By Jason Wilson
In a recent article for UX Magazine, Nathan Hendricks explores how brands can make better connections with people through desire.
Unearthing desire isn’t always easy. Freud wouldn’t have had much of a career if it were. Some desires are simply difficult to talk about in polite company (sex, power, vengeance, status). Others are too subtle and intertwined to detect (acceptance, curiosity, idealism, honor). This is why desire rarely makes an appearance at a focus group. Pleasure, however, does.
Think of pleasure as how you feel when you satisfy a desire. It tells your brain it’s on the right behavioral path. In fact, neurologists tell us that we make decisions based on predictions of pleasure. You can hear pleasure in the language people use to describe how they think and feel. It shows up in the adverbs and adjectives they use to describe things.
Detecting pleasure requires you to engage people in real conversation—something that doesn’t always naturally occur in the unnatural setting of a focus group, where people are compelled to provide rational explanations about why they do or don’t like a certain product. But if you listen closely enough when they describe how they interact with brands, categories, and experiences, you’ll detect the keywords that, when put together, begin to reveal a manifestation of pleasure. When you can get people to tell you what they need to feel in order to truly love something, you’ll be much closer to a consumer truth. The qualities of what they love are the attributes of pleasure.
When I finished the article, I wondered what is it about legal research, and the brands we associate with it, that we find pleasurable. What is the vocabulary we use to enable us, as Hendricks puts it, to “design in desire” and thus form a connection between a brand and the people?
[Image (CC) by Runs With Scissors]