State of Fear: Adapting Marketing Strategies to the Stressed Consumer

The following article appeared in the Journal of Brand Strategy (VOL. 12, NO. 1, 49-58 SUMMER 2023, Henry Stewart Publications) JAKE MCKENZIE CEO, Intermark Group, USA Jake McKenzie is the CEO of Intermark Group, a psychology-driven marketing agency in the USA that works closely with psychologists and other behavioural sciences to drive dramatic change for … Continued Read more →

A Tale of Two Consumers

By: Dr. James McFarland, People Scientist It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… Okay, maybe that is a bit much for an opening, but stay with me here, Charles Dickens’s famous novel, A Tale of Two Cities, might have more in common with the psychology of modern-day consumers than first … Continued Read more →

Masstige and Happiness

By: Dr. James McFarland, People Scientist Okay, who here is familiar with the term “Masstige?” Don’t feel bad if you aren’t. It’s one of those five-dollar terms that makes you sound smart at dinner parties. A term that your Econ 101 instructor may have used at some point, but the passage of time (yes, let’s … Continued Read more →

Connecting With The Disconnected (Part 2)

By: Dr. James McFarland, People Scientist In our previous blog post, we covered the effects of ostracism on today’s consumer and how warm and “cuddly” messages (including images of teddy bears) can reduce those lonely feelings and help build brand preference and loyalty. This week we are diving even further into some of the best … Continued Read more →

Connecting with the Disconnected

By: Dr. James McFarland, People Scientist Have you ever been ignored in a collective game of catch, or were purposely excluded from a social group at school or in the workplace? If so, you have first-hand experience with what psychologists refer to as ostracism. Being ignored or excluded by others tends to be a very … Continued Read more →

The Rise of Influencer Avoidance

A lot has changed in the last twenty years. In 2004, MySpace made history as the first online networking site to acquire a total of a million monthly active users, a momentous milestone at the time. Read more →

Paint Me a Picture

By: Dr. James McFarland, People Scientist Over the last few years, an illuminating series of studies about false beliefs and misperceptions about the state of the world has been underway. In the first of these studies (known as “The Gapminder Misconception Study”) published back in 2017, the researchers discovered that misperceptions among the general population … Continued Read more →

The Danger of Boredom

By: Dr. James McFarland, People Scientist What do you think would happen if you spent 6-15 minutes in a room with nothing to interact with but your own thoughts? If this idea gives you an uneasy pause, you are not alone. While it’s tempting to believe that we big-brained humans enjoy thinking for thinking’s sake, … Continued Read more →

Balancing Profit and Customer Love

By: Dr. James McFarland, People Scientist Although an essential component to the overall success of market economies, profit-seeking is often viewed negatively within many social circles. In fact, for-profit businesses struggle to achieve even a small measure of the goodwill automatically garnered by their non-profit counterparts. For example, studies in psychology show that implying the … Continued Read more →

Hold the Fone: Consumers Care About Proper Spelling

By: Dr. James McFarland, People Scientist Hello everyone! Welcome to our 100th CMO Minute. This week we will be talking about the importance of brand names, and how creating a successful name may not be quite as straightforward as one would think. Consumers have always had a complex relationship with brand names, and rightly so, … Continued Read more →

Artificial Intelligence: Balancing New Technology with Human Empathy

By: Dr. James McFarland, People Scientist …One impulse from a vernal wood  May teach you more of man,  Of moral evil and of good,  Than all the sages can.  Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;  Our meddling intellect  Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things… -Excerpt from “Tables Turned” (William Wordsworth, 1798) Towards the end … Continued Read more →

Soda Wars: Revenge of the Diet Beverages

By: Dr. James McFarland, People Scientist Not so long ago (the early 1990s) and not so far away (well, here on planet earth), an epic battle filled with intrigue, sabotage, and sacrifice took place. Although it was “fought” in plain sight, few understood that the conflict was designed to ensure that both sides would lose … Continued Read more →