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.
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:
- Identifying the different mindsets MIllennials hold toward microbrews and nationally distributed macrobrew lagers like Budweiser, Coors, and Miller?
- Within each mindset, specifying which elements of beer increase interest, decrease interest, or have no effect … and by what amount?
- In dollars and cents, what is a Millennial willing to to pay for what interests them in microbrews or macrobrews?
- What are the narratives that each mindset has towards microbrews or macrobrew lagers?
- 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.
- 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 ResearchPlease select a valid form
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
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.
The “Ideas from Outside” conference Moskowitz and I spoke at opened with a panel discussion moderated by Sari Katz, Partner Manager of YouTube Canada. She assembled a panel of four very popular Canadian YouTubers. I needn’t mention them by name. One had a cooking show, two were long-time friends who created comedy programs, and the fourth was a director and producer who has his own show and creates videos for others, brands included.
They appeared similar on the outside: mid-to-late 20s, backgrounds in communications arts, especially film and video. They aim to build media brands and work with advertisers, and they are aggressively metrics-driven in their decision-making. You might think that they would be alike because we typically assume that people who share characteristics are alike. That’s the logic underlying almost all segmentation. But when we listened closely to them talk about their viewers, subscribers, ad clients, and how they went about building their businesses and brands … they were remarkably different … on the inside: There were three unique mindsets up there, We called them the Marketer, the Storytellers, and the Rugged Individualist.
Consumer Mindsets Tuesdays starts today.
Consumer Mindsets Tuesdays shares original research on the mindsets consumers hold towards products, services, or experiences, ranging from airlines to wine. DId you know that three different mindsets towards red wine exist, each which very different views on what interests them? I’ll show that next week.
The mindset research uses the science of Mind Genomics – that’s why a genome is the logo, and its specialization Cognitive Economics. These approaches will be explained over time.
If you’d like to learn about Mind Genomics and Cognitive Economics now, head over to our library of over 20 books, peer-review publications, and presentations. It is available to you, 24×7, for free. It’s all in a Dropbox you can access and download from.