It's what brands don't say that matters

Pete Buckley

Why the unintentional, unconscious signals people and brands create are more powerful than planned conscious communication messages

Contrary to popular belief, the decisions we make are mostly driven by emotional unconscious thinking (instinct/gut feeling), often described as System 1 thinking rather than rational conscious thought (known as System 2). Accordingly, it is feelings and associations which often dictate our decisions.

The majority of marketing, market research and advertising is still firmly rooted in System 2 thinking. Advertising objectives continue to focus around the need to communicate 'messages' and 'propositions' that are persuasive, have cut-through and deliver recall – all objectives being directly targeted at System 2 rather than trying to appeal to System 1.

As the Nobel award-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman recently said when speaking to marketers: "You must recognise that most of the time you are not talking to System 2. You're talking to System 1. System 1 runs the show. That's the one you want to move."