SyncShow B2B Marketing Blog

Customer Psychology: How Design Influences Sales

On average, our brain only weighs three pounds and makes up only two percent of our body mass, yet a hundred billion neurons with 100,000 miles of blood vessels and capillaries are pumping a pint and a half of blood through this vital organ every minute of our lives. 

That being said, there are plenty of ways that we can utilize our knowledge of human psychology and how customer’s expectations, emotions and behaviors can make an impact in the success of your manufacturing business.

For B2B businesses with a very long sales cycle, understanding how to cater specifically to their target audience is of essence.

Emotions Over Intellect

Psychology can play upon human emotions to influence behaviors. Humans are driven by the most primal of instincts, fear and guilt can be just as powerful as joy and love. These types of psychological triggers can change human behaviors, for example, think of the last video or image that you forwarded to a friend, how did it make you feel? What was your motivation for sending it? To share that feeling, elicit a certain emotion or response?

These are the type of emotional triggers that website designers can capitalize upon when associating an image or color with a product or concept. Think of how the sellers of security products use visuals of thugs and villains to inspire feelings of fear and trepidation to promote their wares. Conversely, peddlers of baby merchandise will use cute and cuddly images to push their products. Consumers will intuitively expect to see these types of associative images when shopping.

In the same way, manufacturers need to understand the emotional triggers that will cause that valuable action - a phone call, or email initiating a conversation. Is it because of an incredibly informational white paper, which instilled confidence? Or perhaps the ease of use of your website? Identify those triggers so you can replicate them where possible. 

The Colors of the Wind

Many will remember this tune from the animated Disney film, Pocahontas, where the first line of the chorus offers, “The wolf is crying to the blue corn moon.” Ironically lyricist Stephen Schwartz admits this phrase means absolutely nothing in Native American lore, he simply wrote it because he thought it sounded good, liked the way it made him feel and he was inspired by a poem with a similar line.

This is the same way in which color psychology operates and affects our emotions and intellect. For example, blue is by far the majority of people’s favorite color and you’ll see it used quite often, think of the popularity of Facebook or the familiarity of PayPal whose websites are both drenched in this shade. Certain colors elicit different emotions and feelings, let’s look at these primary examples:

  • RED: Can represent love or anger, fire and passion.
  • YELLOW: Cheerful and associated with youth, sometimes seen as cowardly.
  • BLUE: A calming color that can also be seen as depressing.
  • WHITE: Seen as a sign of innocence and purity.
  • BLACK: This is a tricky one, often seen as traditional, but other times modern. Some see it as conservative while it appears edgy to others.

What colors will your audience react to? For B2B businesses, trust is a major factor, and the perception that you will help to provide them with solutions and exceptional support. Think of colors that instigate trust above all. 

Perceived Value

It’s difficult to make B2B businesses appear sexy and interesting. How can a manufacturer of moisture gauges, for example, create interest in their brand? 

A powerful tool for those in the manufacturing industry is to create value with tools and widgets. Offer a quick moisture calculator to create the perception of value in your industry.  Be creative - what you offer doesn’t have to be directly related to your audience. Shopify, for example, created this Bill of Lading template to attract an international audience. ShawMeters has this moisture calculator widget. Be creative!

Measuring Results

To measure the effectiveness of your design, the most widely used and effective testing comes from utilizing the A/B concept, where two examples are pitted directly against each other and measured for results. Placement of certain items, colors, concepts, designs, text, verbiage and other elements can be examined and tested for effectiveness. It’s important to isolate each variable so you can have valid measurements.

These are just a few chapters on how psychology can affect user’s behavior and performance on websites. Use these suggestions in the design of your online presence and utilize psychology to influence behaviors in order to increase sales and conversions.

Nick Andrew Rojas is a self-taught serial entrepreneur who has worked with various startups as a business consultant. He's also a journalist focusing on technology, marketing, and social media. He loves meeting new people online and being challenged with new projects. He loves to connect so reach out on Twitter! @nickarojas

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