Our brain is constantly bombarded by sights and sounds. In order to make sense of the noisy world around us our brain automatically makes snap judgements–judgements we may not even be aware of. This sub-conscious psychology is exactly what we marketers try to tap into. To illustrate my point, let’s imagine you’re driving to a destination far away and suddenly your Low Fuel indicator dings on your dashboard.
You’re in luck! The next exit sign says there are 2 gas stations for you to choose from. You safely exit and when you get to the end of the exit ramp you look to your left and you see this gas pump:
Hmm… Now you look to your right and you see this gas pump:
Which gas station would you pull into? The more modern-looking gas station right? Why? Your brain in a fraction of a second told you that the old pump didn’t have a credit card swiper on the pump (less convenient) and looked old and rusty (less trustworthy).
Your brain works the same way when you’re surfing the web. Now imagine you’re on the market for a new flatscreen TV. You start surfing and you come across this website where you see a TV at a really good price:
You decide to shop a little more and you come across the same TV for an even CHEAPER price. But look at the website…
Decision Time: Do you buy the TV from the better-looking website because it looks more trustworthy? Or do you buy the cheaper one from the not-so-good-looking website because it is cheaper there? I’m going to go out on a limb and say most often you’re going to make a purchasing decision based on trust.
People who visit your website make the same snap decisions when they arrive at your website. Research shows you have approximately 6-8 seconds when someone arrives at your website to either convince them to delve further into your website or hit the Back button and continue on to your competitors’ websites. That means you need to put a ton of effort and thought into your brand image and messaging. If you don’t potential customers are going to make snap decisions that lead them to your competitors.