Hamsters love to run. So if you want your hamster to power your refrigerator, you throw the little guy on a wheel, attach the wheel to a generator, and there you go. But if you asked him to mine coal and burn it to generate electricity, he’d probably give you a perplexed squeak and then proceed to do anything but that. Mining is not a natural behavior for hamsters, but running is. So if you want him to do something for you, it’s better to take advantage of the natural behaviors he does already, like running.
The same is true of people. As the explosion of services like Pinterest and Instagram shows, one of our natural behaviors is taking and sharing pictures of things we like— whether that’s beaches and sunsets, or our favorite products. Just like generating electricity with a hamster wheel, brands need to tap into this natural behavior to generate brand moments with consumers through direct responses.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to do this, though. The wrong way is to invent some complex, unnatural process for the consumer to get content, like using QR codes. The right way is to attach content to things people are doing anyway, like taking and sharing photos. Truly passionate brand advocates are out there, and brands can better identify these devoted customers and provide more relevant content simply by taking a look at their pictures. Pongr’s smart tools can do just that, by analyzing images to provide a 360°-view of the consumer. This means better, more intelligent direct responses that will consistently surprise and delight.
But it all comes back to natural behavior versus unnatural behavior. The moment brands start asking people to do something unnatural, they’re going to lose customers’ interest. People are going to keep taking and sharing photos whether brands like it or not. The question is which brands will tap into this behavior to engage their customers, and which brands will still be shopping for hamster-sized hardhats and pickaxes.