I recently read “Blind Tasting Manifesto”from Robin Goldstein, which is a though-provoking text about wine tasting. It also has three important lessons for a planner:
1. Always Manage and Manipulate The Expectations of the consumers
Expectations rule our evaluation of wine. Especially expectations based on price: you are automatically favoring wine if you know (or believe) it is expensive.
People are not rational and sometimes contrary to traditional economic model decreasing price can lead to fewer sales. Price is important anchoring point for quality. If something is too cheap it is not aspiring, believable and it does not get your expectations.
Too often we neglect consumers expectations and current biases around our product. We are too busy on focusing what we want to say and do within current campaign that we fail to realize that quite often our audience has already created their impression of our brand before even seeing any ads or experiencing the product. Consumers get the brand that they believe they get, not what the brand truly is.
2. Don´t trust the experts
Experts, who guide our wine expectations, cannot be trusted. Many studies have proven that many so-called wine experts fail miserably in blind-tasting setting.
Same thing goes with marketing. I stopped going to seminars, because I was constantly underwhelmed with all the “gurus” talking about the same things on their Keynotes. Planners want to be experts and also refer to other so-called “experts” too often. The most important thing is to absorb information and stimulus as possible, but at the end of the day, do your own decisions. If you are able to do unbiased decisions…
3. Try to Keep An Open Mind
Your true preferences are out there awaiting discovery via blind tasting. You might even like the cheaper wine, so keeping an open mind can save your money.
We as planners can easily fall prey to experimenter´s bias. Our expectations regarding study results bias the research outcome. Too often, we find exactly what we are looking for. That is totally counter-effective to what true planning should be, we should find something new.
Advertising is one of the most subjective industries in the world. We planners should try to be the most objective we can be. It is not easy, but if we are not trying, no one else is either.