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Why Your Ideal Client Isn't Choosing You

"95% of our buying decisions are made in our subconscious"

Gerald Zaltman

Harvard Business Professor



“It’s not personal, it’s business”


The age old saying, “It’s not personal, it’s business” has never been less true. With the rise of social media in the last couple decades, business practices have evolved majorly. We live in a particular climate where businesses lacking a personality or “brand” can’t survive. It’s all personal. Consumers now have dozens of options when it comes time to purchase a shampoo. Thousands of sites pop up on a google search to find laundry detergent. Consumers are bombarded daily with hundreds of marketing ploys and pitches. We are on stimulus overload. So… what makes the consumer choose us over everyone else?


I remember getting lost at the hardware store when we were little. Every Saturday, my dad would always take us kids (me and my five siblings) out to run errands then we’d have lunch. We looked forward to it all week. One day, I remember walking down an aisle and getting distracted by something and soon enough, I couldn’t find my family. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. A couple minutes later, behind me I heard a familiar voice yelling, “Clare! Over here!” It was my sister. I knew it was her before I turned around.


Be familiar


In a sea of noise, a sea of unfamiliar voices all vying for my attention and money, when I come across a brand that sounds “familiar”, I gravitate towards it and cling to it. Consumers are no longer looking for just a professional facade, they want to feel a connection. They want a business they can love. For me, I love businesses that are minimalist, conscious, aware of their mark on the world, wanting to make the world better… like Patagonia. I don’t mind getting emails from them. When I see their Instagram posts, I kind of feel like I’m getting a breath of fresh air. It’s like seeing a friend. It’s familiar. I can trust them. I trust who they are and what they’re doing. I don’t have to be on guard or protect myself from their unwanted advances.


Business is deeply personal.

We want to partner with businesses that we feel we can trust, that are “familiar”.

We are primal beings with innate needs, desires and aversions.

When it comes to making decisions that will “cost” us something, we need to be sure those decisions are safe.

If 95% of our buying decisions are made in the subconscious, that means there’s a whole lot of intuition, sensing, feeling and gut reactions when we come in contact with a business. We are excellent BS detectors.


Why good branding MAKES you money


Having a brand with consistent messaging (visually and verbally) is directly related to success and MAKES businesses money.


Brands are like people. If we meet someone and they act one way with us and then totally differently with someone else, a red flag goes off. They aren’t trustworthy. If a trusted insurance company is posting grainy selfies of them in a bathing suit on their Instagram business account… that’s confusing. If a high end real estate agency dedicated to selling multi million dollar homes in Pebble Beach has a blog post about how to get out of debt, that sends a confusing message. A wellness coach needs to regularly be offering free, uplifting advice- lots of blog and social media posts. Make-up artists should be sharing tutorials and how to’s.


Be predictable.


To a certain extent, businesses need to be predictable. Trust is preceded by a sense of reliability. It’s our primal instinct… we are naturally cautious.


Be human.


We connect with people. Businesses have to show the people behind their brand so that the consumer sees someone they want to be around or someone they want to be like.


So, it all boils down to this...


Be consistent so that when your ideal client finds you, they hear a familiar, wanted, welcome voice.