When we buy stuff, we think much less than we think we think When we’re making choices about what to buy, it’s a scientific fact that design connects with our subconscious and persuades our decision making. According to psychologist and Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman, our decision making is primarily an instinctive, intuitive, rapid-response process, which takes place in the System 1 part of the brain. It’s only later that decisions are rationalised in the logical, reflective, System 2 part of the brain. This pattern is behind all of the choices we make, including which brands we buy. By thoughtfully developing brands and employing an expressive yet cohesive approach to the design of brochures, packaging, signage and other collateral, we are able to strongly influence System 1 because its dominant language is visual. In effect we are subconsciously seducing consumers by understanding and leveraging the visual mnemonics and innuendos that signal fulfillment. Yet by ensuring our claims and promises are authentic, we are able to satisfy the rational System 2 process as well. This isn’t just theory, either. There is plenty of evidence available that demonstrates how companies that are serious about their branding and design communication outperform their competitors. The UK Design Council discovered that every £1 spent on design led to more than £20 in increased revenue, £4 increased profit and £5 in increased exports. A long term study of 14 publicly traded US companies that were consciously using design as an integral part of their business strategy, revealed that while the S&P index grew 75% from 2003 to 2013, the design-centric companies grew an astonishing 299%. In other words, by taking design fully on board, companies can expect to be more influential in consumer choices, outperforming their competitors and adding to their bottom line. Fizzbuzz specialises in Branding and Marketing Communications, with offices in Australia and the UK. You can find Daniel Kahneman’s book ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ here.