We all have our habits.
I’m not talking about those habits we largely don’t like to mention or be spotted doing (stop biting your nails). The habits I’m referring to are those little ways of working, shopping, reading or interacting that give us some comfort. The habits that shape our working days or our weekends, the coffee at your desk at 8.50am or the way you like to always check your banking app before you head out to the shops.
We all have our habits, they shape our days, devices and web surfing routes.
The thing is, your habits now don’t just shape you, they are also adapting your interactions with the world. The time you pick your remote control up, the way you flick through channels and the type of programmes you watch is directly influencing the adverts you see (or fast forward through). The route you take to work, the type of transport you use and the people you usually talk to on the journey is influencing the make-up of your mobile device. Your use of your search engine is making it easier and easier for your machine to second guess what you’re thinking.
We are entering a world as consumers and users where the very habits that give us comfort are becoming “public knowledge”. George Orwell I hear you cry…well yes undoubtedly there is a huge element of Big Brother with this. It is increasingly difficult to go “off grid”. The islanders (The Island with Bear Grylls – a show I almost appeared on) who will be appearing on our TV screens later this year will show once again just how far removed we now are from that unconnected world, and the psychological impact that missing our habits can bring.
However, there are advantages too. After all, the reason we have habits is that we are essentially building a comforting familiarity into the big world around us. Try a simple experiment yourself. When you get up tomorrow morning try doing something completely different, reverse the order of your morning brew. It’ll take some thinking about and may well feel uncomfortable. By adapting to our habits, devices and search engines provide advertisers with a comfortable zone to push their messages. We’re in a comfortable space, happy that our little habits are making us feel all soothed and then comes along a message from an advertiser for a product/potential service that our habits have indicated that we might like.
What could be easier!
A comfortable buyer is a good buyer, it is then up to the advertiser to create impulses around scarcity, fear of missing out or social conformity with clever and emotional advertising to illicit that purchase.
In another decade we should all be well primed for this. So why not keep them guessing just a bit longer and change one of those habits every so often.
Simon Brooke is a Director and creative thinker at Happy Creative, a strategic marketing and creative branding agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to www.happy-creative.co.uk or tweet us @Happy_Creative
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