how to reveal consumer behavioural truths with Psychoanalytics

Reaching and understanding your consumer is not an easy task. There are many methodologies that attempt to answer the question, “how can we get consumers to [INSERT OBJECTIVE]?” In order to answer that, we need to understand the truths about how the consumer processes and sees the world.

At Research Strategy Group we like to say, “Psychoanalytics begins where traditional qualitative research ends.”  We have seen psychoanalytics work for our clients and have seen the positive impact on their consumer strategies.

There are five consumer truths that Psychoanalytics helps us to understand:

Truth #1: Consumers cannot tell you something they do not know

Obviously people cannot articulate things they do not know. The most motivating thing is usually the one that is least available to a person’s consciousness.

Truth #2: Consumer reality is created by a belief system

To truly understand consumers, we need to understand their life; and in order to understand their life, we need to understand their belief system.

So what do consumers believe?

Truth #3: Consumers only hear messages congruent with their belief system

A food company wanted to know the reason why their marketing strategy for the country was not well received among all its consumers. Our psychoanalytics specialist discovered that there were 2 distinct cultures in one country; one culture viewed food as a source of fuel for the body, while the other viewed food as a sensual experience. Needless to say, different messages were needed to address these different belief systems in order for the marketing strategy to resonate. If you speak outside of that belief system, they will never hear you. Psychoanalytics helps you identify what you must say or never say.

Truth #4: Consumers need to relate to your brand

Most consumers will say they relate to your brand, what they are not saying is, they only relate to your brand on a conscious level. Unfortunately, the conscious level will likely not foster a long-term relationship or brand loyalty. Deep exploration into your consumers’ psyches may reveal an archetypal dimension which is much stronger and will be more motivating.

Truth #5: Consumers are highly predictable

Believe it or not, consumers are highly  predictable, but ONLY once the belief system and unconscious programming have been identified. After a belief system is revealed, you can anticipate their reactions to your marketing initiatives.

We value the insights generated from Psychoanalytics and believe they can help anyone answer their strategic questions.


Jim Peterson