FocusFriday: Think Fast and Go With Your Instincts

by, Kevin Lightfoot, Xerox Public Relations

I’m a brand advocate.
Let me be a clear – I’m a brand advocate for the color yellow.

If marketers want me to buy one of their products, they’ll offer it in yellow. I’m not talking about some muted eggshell version that is so benign that you wouldn’t know it was really a shade of yellow. I talking a bright vibrant yellow that lets you know it just walked into the room.

Ever seen the Brazilian or South African futbal team’s jerseys? I own one of each. An American Eagle long-sleeved thermal shirt? Got one of them too? Baylor University baseball shirt: got one hanging in my closet. In fact, my tennis game got remarkably better last summer after I purchased pair of Asics tennis shoes. I had long been a fan of Asics’ superior product line for my middle distance running but I had never used them for tennis.

And then I saw them. They were sleek, light-weight, sturdy – and they were yellow.

I became the envy of my family. My instructor and playing partners asked me where I got them. My conversion as a brand advocate for yellow was complete.

This path wasn’t a conscientious one however. It was intuitive. Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman sums it up in his remarkable book ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ when he describes my business (and personal) choices as associative, triggered by environmental cues.

He’s right of course. My instincts help me focus. My intuition helps me strip away distractions and a lot of the ancillary details, reviews and assessments that can cloud my judgment. When we doubt our instincts – which many of us have developed professionally for decades – we run the risk of thinking slowly.

Relying on your instincts doesn’t necessarily lead to reckless decisions. We can still think things through, but our intuition can guide us. Brand advocacy is emotional and as brand ambassadors for Xerox, we have to be aware of the instincts of our clients. What is their intuition telling them about our company? What does their instinct tell them when they see our name, our logo, or our people?

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One Comment

  1. Tim Nungesser February 24, 2012 - Reply

    Great article and I too love bright yellow!

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