind, Insula, Anterior cingulate, Von Economo neurons system Intuition, Inspiration, Individuation, Discrimination, Depiction, Ideation, Integration of knowledge in new ways, Apperception, Tendency to practice with alternative solutions, Problem solving, Expression of emotional states and themes, Interpretation Self-consciousness, Articulation of self- identity, Need to be oneself, Individualisation, Singularisation, Subjectivity imposed on the environment, Creation of reality, Conception and (Cross) fertilisation, Gut-sense, Search for meaningfulness Culture, art, Creativity, Continuous self- invention, Aesthetic rules, Identification, Domestication, Story-telling, Languages and codes
  27. 27. THE MOTIVE TO GROW: Life is growth. Humans grow through goals. As we reach one objective, we surge towards the next greater one. Difficult tasks are inherently pleasurable because they make us perform at peak capacity and contribute to the evolution of the species. By being active we give intensity to the moment, we live more. Every victory, no matter how small, reassures us that we can still overcome obstacles, push ourselves to any extremes in pursuit of our goals. Nothing is given to any of us. Each one of us must “earn” his/her place in the world, his/her life. The lower our self- esteem, the greater the need for external proofs of our existence.
  28. 28. Motive Main biological advantages / survival value Possible neurosystems involved Examples of cognitive operations Main psychological states Main sociocultural manifestations and reinforcers Grow Will to act & be, Perseverance, Evolution via difficult tasks, Spread of successful genes, Access to resources Aggression system, Rage System, Goal- seeking system Task persistence, Determination, Resolution, Goal orientation, Constancy, Attention, Observance, Deciding, Acquisition, Pursuance, Hunt Intension to win & augment the self, Need for personal development, Self- esteem, Recognition, Admiration, Pride, Confidence Achievement, Success, Competition, Ownership (to prove oneself), Progress, Greatness, Capitalism, Duties
  29. 29. THE MOTIVE TO CONTROL: We become human only by controlling our impulses and instincts, abolishing animality. Reducing everything to human proportions, using the measures of our own invention, we create order around us to comfortably locate ourselves in the world. The self itself emerged in order to direct consciousness. Our self needs integration. To survive, we need a frame of orientation, a well- structured, hierarchical world. We are born with a structure that culture reinforces. We come into this world with a drive to manage. Through order and control, we manage accidentalness, entropy, physical deterioration and decay.
  30. 30. Motive Main biological advantages / survival value Possible neurosystems involved Examples of cognitive operations Main psychological states Main sociocultural manifestations and reinforcers Control Integration of the organism, Direction of the self and guidance of reason, Enablement of the intellect, Hold of resources Computational systems, Executive systems of neocortex, Self- monitoring System, Conflict resolution and planning process Reasoning, Causality, Judgment, Categorisation, Typification, Ascription, Coordination, Officiating, Emotional regulation, Cognitive integration, Appraisal, Evaluation, Modelling, Influence, Prioritisation Organisation, Rationalisation, Be a role model, Be in command, Discipline, Respect, Conformity Civilisation, Justice (control of society), Measurement, Time, Order, Justice (control of society) Institutions, Organisation, Management, Norms, Rules, Measurement, Bureaucracy, Corporations, Imperialism, Distinction, Privileges
  31. 31. THE MOTIVE TO CONNECT: In both new- born animals and humans, rejection means death. We are social even before we recognise our own self. Facing dangers together we abolish our individual weaknesses. Loneliness, rejection and betrayal literally hurt. In contrast, when we are with fellow humans we feel comforted and normal. Heterogeneity is destabilising. Merging into the crowd we empty ourselves of certain aspects of our character. That we are all the same is comforting. In forgetting the uncertainty of individual life we open to infinity, feeling connected to the world and the species which are immortal.
  32. 32. Motive Main biological advantages / survival value Possible neurosystems involved Examples of cognitive operations Main psychological states Main sociocultural manifestations and reinforcers Connect Effacing one’s personal weaknesses, Facing dangers together, Facing aloneness, Normalisation of selection, Sacrificing part of personality to mingle with environment Social engagement systems, Mirror cells, Attunement Process Groupthink, Interpersonal schema/Self-other representation, Capacity to trust others, Communication, Linguistic process, Identification, Immediacy Belonging, Sharing, Effacing oneself in a vague majority, Reciprocity, Sameness, Friendship, Brotherhood, Ordinariness Society, Equality, Human Rights, Gossiping, Normality, Neutrality, Justice (equality)
  33. 33. THE MOTIVE TO DESIRE. Desire is pulse, vital energy that calls us to continue to exist, to enjoy the possible. Nature rewards all biologically essential activities with pleasure. Pleasure tells us what to do, it helps us optimise our decisions, rank urgencies, redress physiological imbalance. Passions are attempts to step out of ourselves. Love, itself, is the desire for wholeness. When loved, we feel unique, special, we fully experience our subjective existence. In love we search to perpetuate ourselves. In our lover we love the world.
  34. 34. Motive Main biological advantages / survival value Possible neurosystems involved Examples of cognitive operations Main psychological states Main sociocultural manifestations and reinforcers Desire Procreation, Ranking urgencies, focusing behaviour on useful ends, Optimising behaviour decisions, Overall function monitoring, Motivation and learning what is good, Propulsion through desire, Redressing physiological imbalance Hedonic circuits, (probably the subcortical substrates of nucleus accumbens, and ventral pallidum in interaction with cortical structures), Opioid and reward systems, Social engagement systems, Love system (probably cingulate gyrus) Selection of action, Conditioned reinforcement, Emotional responsiveness, Working memory, Attraction, Attention, Problem solving, Goal selection, Infatuation, Positive regard & commitment, Care, Immediacy, Positively biased thinking Sensuousness, Sexuality, Lust, Take pleasure, Feel wanted & special, Fall in love, Experiencing intimacy, Seek self- acceptance, Seek wholeness Hedonistic culture, Marriage, Coupling, Passions, Sexual norms
  35. 35. THE MOTIVE TO CARE. Life is based on symbiosis. As we constantly are, or feel, under attack from unseen aggressions, there is a constant need to physically and emotionally protect ourselves, and others, from outside threats. We grow through giving: The more we give, the more we receive. By our nature, not to give when we know we are not taken advantage of is painful. In giving the best of ourselves to others, we go beyond our subjective life and feel our existence. In focusing on taking care of others, we mask our own needs and bypass our own inadequacies. By taking care of others we take care of ourselves.
  36. 36. Motive Main biological advantages / survival value Possible neurosystems involved Examples of cognitive operations Main psychological states Main sociocultural manifestations and reinforcers Care Saving what is useful, Growing offspring, Serving community, Providing lifelong resilience Care systems Empathy (expression of concern for and caring about others), Care, Excogitation Feeling useful & benevolent, Nurturing behaviour, Defensive behaviour, Selflessness, Intense pleasure helping others including children Having children, Altruism, Compassion, Maintaining, Saving
  37. 37. THE MOTIVE TO BALANCE. To survive means to continuously monitor, understand and harmonise the internal and external environment. Knowledge is a prerequisite for balance. However, although knowledge brings power and security, it is also fallible. To manage knowledge and reason and to balance the different dimensions of our human nature we need wisdom. In understanding the various qualities of human nature we enable ourselves to surpass it.
  38. 38. Motive Main biological advantages / survival value Possible neurosystems involved Examples of cognitive operations Main psychological states Main sociocultural manifestations and reinforcers Balance Construction of an adequate self, Balancing the different parts of our nature, Harmonisation of the self with the world, Orientation of the self, Guiding reason Information processing system, Learning and memory systems Cerebration, Knowing, Representation, Awareness, Eclecticism, Convergent thinking, Apprehension, Master and integrate knowledge base, Synthesising, Insight, Gnosis, Doublethink Increased sense of inner unity & coherence, Harmonisation of the various aspects of personality and life, Understanding, Building agreement with our environment, Moderation, Prudence, Prevention, Wisdom Rewarding expertise, Education, Science
  39. 39. THE WHEEL OF EVOLUTION: Our whole civilisation, social institutions, belief systems, various cultures, great human values and the way we behave at every moment are all products of our fundamental human motives. They are all attempts to fight degeneration and to elevate life, becoming themselves, in their turn, adaptive mechanisms.
  40. 40. CONNECT CONTROL The wheel of motives™ GROW CARE BALANCE DESIRE FEEL SAFE SEEK PLAY CREATE DEFY TRANSFORM TM The Wheel Of Motives™ can help us activate the unique codes of a brand, those that engage people at a profound human level based on a three-phase methodology * * For the complete theory about how the fundamental human motives work please contact the author or wait until the publishing of the book
  41. 41. Phase 1: Psychographic landscaping • Mapping the meaning people derive from the category • Deconstructing the meaning systems of the brands in the category • Tracing meaning-saturated areas and fundamental motives which are catered for less effectively
  42. 42. Phase 2: Brand (re)definition • Locating the core of the brand (based on the fundamental motive(s) it activates) • Mobilising the core to give a unique answer to what consumers have always wanted from the category
  43. 43. Phase 3: The unique language of the brand • Imprinting brand strategy into our fundamental human motives, the roots of human communication • Translating brand strategy into Intrinsically Engaging Narratives™ - tangible and ownable experiences based on the profound code
  44. 44. To capture the deep resonances that make a brand successful, and its consonances with the category, a profound knowledge of the rich hierarchies of inherent concepts of our mind, and their underground connections, is required.
  45. 45. Above all, by founding brand strategy on our fundamental human motives the brand becomes deeply humanistic in that it offers holistic, universal experiences that no longer simply satisfy some individual needs but the needs of the species
  46. 46. BRAND AVIATORS™ are trusted by some of the world’s leading companies:
  47. 47. (Re)define your brand through the human fundamentals if you seek to: • Deeply engage people locally and across cultures • Develop genuine concepts that work year after year after year • Align all brand communications under one master idea • Increase the ROI of all your brand’s activities
  48. 48. My mission is to help clients around the world build brands that liberate the very forces of life. Contact me now for a free discovery audit at c.pantidos@brandaviators.com or by clicking on the icon: BRAND AVIATORS™ Kemp House, 152-160 City Road, London EC1V 2NX +44 (0) 203 693 3933

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