Recently Dr Sharot gave a very interesting Keynote speech on “Optimism vs. Pessimism in Understanding Customer Expectations”. Below are the key takeaways from the event.
1 – Consumer decision-making involves imagining the future: Consumer decisions, such as choosing a holiday destination, dinner plans, or what you’re going to wear, rely on imagining future scenarios. Understanding how people imagine the future is crucial to understanding consumer decision-making.
2 – Optimism bias: People have a tendency to imagine the future as better than the past and the present. They underestimate the likelihood of negative events and overestimate the likelihood of positive events.
3 – Private optimism and public despair: While individuals may be optimistic about their own future and the future of their family, they tend to be more pessimistic about the future of others, society, and the world at large.
4 – Joy of anticipation: Anticipating future events brings happiness and excitement. People often derive more pleasure from the anticipation of an event than from the actual experience itself.
5 – Enhancing anticipation in marketing: Marketers can leverage the joy of anticipation by providing consumers with details that allow for vivid imagination and anticipation. Highlighting the anticipation before a product or event can create a sense of excitement and engagement.
6 – Impact of stress on decision-making: Stress changes how the brain works and causes individuals to focus more on negative information. During stressful events, people can become overly pessimistic and anxious, affecting their decision-making processes.
7 – Sense of control and happiness: A sense of control over one’s life is a significant factor in happiness and mental well-being. Enhancing a customer’s sense of control and agency can positively impact their happiness and reduce stress.
8 – The power of choice: Giving people choices and options can enhance their sense of control and agency. When individuals make a choice, they tend to value the option they chose more and feel more positive about it.
9 – Framing messages: In marketing and communication, reframing messages to highlight positive aspects and opportunities for progress can be more effective than focusing on negative aspects to be avoided.
10 – Optimism bias in decision-making: People have an inherent optimism bias, but they may also have high expectations that can lead to disappointment. Understanding this bias can help in managing expectations and designing effective marketing strategies.
Overall, understanding how individuals imagine the future, their optimism bias, and the impact of stress and control on decision-making can provide valuable insights for marketers and communicators to better frame messages and engage with consumers.