Technology changes human behaviour, but it doesn’t change human motivation.
Google, Apple, Facebook, You Tube, Microsoft, Twitter, Amazon, Nintendo have changed our lives.
Computers, mobiles, tablets, consoles and (coming soon) smart TV have changed our lives.
We’re Googling, clicking, browsing, feeding, friending, liking, commenting, poking, posting, tweeting, sharing, downloading, uploading and more. New verbs have appeared to describe new behaviours.
But, take a step back in time to Greek and Roman Gods, Shakespeare and Dickens
All of human emotion is there- power, friendship, love, belonging, adventure, risk, recognition, and fun. And the negative sides like hate, fear, jealously, doubt.
These are the big, unchanging emotions, as powerful today as they were in the times of the Greeks.
Technology may have changed the way we behave, but it hasn’t changed the way we feel.
This is (very) significant for brands and their communications.
If we accept that the decisions we make are emotionally made and rationally justified, we shouldn’t obsess about the latest technology at the expense of understanding the big emotional driver.
In fact, the big motivator becomes more important than ever.
Not only is it the key decision driver, but also, the technologically empowered consumer is more likely to engage with a brand when the emotion it satisfies and the mood they are in align (and ignore it when they don’t).
The laddish, twenty something male engages with a beer brand (say Heineken), which satisfies his need for sociability when he’s in a sociable frame of mind,
The loving, early thirties mum engages with a motherhood brand (say Persil) when she’s in a belonging frame of mind
The powerful CEO engages with a status brand (say Bentley ) when he’s in a successful frame of mind.
While technology has transformed and will continue to transform our lives, it’s important we get our priorities right
Identify the big motivational driver first
Work out when and where it is most relevant in our lives
Let the motivation guide the use of new technologies and behaviours to create the emotional connection and drive the decision.
Technology has changed behaviour, but we shouldn’t let the technological tail wag the emotional dog.
The brands we love (and buy) will be those that marry the timeless motivation (the why) with the new behaviours in media (the how).