The ‘average’ human
Posted on November 8, 2010 by Tom
Think about the answers you would get when you ask strangers about airlines? Most people would tell you they would like improved quality, more legroom, friendly cabin personel. But looking at the success of low cost airlines, who knew? Justifying the change of jobs, people always like to fool themselves by telling they have more opportunities to grow and that they’re more happy now, but I know few people who’ve changed jobs and took a huge paycut with it. A test audience, asked for their opinion about a new mp3-player, all chose the black version as the most appealing player, but went home taking the slightly gray/silver one.
We like to think that we’re individuals and we proud ourselves of having a strong personal opinion. But when publicly asked for it, even through ‘anonymous’ surveys, we shift to ‘average’ mode. We give answers we think they want to hear, so they’ll like us, because somewhere deep down we still have to convince ourselves of the opinion we have. It might not be the good one, it might be terribly wrong, let’s stick with something safe, something we know people will like, something ‘average’. It’s a thin line between saying something genious or acting like a total idiot and the outlook of the latter is not so appealing.
What makes human behaviour so interesting is its inpredictability. Not knowing the difference between their words and thoughts is what keeps most marketers busy all day. We might think we know, based on models, surveys, historical analysis (trends) or something else, but most of the times we’re just guessing, hoping we’re right. In case we’re right we publicly explain why we were right, we’ve succeeded, so why hide between the ‘average’? When we were wrong, we blame it on the inpredictability of human behaviour.
So… let’s hope I’m right on this one…