Communication

The images you see unconsciously shape your behaviour

A subtle and consistent use of well-selected images can have a significant impact on subsequent decisions

Below the surface of our conscious awareness, many environmental factors influence our choices, behaviours and decisions. These factors temporarily activate the propensity toward a specific response: they prime us.

A picture in plain sight in the immediate environment can be considered a valid priming tool due to the strong instant connections it brings to our minds without conscious effort. But we are often unaware of the diverse associations when a particular concept is activated. 

For instance, Fitzsimons et al. (2008, PDF) primed research participants with two logos: Apple and IBM. The participants primed with the Apple logo behaved more creatively in a subsequent task than those primed with IBM and the control group. In another experiment, the participants primed with the Disney logo behaved more honestly than those primed with the E! logo. 


Do you feel more creative now?

Given how pervasive brand marketing is in our lives is not a surprise that it becomes associated with behavioural tendencies. In fact, research has shown remarkable consistency among members of a given culture describing the personality traits of popular brands.  

This underlying mechanism also applies to general pictures connected with behavioural traits. For example, what behaviour do these images bring to mind?


How about these IKEA posters from ad agency Mother's Every Home Should Be A Haven campaign?


Which of these two sets of images would you want to have on a landing page advertising a product focused around energy and risk-taking? What about one focused around tranquility and calm?

It may seem evident when those images are displayed in isolation with an overt display, but well-chosen and subtle priming images can invite people to different products. The images you select to be surrounding your product or brand can activate distinct purchasing behaviours. 

If you want to gear your customer to become budget-conscious, you can place pricing related images on your landing page, i.e. pennies, a sack of coins, dollar signs. But, if you want to steer your customer to purchase products related to power and stability, you might want to use images that reflect those traits: a bull, a barbell, among others.

Of course, the same picture might have different connotations (hence, different primed behaviours) depending on the culture surrounding it, so you might consider researching the selected images before using it. 

To conclude, images can be an influential source of behavioural priming, as long as we select appropriate ones for our purposes in a subtle and consistent way.

Communication

The images you see unconsciously shape your behaviour

A subtle and consistent use of well-selected images can have a significant impact on subsequent decisions

Below the surface of our conscious awareness, many environmental factors influence our choices, behaviours and decisions. These factors temporarily activate the propensity toward a specific response: they prime us.

A picture in plain sight in the immediate environment can be considered a valid priming tool due to the strong instant connections it brings to our minds without conscious effort. But we are often unaware of the diverse associations when a particular concept is activated. 

For instance, Fitzsimons et al. (2008, PDF) primed research participants with two logos: Apple and IBM. The participants primed with the Apple logo behaved more creatively in a subsequent task than those primed with IBM and the control group. In another experiment, the participants primed with the Disney logo behaved more honestly than those primed with the E! logo. 


Do you feel more creative now?

Given how pervasive brand marketing is in our lives is not a surprise that it becomes associated with behavioural tendencies. In fact, research has shown remarkable consistency among members of a given culture describing the personality traits of popular brands.  

This underlying mechanism also applies to general pictures connected with behavioural traits. For example, what behaviour do these images bring to mind?


How about these IKEA posters from ad agency Mother's Every Home Should Be A Haven campaign?


Which of these two sets of images would you want to have on a landing page advertising a product focused around energy and risk-taking? What about one focused around tranquility and calm?

It may seem evident when those images are displayed in isolation with an overt display, but well-chosen and subtle priming images can invite people to different products. The images you select to be surrounding your product or brand can activate distinct purchasing behaviours. 

If you want to gear your customer to become budget-conscious, you can place pricing related images on your landing page, i.e. pennies, a sack of coins, dollar signs. But, if you want to steer your customer to purchase products related to power and stability, you might want to use images that reflect those traits: a bull, a barbell, among others.

Of course, the same picture might have different connotations (hence, different primed behaviours) depending on the culture surrounding it, so you might consider researching the selected images before using it. 

To conclude, images can be an influential source of behavioural priming, as long as we select appropriate ones for our purposes in a subtle and consistent way.

Communication

The images you see unconsciously shape your behaviour

A subtle and consistent use of well-selected images can have a significant impact on subsequent decisions

Below the surface of our conscious awareness, many environmental factors influence our choices, behaviours and decisions. These factors temporarily activate the propensity toward a specific response: they prime us.

A picture in plain sight in the immediate environment can be considered a valid priming tool due to the strong instant connections it brings to our minds without conscious effort. But we are often unaware of the diverse associations when a particular concept is activated. 

For instance, Fitzsimons et al. (2008, PDF) primed research participants with two logos: Apple and IBM. The participants primed with the Apple logo behaved more creatively in a subsequent task than those primed with IBM and the control group. In another experiment, the participants primed with the Disney logo behaved more honestly than those primed with the E! logo. 


Do you feel more creative now?

Given how pervasive brand marketing is in our lives is not a surprise that it becomes associated with behavioural tendencies. In fact, research has shown remarkable consistency among members of a given culture describing the personality traits of popular brands.  

This underlying mechanism also applies to general pictures connected with behavioural traits. For example, what behaviour do these images bring to mind?


How about these IKEA posters from ad agency Mother's Every Home Should Be A Haven campaign?


Which of these two sets of images would you want to have on a landing page advertising a product focused around energy and risk-taking? What about one focused around tranquility and calm?

It may seem evident when those images are displayed in isolation with an overt display, but well-chosen and subtle priming images can invite people to different products. The images you select to be surrounding your product or brand can activate distinct purchasing behaviours. 

If you want to gear your customer to become budget-conscious, you can place pricing related images on your landing page, i.e. pennies, a sack of coins, dollar signs. But, if you want to steer your customer to purchase products related to power and stability, you might want to use images that reflect those traits: a bull, a barbell, among others.

Of course, the same picture might have different connotations (hence, different primed behaviours) depending on the culture surrounding it, so you might consider researching the selected images before using it. 

To conclude, images can be an influential source of behavioural priming, as long as we select appropriate ones for our purposes in a subtle and consistent way.

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