Rational People

“You believe things that aren’t true.

Let me say that a different way: many things that are true are true because you believe them.

If you think that (more expensive) wine is better, then it is. If you think your new boss is going to be more effective, then she will be. If you love the way a car handles, then you’re going to enjoy driving it.

That sounds so obvious, but if it is, why is it so ignored? Ignored by marketers, ignored by ordinarily rational consumers and ignored by our leaders.”
Seth Godin, All Marketers Are Liars

We pretend and pretend and pretend that we’re rational, but we’re not.  Not even close.  At least not rational in the double blind scientific kind of way.  The funny thing is that we don’t like to hear it.  We don’t like to hear that we only like Coke because of the can, or brand name clothes because of the label, or even hint at the possibility that we might not be rational.   But what’s so wrong with that?

I like Coke better than Pepsi — I think.  Brand name clothes look better than generic ones — most of the time.  And I definitely think I’m rational — except that I’m not.  And like everyone else, I usually choose to ignore this fact to my great detriment.

Facts are facts and that would be enough in a rational world.  And there’s the rub, people are not rational.  So why do we pretend that they are (probably because we might have to then admit that we’re not rational)?  Delivering a message (i.e. marketing) is done much more effectively when it appeals to the emotions and perhaps with a bit of logic sprinkled on top — not the other way around.  The few who understand this go places, the others sit around wondering why people don’t listen to the facts.  Now doesn’t that sound rational?