- The Performers
- The advertisers guide to Mindstates
The advertisers guide to Mindstates
How can we lean into the emotions of cautious and optimistic buyers?
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This newsletter reaches savvy advertisers who are always trying to level up and we know people buy from emotion and justify with logic. I wanted to understand the emotion part a little bit deeper, so I read Will Leach’s book, Marketing to Mindstates.
I highly recommend it if you have not read it already (Thanks, Nicole).
Today, we will look at some ad examples and frameworks from this book.
Here’s how Will explains the Mindstates:
So, now we understand optimistic vs cautious mindstates. Let’s look at the mindstates he mentions in his book. The first part will cover eight examples to keep this newsletter short.
1. Optimistic Achievement
This is the combination of achievement motivation and promotion (success).
Feeling successful in our pursuits is a goal we all share. Whether it's finally sticking to that diet to lose those last ten pounds or putting in the extra hours at work to earn that promotion, we all want to feel the sweet success of achievement.
Here’s an example of an optimistic achievement ad:
Another example from Curology with optimistic achievement:
2. Cautious Achievement
This is the combination of an achievement motivation and a prevention (avoidance) approach.
These folks are driven to avoid mistakes that may cause them not to achieve their goals. Avoidance is significant here.
Here's an example of avoiding while being successful. With these ads, they want to burn fat to look good.
Or this one it’s very similar but has more features and social proof:
We all want to be successful in our endeavors. Whether it's avoiding junk food to lose those last ten pounds or meeting a deadline at work, we all strive to achieve our goals.
These folks prefer tried-and-true solutions, so stats-based ads work really well with them.
Here’s an example of cautious autonomy:
The critical thing to remember is one is motivated by a feeling of success and another avoidance of mistakes.
3. Optimistic Autonomy
This is the combination of an autonomy motivation and a promotion approach.
These folks love freedom and choice. This is their priority. They love unique experiences with customization and personalization.
These folks want more autonomy, and they will let things go that affect them, such as old boring products that weigh them down. Here’s an example from Ridge:
And another one:
And here’s a good founder-ad example of how women should feel independent during pregnancy:
You can also add some personalization in your product ads to convince such mindstates and here are some examples:
This ad leads with this mindstate i.e., highly personalized photos:
The critical thing to remember is that these folks want to feel “distinct.”
4. Cautious Autonomy
This is the combination of an autonomy motivation and a prevention approach (avoidance). The satisfaction we feel when we can reach our goals–without restrictions is at the heart of the cautious autonomy mindstate.
Here’s an example of a Noom ad where this mindstate is applied. You want to lose weight without losing the food you love:
These folks prefer freedom that helps them avoid conformity through products and services.
This is a good ad example for cautious minds who want to be productive and break free from all life demands:
Moreover, ads with social proof and testimonials do well here because they remove doubts and uncertainty. Example:
5. Optimistic Belonging
This is the combination of belonging, motivation, and promotion (success).
Emotions like feeling accepted, seeking approval, and finding ways to impress others. Folks with this mindstate are looking for community and connection.
True Classic, Axe, and Dr. Squatch nail these very well.
Here’s an example:
“Ladies love a man”.....
And here’s an example from Dr. Squatch video thumbnail that says it all:
6. Cautious Belonging
This is the combination of a belonging motivation and a prevention approach (avoidance).
These folks avoid confrontation. They want to be liked and feel accepted. You can probably use ads that induce FOMO (fear of missing out) because they know everyone is getting them except themselves.
Tried, tested solutions with concrete reasons and examples work better with these.
This ad has a clear demonstration of how consumers can avoid dirty-looking shoes and get rid of them very easily:
Here you can use “social proof” and share if everyone’s using it, why aren’t you?
HiSmile ads demonstration and viral social proof to sell this product to those who are cautious but want to belong with a better smile:
With these folks, you need to motivate with social proof + powerful demonstration + reasoning.
7. Optimistic Competence
This is the combination of a competence motivation and a promotion (success) approach.
Folks with this mindstate want to become the best versions of themselves. They look for opportunities to gain great skills or competence.
They are looking for novel and innovative solutions.
Headway does a good job at improving one’s mental competence by reading a lot.
Another example from Magic Mind that focuses on “focus” competence:
8. Cautious Competence
This is the combination of competence, motivation, and prevention.
The basis of the cautious competence mindstate is the desire to improve by doing our best to avoid potential errors.
Basically, you’re focusing on the desired outcome and avoiding mistakes.
So, how do you make them feel progress without costly mistakes?
Well, you should tell them how your product could improve their competence.
Here’s a good example from Fiverr:
Credit: Ad Professor
You can encourage a conscious mind with a proper desired outcome.
And another way is to use permission-less advertising to start with it.
Here’s an example: I used to sell this product, and this hook was the reason our website conversion rate was 20%. We did use permission-less advertising tactics like these very often to respond to cautious minds:
We used to make kids better problem solvers, and Elon was our hook for people with a cautious competence mindset.
Each of these eight mindstates addresses a different audience. It’s more than just jobs to be done, desires, benefits, and features – I usually depended on JBTD, desires, benefits and features to make concepts, hooks, and headlines. Hope you can leverage and test some of these mindstates in your ads.
Should I release the other 10 mindstates with examples?
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