Six of the Best: Cold and tempting edition ~ Brand Mix

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Six of the Best: Cold and tempting edition

Summer has finally arrived in the city of San Francisco. That means fog, wind and 55 degree temperatures, much to the delight of those who sell sweatshirts to unprepared tourists and those living in Marin who need it to be cold in the city so it can perfect over the bridge. But there's been one or two glum faces and Twitter (t)whines this week from my city-living friends:

1) Pulse of the Nation: U.S. Mood Throughout the Day inferred from Twitter: amislove

All those tweets. All that data. What possibilities. For example, how about take 300 million U.S. tweets and use them to gauge the country's mood by time and location? That's what Alan Mislove, a computer scientist, at Northeastern University decided to do. And this video is the fascinating result. The analysis shows some interesting, if not entirely surprising things--that people are happier on the weekends and at the beginning and the end of a day. I'm sure the weather could be factored in as well. SF was, I'm sure, red all week. For more details on the methodology and other charts, see Mislove's own analysis and/or this Fast Company article.

2) The illusion of progress lights a fire: Mind Hacks
Here's something that loyalty program marketers can use. Would you think that people who got a 'buy twelve get one free card' with the first two stamps already filled in would buy faster to fill in their card than people who got a 'buy ten get one free' card with nothing filled in? It's the same number of purchases but people given a head start do fill in their cards more quickly. Why? It's the "illusory goal progress" effect--people will work harder to achieve a goal the closer they get to it. Marketing lesson = think about shifting your goal posts.

3) Behavioral Finance lesson: frequent flyer points? Dan Ariely
And while we're on the subject, here's Dan Ariely also talking about goals. In this post, he explains why clients of a financial advisor will choose one investment company over another just because one of them offers a trivial amount of frequent flyer miles. Dan explains that it's an example of "medium maximization"--the idea that people: "focus on near term concrete goals (such as frequent flyer miles), and while trying to maximize these immediate and clear goals they forget or discount the real reason for their actions." (e.g. maximizing their financial outcomes). Because it's an easier, measurable and concrete goal.

4) Do not click on this link

5) Button clicking and the Marshmallow test: (via Marginal Revolution)
If you couldn't resist the temptation to click on #5, then you'll have gone straight to this post by Samuel Arbesman. He explains that when he was downloading a Mac program, he couldn't resist clicking on a button labeled ‘Do not press this button.’ It took him to this video showing kids trying their hardest to resist eating marshmallows (as featured in an article by Jonah Lehrer in the New Yorker). It's tough not to do what you are told not to do, adults included.

6) Cool Stuff: Z-A Geek Alphabet T-Shirt: Slashfilm (via loveallthis)

And for my friends living in San Francisco, here's something for you to do as you huddle round your stoves trying to keep warm. Can you name all these geek characters from Z to A? If you can't, you can peek at the comments. The answers are there.

That's it! Back soon with more stories from the world of brand strategy. More thoughts and comments also available on Twitter (@martinjbishop).

1 comment:

Glendaajackson said...
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