Will the Wildfires Affect California Wine Country Tourism?

Summary: I am doing a study on interest in California Wine Country tourism. Its purpose is to understand how the October 2017 wildfires influence interest in visiting Wine Country counties — Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino and Solano. This study is important because many wineries depend on wine tourism for their livelihood. I’m inviting you to participate – it takes just a few minutes. Click this link to join the study. I will share the results here on LinkedIn and with Wine Country organizations to help with their marketing and communications. Your answers will contribute to giving great advice.

Here’s why I’m doing the research and asking you to take part: Two of my family members suffered damages from the Northern California wildfires. For one, only a chimney and incinerated car remain. The other met with little harm, just some smoke damage and debris outside the home, both easily cleaned. The first faces a period of disruption and rebuilding. The second returned to near-normal just a few days after the evacuation order lifted. My family’s experience echoed that now going on in Wine Country, today an assortment of structures burned and unburned, vineyard survivors and victims, intact infrastructure and that needing repair. The impacts vary from one winery, restaurant, or business to the next, like those experienced within my family.

Although I don’t live there, my Wine Country connections run deep. I visit as often as I can. Some readers may know that I do research on wine, with a special interest in raising the contribution of online wine sales directly by wineries to their revenue mix. Through that work I’ve developed and enjoy personal and business relationships with wineries of all types and outstanding wine people.

Small and mid-sized wineries, especially, rely on wine tourism for the all-important direct-to-consumer revenue—tasting room sales, wine club subscriptions, gift shop sales, and event sales from weddings, corporate meetings, reunions, and so forth.

I wondered if the wildfires would affect interest in Wine Country tourism and, by extension, the potential impacts on winery’s DTC revenue. I wanted to know which ideas people hold that would stimulate or depress interest in touring Wine Country now. Do those vary by age, gender, or by having visited in the past? Do the ideas fall into mindsets that can be applied to segmenting potential visitors and promoting the most persuasive messages to them?

To answer these questions, I created a study using the BigMind app.

I’m inviting you to participate in the study. Click this link to join the study. It takes just a few minutes. As mentioned above I’ll share the results in a follow-up LinkedIn article, and with Wine Country organizations who may find the results helpful to their marketing and communication efforts designed to stimulate wine tourism.

Thanks in advance for participating.

What Type of Online Wine Buyer are You? Mind-type Yourself!

I often start presentations of Millennials, Mindsets & Money … And Buying Wine Online by asking participants to discover their mind-type for buying wine online directly from wineries. I take them through a simple web-based four-question exercise to do that.

You can do it, too, just as I do. Just click the graphic. An external page will open presenting four questions. Answer each question. Then click the Submit button. The first time you do it, answer honestly for yourself.  You will then be “mind-typed,” presented with your mindset segment, a description, and the ideas that resonate most strongly and negative with you about buying wine online directly from a winery. Afterwards, play around with different patterns to uncover the three mindsets.

Strong statements within a mindset increase interest in buying wine online directly from wineries. These are the types of marketing and sales messages that wineries can communicate to increase the likelihood that a web visitor might convert to a paying customer. The trick is to mind-type your winery’s website visitors, segment them by mind-type, and then deliver the most resonant messages to each mindset segment.

I’ve personally mind-typed over 100 winery executives. You might think that people who work together would be of similar minds. I sure did. But when I mind-typed any group of 2 or larger, the mindsets were diverse and not determined by age (a point made in the presentation linked to above. The presentation contains links to the full study e-book, the complete data set, and an ROI calculator for wineries who execute strategies based on mind-type and those that do not).

Go ahead and try it. Contact me with your thoughts and experiences. If you’re interested in using this tool for your winery, send an email to steve at sdrconsultingllc.com

Millennials, Mindsets & Money – & Selling Wine Online: Executive Summary

Sonoma State Wine Business Education students started contacting me about 10 days ago to request a copy of “Millennials, Mindsets, and Money … & Selling Wine Online” an e-book co-authored with my long-time colleague Howard R. Moskowitz. I wrote a couple of posts summarizing the research, but I also present an executive summary of the e-book to wineries and industry groups, embedded below for reading, clipping, or downloading. Evidently a lecture given by Rob McMillen of Silicon Valley Bank  stimulated the students’ interest. McMillen referenced comments we exchanged in his post “The Tough Questions Wine Clubs Face.” Scroll down a little ways in the comments section to read them.

Through sharing the presentation, my hope is that “Millennials, Mindsets, and Money … and Selling Wine Online,” will help the many wineries impacted by the October 2017 wildfires. Although those fires spared many of the vineyards, they damaged buildings and roads. Because small and mid-sized wineries depend on direct-to-consumer sales through their tasting rooms, wine clubs, and gift shops, developing online wine sales needs to become a priority that aims to establish an additional revenue stream while reducing the shortfall from a probable decline in sales from drop-offs in wine tourism.

Millennials, Mindsets & Money … and Selling Wine Online (Part 2)

Note: Millennials buying wine onlinePart 1 explained just how competitive the US wine industry is and the reasons behind choosing online wine sales by Millennials as the research focus for this study in the Millennials, Mindsets & Money initiative that Howard Moskowitz and I lead.

If you would like a copy of the full report as an e-book please email me:  steve at sdrconsultlingllc.com. The report is complimentary.

This post summarizes the five most important research findings from our study. But first, some words about our research aims.

The 3 Aims of Our Research

Moskowitz and I set out to discover 3 things that will help wineries create productive marketing strategies that increase their online wine sales. We used our research methods of Mind Genomics and Cognitive Economics and, in a first, combined them with the emotional research technique called MindSight developed by applied neuroscientist Dr. David Forbes. (Discussion of these is beyond the scope of this post, but will be detailed in the e-book we’re preparing on this study).

Identify and define mindsets people hold towards buying wine online from wineries. Mindsets are collections of ideas people have towards some “thing,” such as coffee, season tickets for sports teams, or hotel check-in. Ideas within mindsets can raise their interest in that thing, lower their interest in it, or have little impact. Mindsets are unique segments.

Specify the marketing messages that most strongly interest a person in buying wine online from a winery. People respond to marketing messages differently. One person can be turned on by an idea or message, another appalled by the same idea or message. We studied 36 messages about online wine buying from wineries to find those with the most “pulling power.”. Those messages included the stories that wineries tell about themselves and their business practices; the online and mobile wine-buying experience; buzz, reviews, ratings; shipping, rewards, discounts, and the motivations for buying wine online from a winery.

Identify the emotional satisfactions online wine buyers seek from a purchase. All product buying involves an emotional component, which is often subconscious.

Achieving these goals enabled us to uncover the “why” underlying online wine buying, not simply the “what” that so many studies report.

The Five Key Findings

1. Millennials are interested in buying wine directly from wineries.

About 50% of Millennials in our study would make a purchase within the next six months. There was no difference in intent between Younger Millennials (21-26) and Older Millennials (27-34)

2. There is no single type of Millennial online wine buyer. Millennials fall into one of three unique mindset segments towards buying wine online from a winery. 

I’ll briefly describe each segment and recommend a messaging strategy based on the marketing messages that substantially raise interest in buying wine online.

Segment 1: Discerning, Buys into the Winery and Wine (15% of Millennials)

People in this segment are interested in buying high quality wine from a winery with a great story.

Messaging Strategy: Appeal to their interest in distinctive, artisanal, handcrafted wines. Lower their purchase risk by giving them confidence in the wine they are buying—provide detailed descriptions and tasting notes, and highlight those bottles that earned high community ratings. It’s not the wine alone. Wineries should emphasize their compelling back stories and show how they conduct operations with uncompromising integrity. Downplay rewards and discounts as these do not drive Segment 1 people’s interest in buying wine online.

This group will pay the most for a bottle.

Segment 2: Quality Wine at a Great Price (20% of Millennials in sample)

This group is most interested in a fantastic deal, even a steal, on a great wine.

Messaging Strategy: In contrast to Segment 1, tout discounted or free shipping, quantity discount availability, and specials and promotions. Like Segment 1 they want quality wine from right-minded wineries. But these are table stakes for them. For Segment 2, the deal matters most.

This group will pay less than Segment 1 for a bottle.

Segment 3: On the Cusp (65% of Millennials in sample)

This, the largest group, is uncertain about buying wine online from a winery.

Messaging Strategy: None of the ideas crossed our threshold for high “pulling power.” Several ideas bubbled below the threshold that may be worthwhile to employ as background assurances. These concerned pricing, reducing purchase risk, and enjoying their wine with friends and family.

This group will pay the least for a bottle.

3. Each segment reflects a different potential for sales. 

Marketing effectively to each segment means that wineries should have a way of identifying visitors and assigning them to a segment, target them, and then tailor visitors’ onsite experience with the marketing messages that work best for their segment. We developed an app that assigns people to a segment—it takes under a minute, so that wineries can know which visitors belong to each segment nearly instantaneously. The app can be incorporated into a web or mobile page, email form, etc. so that it is easily and seamlessly accessible to visitors. You can try the app out here.

Segment 1 and Segment 2 represent near-term opportunity—they account for 35% of Millennials, and should be the most productive for wineries selling wine online. Segment 3, although larger, appears to offer less potential today and would most likely be considered a secondary target for most wineries selling online.

Wineries marketing online to Millennials should create unique strategies for each mindset segment that are developed in line with their winery’s business goals, business model, values, practices, offerings, services, and experiences.

4. Millennials seek specific emotional satisfactions from online wine buying. These are the same no matter which mindset segment a Millennial belongs to.

For many people online wine buying is an emotionally risky business. That risk can be a turnoff if not addressed, leading to abandoned shopping carts and lost sales. Combined with the mindset messaging strategies wineries create, including ways to satisfy the emotions that come into play can help visitors overcome resistance to buying and feel great about their purchases.

In all mindset segments, online wine buyers do not want to feel insecure—they want to feel that they are buying the right wine and have a sense of accomplishment about it. They do not want to feel disempowered—they want to feel that that they are getting what they want. Nor do they want to feel disengaged – they want to look forward to drinking what they’re buying and to feel that they will enjoy it with others.

5. Millennials are not unique. The mindset segments apply to all generations. 

We also studied Boomers and Xers in equal numbers to Millennials so that we could compare and contrast them with Millennials. The older generations fell into the mindset segments in nearly the same percentages as Millennials. Emotional satisfactions showed the same patterns. In addition we didn’t see any meaningful demographic or attitudinal differences that explained the mindsets. It’s the ideas that define the mindsets.

The upshot is that marketing strategies based on the segments and emotions can be consistent across generations so that wineries can create a “total market” strategy if they desire. Doing so has advantages for brand growth. However specifics like imagery, sounds and language should be tailored to each generation to ensure that the messages are seen as relevant.

Wrapping Up

In talking with various wineries about our results, I learned that numbers of wineries have some of the ideas about segments and use some of the marketing messages. Our findings provide a framework that sharpens and organizes a winery’s understanding of their customers’ thoughts and emotions so that they are better able to offer a compelling site and buying experience for each visitor. And it’s not ivory tower. Wineries selling wine online can act on our findings and recommendations right now. Those that do should also think about how to express the messages and emotional assurances in images and sounds to engage more of the senses.

Millennials, Mindsets & Money … and Selling Wine Online. Part 1

Millennials buying wine onlineNote: This is Part 1 of a 2-part post on our study on selling wine online to Millennials. This post presents background on the wine industry and the rationale for doing the research. Part 2 toplines the key findings and marketing strategies guided by the research. The wine category is one we are researching for our Millennials, Mindsets & Money initiative.

How would you compete in a $40 billion industry with over 8,000 competitors? One where the top 3 firms control nearly half of the US market, and the top 8 control 60%, leaving thousands upon thousands battling for fractions of the remaining 40%? Complicating matters: most of these businesses can’t get retail distribution; most don’t advertise; barriers to entry are very low; and the number of competitors increases yearly. That’s the US wine business.

Most Wineries are Small Businesses Competing Like Crazy

For all of wine’s glamour, the lush valleys, the terraced hillsides, the local foods and award-winning restaurants, the well-appointed tasting rooms, event spaces, inns and spas, the reality is that the overwhelming majority of wineries are small- and mid-sized businesses working passionately and very, very  hard to make and sell their wines in an incredibly complicated and mind-boggling competitive market.

Direct-to-Consumer Sales are their Lifeblood

Most wineries depend on revenue from wine sales in their tasting rooms, wine club memberships, and events. These direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales depend on wine tourism, where people come to the winery, taste, and buy. But wine tourism, though big, is under attack as communities oppose new winery development and expansion plans, potentially applying a brake on their sales engines. And industry consolidation at all levels makes it tougher every day.

The good news is that the online wine channel is poised to become more important than it has been. Direct shipping, accounting for about 2 percent of wine sales last year; grew roughly four times faster than retail wine sales overall, although the base is quite small. Direct sales represent a promising revenue source, one that can help wineries tackle their daily challenges, bolster their short-term financial position, and help assure their long-term viability.

Our Research: How Can Wineries Increase their DTC Sales to Millennials?

Wineries know more about navigating tasting room and wine club sales than they do the new frontier of online sales, which many offer but have less experience with. Given the growth of e-commerce and the march of Millennials into the wine category, Howard Moskowitz and I decided to include it in our Millennials, Mindsets & Money initiative. We set out to crack the code of Millennial online wine buying – what do you say, how do you say it, who do you say it to – so that our work could guide wineries to sell effectively online, grow their revenue, and improve their business results.

I’ll have the findings posted in a couple of days. If you’d like to learn more, just drop me a line.

Research Sponsored by Nomacorc

Nomacorc sponsored the research for Millennials, Mindsets & Money. Nomacorc is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of wine closure systems. Nomacorc provided access to their clients and prospects, which helped us understand their business issues and decide on the research topic, and they provided subject matter expertise during the design phase of the research. Nomacorc was not involved in the research fielding or analysis preferring, instead, to let the research speak for itself.

Mind Genomics and Cognitive Economics: Introduction and Methodology

The paper below introduces mind genomics and cognitive economics, and explains the methodology. The subject of the paper is “artisanal bread,” but the mechanics for every study are exactly the same.

Download (PDF, 1.32MB)

Millennials, Mindsets & Money

Millennials, Mindsets, and MoneyMillennials, Mindsets & Money is an initiative led by me and Howard Moskowitz using mind genomics science and cognitive economics (see Malcolm Gladwell’s TED talk for background),

We aim to help brands improve their understanding of Millennials while providing actionable guidance that will help their marketers answer the question: “How do we market our product, service or experience to Millennials?” – and grow our business today, sustainably, and profitably over time.

Our goal is to create a science of Millennials through which we understand the mindsets, preferences, and economic trade-offs Millennials make daily about products, services or experiences. Each “chapter” of the initiative will focus on a single product category. To date we completed two studies on beer, one on macro, the other on craft, and have one on wine in the field. We will rollout to financial services, food, travel, entertainment, transportation, and more.

We plan to make top-line findings available through this blog, and we plan to publish a series of ebooks, one for each studied category. We expect to publish 3-4 per year.

Sponsors underwrite the cost of the research. They gain a thought leadership platform for their marketing, and they have access to the full data set for slice-and-dice analysis for themselves or to advise key business partners.

Interested in sponsoring a study in your category?

Contact Stephen Rappaport who will provide you with all the details, benefits, costs, and timeline.

Conference for Positive Marketing – Humanism rising!

Conference for Positive Marketing, Fordham UniversityFordham University’s Center for Positive Marketing put on its 4th Conference for Positive Marketing on March 26.  A great blend of academic and practitioner talks and viewpoints, most of us participating felt refreshed and energized.

For me, I was absolutely thrilled that the humanistic ideas I and others have written about and talked on for a few decades are becoming accepted more widely and by mainstream brands. It also served to frame my own journey in business and research.

Empathy and Experience Design

I got a charge from hearing Stacy Graiko of Millward Brown Firefly talk about a retailer who wanted their customers to leave feeling better than when they walked in, irregardless of whether they bought something. When my mother and I opened a restaurant, City Island Diner, back in 1986, those exact words were the first principle of my business plan – they emerged from listening research I did to figure out what type of restaurant City Islanders wanted that we could create for them.

Cigna’s Christine Chastain and Tim McKnight, VP Global Innovation, talked about empathy, design thinking. and consumer experience.

Their excellent presentation reminded me of how I designed the restaurant from that first principle: the menu was to focus on comfort on familiarity – I described it as “the food you had growing up, but made with the freshest ingredients, to order, and in front of you.” I also banished square edges and right angles to the extent possible, which offered respite from the gridded world most of us live in, where our vision is forced to be straight, forward or back, up or down. This took form in the plates, cups, and saucers – only round or oval, chamfered edges on the tables, round stools, a curved counter, and so on, which let the eye wander. For dinners, every night had a theme that was warmly evocative and alliterative where possible: Meatloaf Mondays, Turkey Tuesdays, Wegetable Wednesdays, Pot Luck Thursdays and Fish Fridays. Many menu item names reflected the nautical heritage of City Island, and several local characters lent their names to desserts. My mother owned the restaurant for 11 years, then sold it to a local family – the “new” owners – who’ve had it for 18 more and counting. Some of the people hired over 25 years ago still work there, as do their kids, sometimes. A number of movies shot scenes in there, such as Solitary Manwith Danny DeVito as the Diner owner who offers his friend Michael Douglas a job. Jerry Seinfeld did an episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Ricky Gervais at City Island Diner.

Brand Love, Materialism, and Happiness

Prof. Aaron Ahuvia of the U. Michigan Dearborn Business School gave a talk about brand love, materialism, and happiness. Generally he found that materialism was not related to happiness, but he also found that, paradoxically, people who expressed love for brands were happier. He admitted that he didn’t have an adequate way to explain the findings yet and urged the audience to submit ideas. This was unusual at a conference – so often the ideas presented are so apparently airtight, but very welcome, showing that we have much to learn and can do so collaboratively.

Using Mobile Technology for Good: Mobile Apps, mHealth, and Mindsets

The Conference offered 6 Salons – presentations followed by participant discussion. These were held in 3 sets of two that ran concurrently. I gave one with Dr. Sandy Ng of RMIT (Melbourne Australia) having to do with mobile apps, mHealth, and mindsets. Sandy talked about her research on mobile apps, and I reviewed research by my colleague Howard Moskowitz on reducing hospital re-admission rates. Conversation we stimulated dealt with creating apps that helped people improve their lives, the need for integrated apps, and different ways to think about monetizing apps.

Training Positive Marketers

Dawn Lerman, who heads the Center for Positive Marketing, and Yanan Wang of Bishop’s University led a salon on training positive marketers. Yanan recapped a course she gives on “Happiness Marketing.” She covered a lot of ground. What I found interesting was the emphasis on training marketers to be happier people in order to create products and programs that help people improve their well-being, quality of life, and life satisfaction. Dr. Wang outlined specific frameworks that strengthen marketers’ empathy and understanding. The discussion following was far ranging and very engaging, touching on areas like inner strength, self-knowledge, and how can happiness marketing avoid being seen as a cute fad and become integrated into marketing culture.

Salon Topics

I couldn’t attend every salon, but all the topics were of interest. They were: Gifts, Reciprocity & Obligation: Applications for Positive Marketing; Psychotherapists, Life Coaches & Professional Organizers: Why Consumers Seek Professional Help and How Professionals Improve Consumer Well-being; Overcoming Stereotypes in Multicultural and Global Marketing Strategy; and Purpose Driven Marketing: Achieving Social Change Through Brands and Consumer Advocates

Millennials, Mindsets, Microbrews … and Golden Suds

Beers of the world, microbrews, macrobrews, lagers
Beers of the world

With 2,592 unique craft brands sold Millennials—and all persons of legal drinking age—enjoy a stunning and sometimes bewildering array of lagers, pilsners, IPAs, stouts, pale ales, sours, and porters. They can be malty, hoppy, clear, dark, spicy, citrusy, or taste of coffee, toffee, nuts, cloves, bananas, and bittersweet chocolate. And we’re just scratching the surface. Millennials, we’re told, love choice. Marketers are told, “give them choices.”

Giving choices is one thing … but no guarantor of marketing success. We need to know why a person chooses—or doesn’t choose—a marketer’s offering.

Millennials … Why Do They Prefer One Beer—And Buy One Beer—Over Another When There are So Many to Choose From?

That’s the question my colleagues Howard Moskowitz, Kimmy Lee, and Helena Bollini will answer through two cognitive economics studies that are now in the field: one on microbrews, the other on macrobrews—the big-company “golden suds” lager beer like Budweiser, Miller, and Coors that is the most popular style worldwide.

When thinking about Millennials and beer, the issue is this: Generations may shape demand for beer, but they don’t buy beer: Individuals buy beer … one bottle, one draft, one six-pack, or one case or keg at a time. And individuals differ from one another. People may look alike on the outside and share some common traits, but they differ on the inside—the ideas they hold, what interests them, and what motivates them to buy. Discovering those “inside differences” and then exploiting them for product development, innovation, marketing, and sales are keys to brand growth and profitability. Hence, our research.

Discoveries We Will Make about Millennials and Beer

Using the Mind Genomics and Cognitive Economics research tradition, we expect to make a number of discoveries, which are:

  1. Identifying the different mindsets MIllennials hold toward microbrews and nationally distributed macrobrew lagers like Budweiser, Coors, and Miller?
  2. Within each mindset, specifying which elements of beer increase interest, decrease interest, or have no effect … and by what amount?
  3. In dollars and cents, what is a Millennial willing to to pay for what interests them in microbrews or macrobrews?
  4. What are the narratives that each mindset has towards microbrews or macrobrew lagers?
  5. Guided by the narratives … What does a brand say—and who does it say it to—to bolster a brand’s chances for success in the market.
  6. Approaches a beer marketer can take to accurately assign any single Millennial or millions of Millennials to a mindset segment using an algorithm produced by inputs from the research … enabling them to target individuals with personalized, tailoring messaging?

Aspects of Beer We are Studying

The elements included in the two studies are in these areas: style, taste, appearance, mouthfeel, finish, food, origin, packaging, presentation, promotion, and emotions.

Demographics, Attitudes, Media, and Consumption

Our research captures Millennial demographics; their attitudes towards beer and beer occasions; their social media use regarding beer; and patterns of consumption. The data will be analyzed and cross-tabulated with the mindset data.

Millennials, Mindsets, Microbrews … and Golden Suds – the book, will be Available in Q3 2015

The book will be available as an e-book during Q3 of 2015. This title is one volume in our series Millennials, Mindsets, and Money. 

Millennials, Mindsets, and Money … A Series of Books on the Consumer Economy

Millennials, Mindsets, and Money (M3) is a series of books developed by me and Howard Moskowitz, with contributions from colleagues in the business world and academia.

M3 researches categories that are essential to the consumer economy from the Millennial perspective. Each book tackles an area and answers the six questions above. Our initiative primarily concerns advertised categories that are part of the everyday experience of Millennials.

You Can Sponsor Category Research in Millennials, Mindsets, and Money

Brands targeting Millennials who are interested in cost-effective and fast ways to grow their business are invited to sponsor a category study. Please
email me for details.

Invitation: Keep Up to Date with the Research

[formidable id=8 description=true]

 

Consumer Mindsets Tuesdays: Mind Genomics and Revenue Growth

Consumer mindset Tuesdays. News of mind genomics and cognitive economics.
Consumer MIndset Tuesdays

Since we’re early into our Consumer Mindsets Tuesdays series, I will use the first several posts to introduce core ideas of Mind Genomics, the “science of everyday experiences,” on which our research is based. Today’s post explains four of them, including the direct contribution that mindset segments make to creating revenue-building marketing campaigns.

Core Idea #1: Mind Genomics Studies our Experiences in all their Richness

We live in a world of rich experience where many aspects hit us all at once: it is a world of mixtures that we often evaluate as a whole. Just think about buying wine. In real life choosing a bottle results from weighing a host of factors such as : price, grape varietal, sensory attributes, origin, winery, winemaker, recommendations, marketing, food pairings, and occasion.

Mind Genomics takes these variables, mixes them in systematic ways, and discovers through experimentation and statistical analysis which aspects drive interest, or not; how people differ in the way they respond to these aspects of wine, and how these differences cluster to form segments, which we call mindsets.

Core Idea #2: Mind Genome

People do not have a single mindset, we all have thousands upon thousands of them. Towards every individual “thing” in our lives, e.g. a person, pet, brand, product, service, or experience, we have a mindset. Mind Genomics enables the discovery of the different mindsets that exist towards each “thing” (usually between 2 and 5) and assign a person to one of those mindsets.

The Genomics part of Mind Genomics borrows from the concept of the human genome, as our image above suggests. As each genome sequence is unique to an individual, so is the sequence of mindsets that describe a person’s mind.  Mind Genomics enables us to understand the structure of the mind genomes for individual persons in specific terms and market or advertise to them specifically.

Let’s take a look at the mind genomes of two guys named Dylan and Jack. For simplicity we’ll take just three categories. Say for coffee Dylan is mindset 1, for Caribbean vacations he is mindset 3, and for bar soap he is mindset 2. Dylan’s sequence is: 1-3-2. Now look at Jack. He is mindset 2 for coffee, mindset 1 for Caribbean vacations, and mindset two for bar soap. Jack’s sequence is 2-1-2. (Note: I will explain the segment assignment process in a future post).

Core Idea #3:  Mind Genomes Differentiate People

Conventional segmentation is based on the notion that people who share characteristics are alike and can be sold to the same way. Consider the advertiser who wants to reach tech-savvy men. That target group might be described as: male, 18-34, have a college degree, boast household incomes in the range of $50-$65k, own an iPhone, and eat out a few times a week. Let’s assume that Dylan and Jack fit this description.

Consider a new coffee chain wants to reach this target. Advertising messages would be directed to the group but, as we saw with Dylan and Jack, they look alike on the outside but are not the same on the inside. Because their “mindset gene” for coffee differs, Jack and Dylan are likely to respond differently to the same advertising message.

We see this routinely in our research. Let’s take the example of red wine. In a recent study we discovered three mindsets towards red wine: the person only interested in the wine itself; the person interested in an affordable bottle that goes with a range of food; and the person who is keen on wine contributing to a good time. One of the messages included in the mixtures was “Imported from France.” In the first mindset, when the message “imported from France” appeared it raised interest by 23%; in the second mindset it had no impact; and in the third mindset it decreased interest in red wine by -8%.

Understanding the differential responses to messages by mindset enables marketers to select and direct the right message to the right person for maximum impact

Core Idea #4: Mindset Segments and Tailored Messaging Lead to Revenue Growth

Continuing with Dylan and Jack, the coffee chain would treat each mindset as a segment then market and advertise to each with great precision. Doing so increases the chances that Dylan and Jack will respond more favorably to the directed messages.

Take the American Heart Association. They aimed to increase donations from their email list. Mind Genomics discovered four mindset segments. These were then used to create customized communications for each group. The results: a 42.5% increase in donations. All the details are in this Marketing Sherpa case study: ‘Mind Type’ Segmenting Lifts Email Donations 42.5%: 6 Steps to Find Subscribers’ Underlying Motivations

Final Words

The key idea is simply that mindset segmentation provides us with the ability to market and advertise to people with messages that are more likely to get a positive response. Mind Genomics reveals which messages raise or lower interest within a mindset … and by what amount. This gives advertisers and marketers a tool for scientifically selecting messages that “pop” within the mind of the consumer.

Future posts will discuss how to assign thousands or millions of people to mindset segments easily and with little cost, introduce cognitive economics, and competing through narrative.