Oct 17, 2020
When you bring attention to something, it influences
people’s behavior. For example, The food and household goods
supplier in the UK, Tesco, was recently accused of profiteering by
raising the prices of a yeast extract spread called Marmite. There
was quite an uproar about it in the UK. You would think that this
would mean sales of Marmite would go down.
You would be wrong. After the kerfuffle about the
love-it-or-hate-it spread, Marmite sales increased by 61 percent.
The reason Marmite sales went up has a lot to do with
This episode of The Intuitive Customer cover what
Priming is, how it works, and how you can employ it in your
Customer Experience to foster customer-driven growth.
Priming is a term derived from the early water pumps,
as in “priming the pump.” That phrase refers to the fact that you
would need to pour a little water into old water pumps so that more
water would come out of it. The psychological concept is similar.
Priming describes how doing a little bit of something can activate
cognitive systems in peoples’ minds and influence their
Here are a few more things you should know about
- Priming affects what customers remember at
the moment. Customer Loyalty requires memory; after
all, you can’t return to an experience if you don’t remember it (at
least not on purpose). However, because memories exist in a network
or a connected group of recollections associated in some way,
Priming the memory pump affects what memories a customer remembers
before they make a decision, and it can affect how they
- Little things are often the Primers,
and they appeal to the subconscious. Priming works best in
a subtle way, triggering the subconscious. For example, researchers
observed that when a wine store played French music over the sound
system, French wine sales increased by a ratio of five to one.
However, the customers were unaware of why they bought French wine
- The two systems of thinking are part of the
reason Priming is so effective. The automatic and fast
thinking Intuitive System is always looking for ways to present
information useful in decision making. When you send a Prime
through your experience, the Intuitive System pushes the memories
associated with the prime to the customers’ consciousness if the
customer needs it.
- Priming Customer Experience happens whether
you are deliberate about it or not. Many little things in
your experience are priming the customers’ subconscious right now.
However, few organizations engage in a deliberate strategy there.
How the store looks, smells, or sounds, is a significant influence
on how customers behave. However, even your advertising primes
customers; unfortunately, it is often by setting customers’
unrealistic expectations that fall short in reality.
There are a few things we recommend that you do with
Priming in your Customer Experience.
- Recognize that Priming exists now in your
Customer Experience. Whether or not you intended them
to, little details of your experience are priming customers right
now. There is no neutral priming. We recommend taking an outside
approach to determine what these Priming elements are, so you are
- Consider whether these existing Priming
elements are working. Once you recognize the primes
that already exist, can you trace them to your desired customer
- Adjust the Priming elements that are not
working. To adjust your primers, you should have a
clear idea of what experience you want to deliver. This experience
should inspire the customer-driven growth you want. If you are not
getting the results you want currently, trace the customer behavior
back to the moment they encountered the prime, and consider how
changing it could inspire new action. In one of our client
consultations with an insurance company in the UK, we changed one
word that their customer service agents used in the new
policy-holder interaction and reduced their new customer call back
volumes by 70 percent in three weeks.
To discuss this further contact us at
Beyond Philosophy help organizations unlock
growth by discovering customers' hidden, unmet needs that drive
value ($). We then capitalize on this by improving your customer
experience to meet these needs thereby retaining and acquiring new
customers across the market.
This podcast is produced by Resonate Recordings. Click here
find out more.