Category: Marketing Science

Attentional Bias: How to Make Your Audience Focus on You

When you’re trying to cut down on processed food or eating out, the more you notice the fast food restaurants on your way home. If you’ve recently bought a car, you’d see the same car on every corner. If you love pink, you’ll most likely notice all the pink shirts in a store over other colors. This behavior is called attentional bias.

Attentional bias is a person’s tendency to see certain elements or selectively pay attention to something while overlooking other aspects. It explains why sometimes, people can’t concentrate on things even if they want to because something else has already captured their attention.

Some experts think that attentional bias is related to human evolution. Attentional bias is why people usually remember or notice images that use fear or threats as a tactic. The first humans often faced dangerous situations (such as a wild animal running after them), which required them to concentrate and have selective attention/

In marketing, attentional bias is used to capture and focus attention on the message you want to come across.

Here are specific strategies that a business can implement to use attentional bias to their advantage:

Repetition creates attentional bias.

Repeating something can establish an attentional bias. Repetition is why most people, even kids, recognize logos instantly. They’ve seen these logos over and over again throughout their lives. For example, McDonald’s consistently shows its logo throughout their stores and packaging. You’ll recognize the McDonald’s logo no matter what country you live in or how old you are.

Let’s look at a specific example you can apply to your business. For instance, you’re simultaneously preparing flyers, your website, and your email newsletter. It’s essential to have consistent messaging throughout a customer’s journey, including your business logo in all marketing collaterals. This repetition makes people recognize your brand more quickly and give it attention. 

Emphasize positive feelings.

Glowing reviews and positive testimonials create positive reactions towards a business or brand. For example, your business website can display high consumer ratings, positive reviews, and partnerships with well-known brands. Doing this generates positive feelings in your customers and makes them pay attention to your brand more than others.

Another way to emphasize positive feelings is to appeal to emotions. Appealing to a customer’s emotions is not new. We’ve all seen how ads use our emotions to elicit positive feelings towards a brand. An excellent example was Coca-Cola’s “Choose Happiness” campaign in 2015. It encouraged customers to share happy memories and experiences and made consumers associate these happy feelings with drinking soda.

Avoid too many choices.

When people are presented with too many choices, it becomes harder to make a decision. This situation is also due to attentional bias. Customers with too many choices often choose none of the options, resulting in a loss of a sale or conversion. When you limit the choices available, it’s easier for the brain to focus and decide on an option.

For example, if your has to choose between eight colors of a dress, it might take them longer to decide on which color to buy than if they were presented with just three colors. When their attention is divided too often, it becomes harder to focus and make a decision.

Attentional bias is an essential psychological concept every marketer should use to their advantage. The next time you are deciding on an image to use or how to design a flyer, keep this in mind and maximize the effect on your customers.

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Occam’s Razor: Keeping Things Simple

What is Occam’s razor?

The term “Occam’s razor” may sound like a limited-edition, old-school shaver. But it has nothing to do with shaving.”

Occam’s razor is a philosophical principle credited to 14th-century English scholar William of Occam. It states: One should not increase, beyond reason, the number of entities required to explain anything.” 

This statement means that the simplest solution is usually the best if all things are equal. This is a rule of thumb, though, and not something guaranteed to work 100% of the time. In some situations, the simplest solution may not be the right thing to do.

Still, Occam’s razor encourages us that when faced with several possible solutions, we ought to choose the simplest one or the one with the fewest assumptions. This principle sees constant use in science, technology, and marketing. 

How to Apply Occam’s Razor in Business and Marketing

Let’s look at several ways to apply Occam’s razor in business and marketing. 

Simplify your online presence.

The easiest way to apply Occam’s razor to your business is to simplify your online presence by having only one website. Some businesses assume they need a new website every time they launch a new brand or service. But having multiple sites is more costly and complicated to build, host, market, and manage.

Focusing your resources on one website instead of multiple websites is the simplest way to maximize your sales and profits from the website. For example, you have $100 to spend on Google ads for your company. Spending the whole amount on one website will be more effective than spending $20 on each of your multiple sites.

Focus on your minimum viable product (MVP).

Another way to apply Occam’s razor is the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). An MVP is a technique where a new product or service is launched in the market with just enough features to get your customers’ attention. Before releasing it to the public, you don’t need to wait until your product has all the bells and whistles you eventually want. 

Again, Occam’s razor means the simpler, the better. Releasing an MVP will help you discover what features your customers want and need. You might spend more resources than necessary on features your customers don’t even want. Don’t spend $10,000 on something you can create with $1,000.

Staying simple means fewer mistakes.

When you keep things simple and eliminate unnecessary product features, you also reduce the possibility of mistakes and defects. Think of a watch that tells time versus a watch that tells the time, date, weight, heart rate, today’s weather, and more. The watch that tells time is easier to use and will last you many more years than the watch with dozens of features.

A simple watch might not be as cool or high-tech. But it does its job, and it does its job well. Ten years from now, your time-only watch will still tell time, while the other watch will probably no longer be in use.

Always end with a simple CTA for your customers.

Mcdonald’s created the now-famous “Would you like fries with that?” phrase. By adding this simple sentence to the end of each transaction, they encouraged thousands, maybe millions, of customers to add fries to their orders. In doing so, they could increase each basket size, upsell customers, and add to their profit.

A simple, clear, and consistent call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your social media copy or blog posts can do the same for your business. For example, if you want your social media post to direct traffic to your blog, you can end your post with “To read more about… visit our website.” This simple CTA will nudge your readers to click the link and read your blog.

These are a few examples of applying Occam’s razor to your business. Do you have other ideas for simplifying your product, service, or process to achieve the best outcome? Please share in the comments!

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5 Ways Women Leaders Are Transforming the Post-Pandemic Workplace

A lot has happened since the world went on lockdown in 2020. But we can say that one of the more positive developments that came out of that period is it created more room for women leaders to rise up in the workplace.

Of course, a lot of work still needs to be done for women to experience true gender equity and inclusivity in the workplace. Still, the women who are leaders now are trying to close the existing gaps.

Here are five ways women leaders are transforming the workplace to make it more inclusive in post-pandemic 2022.

1. More women-led companies rising

A recent Gusto survey reported that 5.4 million new businesses opened in 2021. The survey found that women started 49% of those new businesses, compared to just 28% in 2019. The women who responded to the survey shared different reasons for becoming entrepreneurs, including:

  • Getting laid off from work due to the pandemic
  • Finding new opportunities
  • Seeking more flexible hours so they can balance work with childcare
  • Seeking better financial security

Ownership allows women to build their companies according to their ideals. Many women entrepreneurs take the opportunity of owning a business to deliver the kind of employee experience they didn’t enjoy at their former workplaces.

2. Move toward compassionate leadership

Women emerged as excellent leaders during the Covid-19 crisis. We only need to look at the examples set by New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen, and Germany’s Angela Merkel. A 2020 research also showed that companies led by women have fared better during the pandemic than those led by men.

This is because women are more likely to exercise compassionate, people-centered leadership than men. When handling complex tasks, women tend to weigh the social cost of their decisions before executing them. And they are not afraid to show vulnerability to those they lead. Compassionate leadership is a significant driver of employee engagement. The more engaged employees are, the more invested they become in a company’s growth through good and not-so-good times.

3. Empathetic and family-centered support at work

According to a 2021 joint research by McKinsey and, women leaders are exerting more effort to promote employee well-being in the first place. This can be as simple as asking staff members how they are doing and as complicated as removing obstacles that keep them from doing their best work.

As mentioned earlier, women started their own businesses in 2021 because they needed to be more flexible in balancing work with childcare. Women business owners are aware that the brunt of childcare and running the household still falls on female shoulders. Thus, they are more likely to provide more flexible work arrangements in the office, including remote work and benefits like paid and extended parental leaves.

Related Content: List of resources for small businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans, and disabled individuals

4. Active DEI work

The same McKinsey and research found that women leaders are more active in championing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. Some 54% of women occupying senior-level positions spend time doing DEI work, compared to 46% of men on the same level. Additionally, 38% of women executives mentor at least one woman of color.

CultureAmp reports that more work needs to be done to advance DEI in the workplace. Issues such as mental health and healthcare for trans employees need to be addressed. Also, groups like returning parents, veterans, caregivers, and employees with disabilities remain underrepresented in DEI work. Still, more women work at the DEI frontlines, pushing for diversity and inclusion to become a reality.

5. Wage transparency

The gender wage gap isn’t going to close any time soon. In fact, the Economic Policy Institute reported that there’s been little progress in closing the wage gap in the last 30 years. Payscale also shared that women earned 82 cents for every $1 that men earned in 2021. The numbers didn’t change at the start of 2022.

These numbers may not seem encouraging. But wage transparency is a growing trend. It’s now seen as the number one solution for closing the wage gap, and women’s groups like Elpha are leading conversations on wage transparency.

There’s still a lot of work to be done for women to experience true gender equity and inclusivity in the workplace. But with more women leaders paving the way, we can look forward to more positive changes, not just in 2022 but in the future.

Sacred Fire Creative promotes positive change by incorporating DEI work in its digital marketing strategies. Do you want to be a brand that is a force for positive change? Work with us today.

Boost Your Post-Pandemic Online Presence with These 5 Digital Brand Management Trends

How strong is your brand’s online presence? Is your brand reaching your intended post-pandemic audience?

The online marketplace has always been crowded and fast-paced. It takes focused digital brand management to stand out among the crowd and stay ahead of the competition.

But the 2020 lockdowns have permanently changed digital audience behavior. Users are now more particular with how they want their online experiences to be, especially when interacting with brands.

How then can you improve your online presence when the audience you’re connecting with has become more exacting post-pandemic? We suggest that you consider riding these five digital brand management trends.

1. Omnichannel presence

Multi-channel marketing is not a new thing. Seasoned digital marketers know that a brand needs to be where its audience is, whether they’re on Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, LinkedIn, or YouTube. And they have to have a website that works well on desktop and mobile.

But a multi-channel presence is no longer enough for the post-pandemic digital audience. Your audience now wants a seamless experience when interacting with you, whether through your website or social media.

You can provide your audience with their desired seamless experience by cultivating an omnichannel presence. This means optimizing your content across all channels instead of using different strategies or campaigns for each channel. Also, don’t forget to integrate paid advertising in your omnichannel campaigns.

2. Personalization

No sound is sweeter to a person’s ear than the sound of their own name. Hearing your name spoken makes you feel seen as an individual and not just a face in the crowd.

That’s what your audience wants to experience whenever they interact with your brand. They want to feel that you see and understand them and don’t look at them simply as a potential sale.

This makes personalization a crucial element in digital marketing. Customers are more likely to positively perceive and buy from a brand that knows and gets them. So take the time to get to know your target audience more intimately by creating buyer avatars and smart content.

3. Visual content

Your digital audience is becoming more visual. Even before 2020, research already indicated that users are swerving toward visual content more than other forms. For instance, in 2018, a survey found that Millennial and Gen-Z consumers prefer visual search, Google Images owned 22.6% of online searches, and Pinterest users did 600 million visual searches monthly.

What kind of visual content works for the post-pandemic digital audience? It depends on how well you know yours. You can start with accompanying your blog posts with high-quality images and infographics rich in optimized alt text. Short-form videos work best for engagement.

4. Emphasis on values

What values does your brand embrace? Where do you stand on social issues like diversity, inclusivity, sustainability, and mental health?

Your digital audience, especially Millennials and Gen-Zs, seriously want to know. They now buy according to their values and from brands whose values align with theirs. More than that, they’re no longer afraid to call out companies for being inauthentic or hypocritical or even cancel them out altogether.

Connecting with your audience now requires your digital brand management to communicate your values consistently. More importantly, you must show that your brand walks the talk. For example, if you say that your company values inclusivity, then don’t just post Maya Angelou or Audre Lorde quotes on Instagram. Make it meaningful through actions like implementing inclusive and equitable HR policies in your company.

5. Authentic storytelling

Brand storytelling is another tried-and-tested strategy long used by traditional and digital marketers. Stories fire up the audience’s imagination and creativity. They can show the audience what’s possible and inspire them to achieve it (by using the brand).

The post-pandemic digital audience, however, is no longer easily swept by fantasy. They’re no longer interested in hearing how good your brand is or what benefits they’ll get from buying your product. They now want real stories – stories from people like them who have used your product to address a specific problem. Customer reviews and testimonials are the best examples, especially if in video format.

What digital brand management strategies do you use to boost your online presence and connect with your post-pandemic audience? Let us know in the comments.

Sacred Fire Creative specializes in digital brand management strategies that can help you connect meaningfully with your audience. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

Is Your Brain Tired? Let It Rest with Soft Fascination

A tired brain at the end of a work day is a universal experience. This is especially true if you spend your days hyper-focused on your tasks. It’s no surprise, considering that the brain takes a lot of energy and resources to maintain focus and ignore distractions.

But here’s the thing – your brain needs real rest. And by real rest, we mean a total break from directed attention. No staring at your computer or mobile phone. Even reading is sometimes a no because, as enjoyable as it can be, it still requires focus.

Otherwise, the exhaustion can take over, making it harder to get in the zone and stay focused the next time. Your willpower and ability to make sound decisions also take a hit when your brain is tired.

So what’s the best way you can let your exhausted brain rest? It’s by engaging in something called soft fascination.

Soft fascination is a key concept in Attention Restoration Theory.

Attention Restoration Theory (ART) is a principle in environmental psychology that states that we can replenish our depleted mental resources by spending time in nature. According to this theory, we can restore our tired brains by going through several states of attention.

Among these states of attention is soft fascination. Soft fascination means allowing nature to engage and gently stimulate the brain without any directed focus. In other words, it means letting your brain go idle while you’re in a natural environment.

How does soft fascination work? There are plenty of studies out there that support ART and its effect in the workplace. But researchers have yet to figure out precisely how spending time in nature reinvigorates the brain. Experts believe that, unlike with directed focus, experiencing nature doesn’t require a lot of mental resources. Thus, with a lighter cognitive load, the brain can rest.

There’s more to brain restoration than spending time in nature.

Don’t be in a hurry to pack your hiking shoes and camping gear just yet. There’s more to soft fascination than being in a natural setting, and staying in a natural setting isn’t always guaranteed that your brain will feel restored.

According to ART, some conditions must be met before your brain can take advantage of nature’s restorative powers. These include:

  • Total detachment from whatever worries you or drains your energy. Leave them behind. You may even have to turn off your cell phone.
  • The absence of hard distractions such as bright lights, sudden noises, or responsibilities. You may have to leave your partner and kids at home.
  • Familiarity with the environment. You have to feel comfortable and safe in your spot.
  • The desire to be there. You’ll only feel stressed if you’re in a place you don’t want to be. For example, if you prefer going to the beach instead of camping in the forest, head for the beach.

No worries, no drama, and you love where you’re at. That’s the sweet spot when soft fascination is most likely to work in restoring your exhausted brain.

What if you physically can’t get away?

Do you need to go on vacation to enjoy soft fascination? Not necessarily. So no worries if you physically can’t get away.

There are many ways you can engage in short moments of soft fascination without even leaving your office. Practicing five minutes of mindfulness at your desk is one way. Sitting with your eyes closed and your attention focused on your breathing can do wonders in restoring your tired brain.

You can also pack a lunch and take it outdoors. If you work close to a park or have access to a balcony, go there and let your mind wander while you eat.

Do you work from home? Cultivate a pocket garden if you have the space and retreat there when you feel tired. Or you can place a few house plants in your home office where you can easily see them at your desk.

Even staring at clouds from your window can create a moment of soft fascination.

The takeaway is that you have to allow yourself moments of pure idleness without guilt. Your brain and body will thank you for it.

What’s your favorite way to engage in soft fascination? Please share in the comments.

The “White Bear Problem”: How to Control Your Thoughts, According to Science

Imagine this scenario. Your boss chose you to make a vital presentation at a very important client meeting on Zoom. You’ve prepared for this meeting – did your research, created your slides, wrote your notes, and ensured the stability of your internet connection.

But as the time for the meeting approaches, you become so nervous that the sound of your rapid heartbeat drowns your thoughts. You tell yourself not to be nervous in an effort to calm yourself.

What do you think happens next?

More likely than not, you’ve been in similar situations before. You’d know that no matter how hard you suppress your nervousness, the feeling remains. In fact, the more you tamp it down, the more anxious you get.

Why is that? Why is it hard to get a thought out of your head once it’s made its way in?

This dilemma is called the “white bear problem.”

Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky once wrote in 1863: “Try to pose for yourself this task: not to think of a polar bear, and you will see that the cursed thing will come to mind every minute.”

This quote became the basis of the ironic process theory, also known as the “white bear problem.” It states that the harder you clamp down a thought, the more frequently and the more intensely this thought will come up in your mind. Social psychologist and Harvard professor Daniel Wegner developed this theory.

According to Dr. Wegner, when you tell yourself to avoid thinking of something, a part of your mind does comply. But, at the same time, another part of your mind checks that you’re not thinking of this forbidden thought and will do so continually.

This constant checking ironically forces you to think the thought you wanted to drive away in the first place.

You can overcome your “white bear” with these strategies.

Having white bears pop up in your head every now and then can be frustrating and irritating. It can also lead you to make decisions you may come to regret.

So, how do you get rid of these white bears once and for all? Dr. Wegner offered a few strategies:

Focus on something else.

You can get rid of your white bears by distracting yourself with a more entertaining or gratifying thought. In the example above, instead of zeroing in on how nervous you are, you can focus on how grateful you are that your boss chose you to make the presentation.


You’re more likely to have unwanted thoughts drifting in your mind when you’re mentally bogged down. So, try to relax whenever you can. Watch TV, read a book, work on your hobbies, have fun. Better yet, seek help or delegate a task when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Put it off.

Sometimes, an unwanted thought simply won’t go away. In that case, schedule a time for thinking this thought as much as your mind wants to. Make sure you set a time limit for it, say, 15 or 30 minutes. Then your white bear won’t pop up as much throughout the day.

Practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness practices like meditation can strengthen your mind and give you better control over your thoughts.

Unwanted thoughts can float into your brain whether you like it or not. But no matter how big or intense your white bear problem is, you can always make it go away.

Sacred Fire Creative is a digital marketing agency that positions itself as a force for good. Work with us and create a positive and lasting impact on your digital tribe.

7 Digital Marketing Trends Your Business Needs to Adopt Today

Digital marketing is constantly changing and evolving. Marketing practices that you found effective a couple of years ago may not work so well for your business today. That’s why you need to keep a close watch on the latest digital marketing trends and see how you can apply them to your business.

And speaking of the latest digital marketing trends, here are seven that you may find helpful in growing your enterprise.

1. Mobile-first web design

Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, mobile search has already overtaken desktop search. So you can reach and engage your customers more readily, you need to make your website’s design more mobile-friendly.

Having a mobile-first website design has many other advantages. One such benefit is they load more quickly. Faster loading times can boost search engine rankings. Another is they’re cheaper to develop than apps. Plus, you can readily integrate smartphone features like camera and voice detection with a mobile-optimized website.

2. Hyper-local optimization

While it’s nice to have customers from other states or even other countries, you’re likely to find your most reliable clients locally. People always search for the best services nearest them. So, you don’t need to cast your net far and wide to catch new customers – just hyper-localize.

Optimizing your website for hyper-local search means making sure your potential clients within your area can find you. The easiest way to do this is by creating a Google My Business profile. Or you can come up with a marketing campaign targeting your own neighborhood.

3. Automation tools

Who has the time to manually send personalized newsletters, chase after abandoned shopping carts, answer DMs, or post on social media? Not you, if you’re a business owner. The time you allot for these marketing tasks is best spent elsewhere.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to set aside these tasks. They’re still vital to your business, after all. Instead of attending to them yourself, you can use automation tools, such as social media schedulers, chatbots, and email services. These tools can save you a lot of time and give you more space for other tasks that require your attention.

4. Interactive content

User engagement is a vital digital marketing metric you need to pay attention to. The more engaged your visitors are, the more likely you’ll excite them and get them to buy your product. Interactive content is one way to boost your user engagement.

Examples of interactive content are surveys and quizzes. Mini-games are another. These are great for educating your potential clients on your products, reducing your website’s bounce rate, and leading your customers to the next step in the buying process. They also provide your visitors with a reason to return to your website. You can also use them to learn more about your visitors.

5. Voice search

Have you ever used Siri, Alexa, Cortana, or Google Assistant to search for things online? You’re not alone. Voice search is becoming one of the more powerful digital marketing trends out there. And it won’t go away any time soon.

Highly optimized web copy with the right keywords is essential to voice search. Imagine your content as a response to questions people throw at their voice assistants – for example, “Hey Siri, where’s the nearest hardware store?”

6. Video marketing

Showing is always more effective than telling. And when it comes to showing what your products and services are all about, video marketing is highly effective. Videos are more engaging visually and emotionally, thus leading to more conversions.

There are many ways you can use video marketing. You can do a live video on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube. You can produce stylized videos for social media. Or you can integrate personalized videos with your emails.

7. Authentic brand ambassadors

The idea of using influencers to promote products has been around for ages. And it’s still an effective marketing tactic. But you don’t need to hire a big-name influencer to talk about you anymore. That’s because people want authenticity these days, and they’re more likely to listen to brand ambassadors who are actual users of your product and whom they can relate with.

Where do you find these authentic brand ambassadors? You don’t have to look far – you can simply tap your existing loyal clients and employees. Ask them for testimonials that you both can share on social media.

Adopting these digital marketing trends can help you move your business more quickly and give it an edge over your competitors. Try these tactics today and see where they take you.


Sacred Fire Creative helps entrepreneurs grow their business and become a force for good using customized digital marketing strategies. Work with us today.

Customer Experience in the New Reality

We’re now living in a so-called “new normal” for more than a year because of the Covid-19 global pandemic. Each one of us experiences this new normal in different ways.

As business owners, we have to adapt how we serve our customers depending on how they live through their new normal. We are now called to shift from simply providing customer service to creating customer experience.

In this article, we answer three main questions:

  1. What is customer experience?
  2. How does a profound customer experience look like?
  3. How can small businesses offer an innovative and exceptional new-normal customer experience?

What is customer experience?

Customer experience is not the same as customer service or customer care.

Customer service is the advice or assistance a company gives its clients. On the other hand, customer care relates to how well clients are taken care of when interacting with the brand, whether through social media or other channels.

It’s important to note that individuals may not even be customers during the brand interaction.

What about customer experience? Customer experience involves every interaction between the customer and the brand at every point of contact or touchpoint.

Brands have many different touchpoints with individuals, and these cover the entire customer journey. This journey begins when someone makes their first inquiry. Moreover, it extends even after they use the product or service.

Consciously or not, customers evaluate each touchpoint with the brand. It’s how they decide whether they will continue doing business with the brand or not. This underscores the importance of customer service.

If a person has a profound customer experience with your brand, they may decide to continue doing business with you. Therefore, our ultimate goal is to create a profound customer experience for each of our clients and prospects.

Why is customer experience important?

Here’s a quote by Maya Angelou:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Why is this quote relevant to our discussion of customer experience?

You see, we can’t just tell people what our brand is and expect them to believe that. That’s not how it works.

Instead, how you make your customers feel is what makes the strongest impact.


People’s memories of an experience often involve emotions—how they felt at moments in time. The customer experience involves how you make your clients feel. And that’s what they will walk away with.

What you’re doing at every single touchpoint with your client is you’re creating a mini-customer experience. These mini-experiences add up. And then, all together, all of those different experiences that involve deep emotion create brand loyalty.

What are the dimensions of a customer experience?

According to Gentile, Spiller, and Noci (2007), there are six dimensions of the customer experience.

1. Sensorial dimension

The sensorial dimension addresses sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell to arouse aesthetic pleasure, excitement, satisfaction, and a sense of beauty.

One example is that some handbag brands add a specific scent to their products. So, when they deliver any gift to their customers, the gift comes infused with their branded scent. The customer then subconsciously comes to associate the fragrance with the brand.

2. Emotional dimension

The emotional dimension generates moods, feelings, and emotions that hopefully positively influence the customer’s image and attitude toward the brand or company.

You generate this emotion. When you create a touchpoint with your customer, how do you want them to feel afterward? Do you want them to feel relieved? Enlightened? Entertained?

You’ll want to consider this question before deciding what kind of customer experience you’re creating.

3. Cognitive dimension

The cognitive dimension relates to experiences requiring thinking. It engages a customer’s creativity.

It is similar to the emotional dimension. The emotional one activates the heart, while the cognitive one stimulates the brain.

When you interact with your clients, are you activating their minds? Are they thinking, being creative, and running through their head the different scenarios and memories they have relating to this experience?

4. Pragmatic dimension

The pragmatic dimension comes from the practical art of doing something or using a product. It is the art of doing, and it involves action steps. It’s the physical part of doing something while using the product.

Any kind of unboxing belongs to the pragmatic dimension. Let’s look at unboxing an Apple product as an example.

When you open an Apple product, everything lines up just so. When you pull the box apart, you’ll see that there’s just enough space. This creates the feeling that they had taken care of every single step along the way when they made their product.

5. Lifestyle dimension

The lifestyle dimension affirms the beliefs and values shared between the brand and the customer.

When you create a brand, what happens is you’re making a set of shared beliefs and values for your brand and the customer.

For example, Apple’s “Think Different” slogan, part of Steve Jobs’ early marketing campaigns, means they want you to think beyond the ordinary. It implies that people who use Apple are out-of-the-box thinkers. They’re extraordinary; they’re “rebels.”

Disney is another example. The House of Mouse is a brand that relates to the family—its shared belief is the importance of taking care of and spending quality time with your family.

The lifestyle dimension is about confirming the values a brand shares with its customers. It’s about making people raise their hands and say, “That’s me. I identify with that.”

So, when you create customer experience, you’ll want to think about what beliefs and core values are going into your brand. Your implied values will make people who believe the same things come to you.

6. Relational dimension

The relational dimension encourages experiencing the product or service together with other people.

This is how we observe, live through, anticipate, and participate in a customer experience in a community. Some products and services are meant to be used independently and alone. And then, there are others where this relational dimension becomes extremely important.

For example, let’s say you’re going to a Disney park. The experience will vary depending on who you’re with, but you probably wouldn’t go for it on your own. People go there with their families or friends. This means the relational dimension will be crucial here.

What is a profound customer experience, then?

We mentioned earlier that our ultimate goal is to create a profound customer experience for our clients and prospects. But what exactly is a profound customer experience?

Any experience that involves ALL SIX DIMENSIONS is considered a profound experience. So, a profound customer experience engages all of the emotions and senses.

It brings you to the point of creativity, firing up your imagination. And it’s pragmatic—you’re immersed in it, you can feel and touch it, and you can use it.

It has a lifestyle component, where you feel its impact on your core values. You believe in it. And it’s relational, one that you experience in your community.

How does a profound customer experience look like?

Disney provides what is considered a great example of a profound customer experience.

The Disney guest experience

Disney is in the business of creating magic for guests to experience and remember. Walt Disney’s vision is driven by a common purpose that every member of the Disney organization is taught:

“We create happiness by providing the finest in entertainment for all ages, everywhere.”

How do they do this? Disney attracts guests of all ages, from all walks of life, and from all countries. It’s a tourist attraction for the parks’ host countries: the United States, Japan, France, China, and Hong Kong. Seven out of 10 Disney guests are likely to return to the park a second time.

When you go to one of the Disney parks, here’s what people really love and experience:

  1. The parades and the castle fireworks shows
  2. The character meet-and-greet
  3. All the different characters at live shows in the park, like Lion King and Moana.
  4. The interactive themed attractions, such as creating your own lightsaber in Savi’s Workshop, the new attraction at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Disney’s guest experience is a range of various experiences within one bigger experience. It definitely hits all of the different dimensions of a customer experience.

Moreover, Disney does it multiple times in different ways so that people can experience any part of it as much or as little as they want. This creates a deeper level of loyalty.

How does the new-normal Disney guest experience look like?

Disney closed down parks at the height of the pandemic, with some slowly reopening depending on the health crisis status in their respective countries.

As they couldn’t open in full capacity, they offered alternatives—they shifted from in-person, dynamic experiences in the park and took it all online.


Disney took advantage of their digital assets: their blogs and social media. They launched the #DisneyMagicMoments campaign and released virtual tours of the Disney parks. It was a brilliant way to be immersed and experience the parks in a digital environment.

This campaign also encouraged guests to share photos and videos they took during their Disney vacations. It got a lot of people sharing their memories. They got into reminiscing and sharing the last time they went on a Disney vacation. That way, people could still relate as a community and share their experiences.


Disney also launched #AdventuresatHome, a DIY at-home adventure pack that allows fans to experience Disney travel adventures at home. They produced six adventure packs featuring Montana, South Africa, the Rhone River, Iceland, Greece, and Alaska. They published those in the Disney parks blog.

Each adventure pack includes:

  1. The Disney shows to catch related to each area
  2. A recipe developed by Disney chefs that you could cook at home
  3. A simple board game with downloadable printables
  4. A high-resolution photo of beautiful scenery or landscape from the area

The Disney new-normal guest experience is genius. The company shifted quickly during the pandemic by offering something new that people could share with their families while in lockdown at home. People aren’t just reliving things they had already seen, and they weren’t just looking at their own photos from before.

The Disney online experiences are interactive and highly engaged. Moreover, they bring some relatable elements to the Disney brand. The recipe touches on different senses, and the board game touches on different dimensions. The core values are brought in—that Disney is a fun brand that you experience with your family. It has all six dimensions of the customer experience melded into one.

What about small businesses?

Obviously, Disney is a giant entity with a considerable capacity for delivering profound customer experiences. But what can small businesses offer as innovative and exceptional new-normal customer experiences?

First, as a small business owner, you should keep in mind:

  • What do your customers need and want from you?
  • What pain points can you solve? How can you delight?
  • How do you bring the customer experience to your clients safely and conveniently?

These are notable examples of how some Sacred Fire Creative small business clients shifted during the pandemic:

Asian Mint

Asian Mint is a restaurant business that serves Thai cuisine in Dallas, Texas. They were shut down right away by the pandemic, though eventually, they got to do takeout and delivery.

One of the most significant shifts they did to cope with the pandemic was offering ChefMint kits. People were at home, but they still wanted to spend quality time with their families in a restaurant setting.

The ChefMint kits made it easy to cook Thai food at home and replicate the experience of dining at Asian Mint. The ingredients were pre-packaged, the recipes were included and worded in an easy-to-follow language. The dishes can be cooked in 20 minutes or less. Anybody within the Dallas area could get these kits delivered in cooler bags. Anybody throughout the US could also order these kits with dry ingredients and recipes.

ChefMint became a way for Asian Mint to increase its outreach. It brought the Asian Mint restaurant experience into the home kitchen.

Nikky Feeding Souls

Nikky Feeding Souls is another brand from the owner of Asian Mint, Nikky Phinyawatana. Before the pandemic, she took small groups on tours of Thailand to experience the culture and cook the food. When the pandemic hit, she created her “Escape to Thailand” series, a virtual Thai cooking, culture, and travel experience. She had ChefMint kits mailed out, along with different kinds of small gifts and little notes about Thai culture. Then she wrapped up the whole experience with live webinars in group settings so that people could experience it together.

Cindy Briggs Workshops

Cindy Briggs is an internationally renowned watercolor artist. She’s been teaching art for 20 years through plein air or live, open-air workshops in places like Italy and France. She had workshops scheduled up to 2022.

With the pandemic, Cindy canceled her plein air workshops and took these workshops online. Cindy had been doing online classes before and simply expanded the workshops.

Through these online workshops, people experienced Cindy through videos, live webinars, and exclusive Facebook groups. Her students got PDF lists of everything they needed for the class and detailed video instructions they could watch on their own time from the comfort of their homes. The advantage of these videos is Cindy’s students can rewind them, speed them up, or go back to a section if they want to. And they can watch one section over and over.

In live webinars, Cindy starts a painting from scratch, and her students can paint along with her. She also gives specific feedback on work submitted through her Facebook group.s.

OMEGA Gymnastics

Gymnastics is a sport that people need to do in a gym. However, with the pandemic requiring gyms to be closed, OMEGA Gymnastics transitioned online. They did Zoom classes where their kids trained from home.

One of the things they did differently was their distance learning program. Following all Covid cleaning and distancing protocols, OMEGA opened a section of the gym for a small number of students. They could come in during the day, do their online classes, get help with homework, and get some time doing movement in the gym. Through this distance learning program, OMEGA provided students technical assistance, helped them stay focused during classes, and got them active during breaks.


The new normal is upon us. Our customers expect, and even demand, customer experiences that fit their perception of the new normal. It’s up to us business owners to adapt and create the experiences they’re looking for.

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What is Loss Aversion?

Let’s talk about loss aversion, why the pain of loss results in irrational decisions, and how marketers are taking advantage of this.

Loss aversion is perfectly summed up by FOMO or the Fear of Missing Out.

It’s the irrational fear of loss. In psychology, loss aversion explains why people, too often, focus on setbacks instead of gains—it explains why the pain of losing is seen to be more powerful than the pleasure of gaining something. In their Prospect Theory study, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky said, “losses loom larger than gains.”

About twice as large!

What makes loss aversion so influential?

Simply put, we hate loss. Receiving something is great, sure—but we don’t love it as much as we hate losing.

If you received a $200 jacket for your birthday, you’d be happy. However, if your dog chewed a giant hole in it the next day, the unhappiness you’d feel would be twice as powerful.  

Losing something or downgrading is psychologically distressing, so we do what we can to avoid it (even if it makes absolutely no sense).

It’s not completely our fault, though. There are intense cultural, socioeconomic, and neurological factors at play when it comes to the power of loss aversion.

Loss triggers a reaction from the same part of the brain that processes fear and risk. Our brains also associate loss with prediction errors and disgust. We’re trained to detest loss.  

We’re extremely vulnerable to loss aversion when it comes to making decisions because as soon as we imagine a choice, we’re emotionally invested and attached.  

People will go to incredible lengths to avoid a perceived loss.

Example: waiting in absurdly long lines to get something for free.

In December of last year, Starbucks created a holiday-themed travel mug that you would get for free if you ordered a Grande holiday beverage. They claimed they would keep the promo going until they ran out of mugs. Nobody knew how many they had on hand, so there were lines around blocks at Starbucks stores across the country. It didn’t matter that the travel mug was valued at less than $5 and made from thin plastic. They had already latched on to the idea of getting a free holiday treat, so not receiving that mug would be considered a significant loss.

People are also likely to make purchases they weren’t necessarily planning on making if you provide them with a free shipping coupon. They’ll recognize that this opportunity doesn’t come along all time, and the thought of losing out on it will persuade them to make a purchase.  

Businesses use loss aversion marketing strategies all the time.

A perfectly executed “flash deal” is a big moneymaker. When a product is deeply discounted for a very limited time, the consumer’s brain focuses on the ticking timer and the amount of savings rather than on the product itself. You probably don’t need another sweater or another cordless vacuum cleaner—but at 70% off, that’s a GREAT deal, right? I can’t miss out on that!

It’s also why pre-orders, coupons, and VIP exclusives work. With pre-orders, it’s an early bird discount—the discount is the prize for ordering early. With coupons, it’s a lot like being given free money. Why would anyone throw free money away, right? With VIP exclusives, all you needed to get VIP status was probably to sign up for a newsletter, and voila! It’s too easy. Why risk missing out on the action?

Free trial periods show people exactly what their life would look like with the product or service, making it exponentially harder for them to end it when the trial is over. They’ve experienced the benefits and identified with that life, so they don’t want to lose it.  

Insurance companies usually have a mile-long list of extremely unfortunate things that could happen to you and how you’ll be negatively affected if you don’t have the proper coverage. No matter how unlikely these events are, they’ve successfully set you up to view them as losses, and you’re more likely to focus on those than the regular payments required to avoid them.

If your business needs to avoid giving people more than necessary, loss aversion tactics can help you sidestep that waste. Studies have shown that when options are presented as addable rather than retractable, people will only take what they want (toppings on a salad, ingredients in a sandwich, etc.).

You can maximize the effects of loss aversion marketing in your small business, too.

The success of your offer entirely depends on your messaging.

Understanding your target audience and their fears is crucial to connecting with them. You need to clearly explain what their life would be like if they don’t purchase your product or service, and they won’t care unless you speak directly to their pain points and experiences. It’s about showing them what they’ll miss out on if they don’t participate soon and painting a picture they can’t ignore.

People must believe there’s something to lose for loss aversion to work properly. If you post an offer for 20% off and claim that it’s only available for the next two days and then post a 25% off coupon the following week, you’ve given people a reason put off making their decision. Even worse, they’ll notice that you contradicted yourself, and any trust they had in you and your brand will start to fade.  

You’re working hard to convert all the “I’ll just buy it tomorrow” shoppers into “I feel good about committing to this now” shoppers. Keep that goal in mind, and you’ll notice a positive trend in your conversion rates.

How about you? How do you leverage on loss aversion? Got a question? Don’t forget to COMMENT below and SHARE your thoughts.


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