Make your brand more effective with anchoring

Anchoring describes a process where a sound, image, touch, smell or taste becomes so strongly associated with a feeling or reaction they become automatic.
You may have heard of Pavlov’s dogs. Every time Pavlov fed the dogs, he rang a bell. Over time the dogs associated the bell with eating food and soon they would salivate before the food was even in sight – simply on hearing the bell.

Humans have lots of anchored behaviours too. Seeing a red light at a crossing, most people will automatically take their foot off the accelerator. Maybe you have a song that reminds you of a special time in your life? The sound of a can opening and soda pouring into a glass may make you thirsty or the smell of coffee in the morning can make you feel more energised.

Brands create anchoring effects intentionally by associating desirable feelings with brand images, sounds as well as product smells and taste. Does the smell of Subway make you fancy a Meatball Marinara? Do your kids get excited every time they see a McDonalds? Maybe the sound of a Harley Davidson makes you feel excited? Or that bottle of San Miguel you are having in your local reminds you of being on holiday?

Negative anchors also exist. Maybe you had a bad experience with a bank and now every time you see their logo you get angry? Or you had one too many of a certain drink and now the smell alone makes you feel queasy? Or there is a certain brand of car you would never consider because you associate their owners with aggressive driving?

It is critical that a brand is aware of all the positive and negative anchors and automatic reactions it has created over the years, whether they were developed intentionally or accidentally, they impact on how consumers react to the brand now.

Emotional Logic’s Motivation Deep Dive identifies which anchors are linked to your brand, how this association started and what you can do to foster or break it. Make the preference for your brand automatic and connect more deeply with consumers – with anchoring.