Book Review: Crack the Customer Mind Code by Gary Hennerberg

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Book Review of “Crack the Customer Mind Code”.

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Customers have more of a voice today in social media, and practically unlimited access to information. In addition, people are more careful with how they spend their money after the 2008 recession.

So how do you create a content strategy that stands out in this landscape?

How do you convince customers to make a purchase on your product pages? Or take the next step on your brand or category pages? How do you etch yourself into the minds and memories of your potential customers?


Pages: 238

In Crack the Customer Mind Code Gary Hennerberg outline a “7-Step Process” to appeal to potential customers and take them towards the path to purchase. He calls it the “memory groove” because it’s designed to etch your message into the memories of potential customers.

Gary Hennerberg has had extensive experience as a copywriter. He has overseen hundreds of successful marketing campaigns using the principles outlined in this book. You can follow Gary on Twitter or check out his blog at Customer Mind Code.

The Breakdown

1. The Seven Pathways to the Brain

The whole book revolves around the “seven pathways” to the brain or the “seven step process” to appeal to the customers emotions and to etch yourself into their memory.

These steps are as follows:

Pathway 1: Personas

Different things will appeal to different personas in your web content, and this book identifies twelve different personas. Which persona(s) should you appeal to? And how do you create a persona? It’s hard work, but focusing on customer personas will allow you to speak directly to them.

Pathway 2: Stimulate Emotion

Customers buy on emotion more than logic, and appealing to their emotions will make them remember you more. This section talks about how you can gain attention by stimulating negative emotions like fear, uncertainty, or doubt.

Pathway 3: Calm the Mind

Once you have stimulated a negative emotion, immediately stimulate a positive emotion to alleviate the fear and calm the mind. Once you’ve done this, it makes people more open to your message.

Pathway 4: Position / Reposition with a Unique Selling Proposition

Customers won’t remember you unless you stand out. And you can stand out by redefining your USP and developing a good branding image, then implementing this in all of your content.

Pathway 5: Tell a Story

All customers love a good story. A good story will hold attention, stimulate emotions, and encode your message more deeply into peoples brains. Storytelling also gives potential customers a reason to return to your website. (Most people won’t buy from your eCommerce site the first time).

Pathway 6: Interpret

You’ve appealed to their emotions and generated interest with branding and a good story. But customers are still apprehensive about buying. So now it’s time to calm their mind by appealing to logic. What are some ways to do this?

Pathway 7: Permission to act

This is the part where you close the deal by making a final appeal to their emotions to encourage them to take the action you want. (adding to cart, clicking to your catalogue, etc.) Make them feel that this particular action is the correct decision for them to make.

2. Channels

Gary Hennerberg gives you a quick chapter with a discussion on channels, both online and offline: social media, email, websites or landing pages, short video, long video, direct mail postcards, direct mail packages.

3. The Twelve Personas

Through Gary’s research he’s been able to identify twelve main personas. When you implement your eCommerce web content, you need to decide which persona(s) you want to appeal to. Gary includes info on how to appeal to each persona.

As you read the book you should gain a better idea of which persona(s) your eCommerce business will apply to. Then you can use these personas, along with the seven pathways, to come up with your content strategy.

I Liked:

  • The author has a sound knowledge of what stimulates human emotions, and which emotions will cause a reaction or response.
  • The principles apply to content of all types, like product descriptions, category descriptions, brand descriptions, blog posts, static content, social media content, and more.
  • I like how the author introduces you to the concept of personas, and goes deep into what appeals to each different persona. You can use this as a guide when creating your content for your eCommerce site.

The Verdict:

Gary Hennerberg has a unique perspective on the path to selling to your customers.

You may understand most of the things the book talks about if you’ve been reading about and studying marketing a lot, but it puts everything into a structure.

It also gives you a stepping stone of topics you can delve into deeper for your eCommerce content (e.g. creating a persona, appealing to emotions, telling a story, etc.)

See More: “Crack the Customer Mind Code” on Amazon

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