Firstly, what is a cognitive bias? A cognitive bias is a limitation in rational thinking caused by the tendency for the human brain to take short cuts to save energy. Cognitive biases are coping mechanisms that allow the brain to process vast amounts of input. While the mechanism is very effective, its limitations cause errors in decision-making.
Attentional bias is the inability to see all sides of a story. When you fail to consider the things you don't see, you are displaying Attentional Bias.
Attentional bias is the way in which shoppers don’t take into consideration all available factors and possibilities when making purchasing decisions. Our emotional state often influences what we give our attention to and we tend to pay more attention to something that emotionally stimulates us.
The more that shoppers are touched emotionally, the more they will focus on the emotional stimulus over any other product attribute.
Shoppers need emotion in-store and what they emotionally attend to with will be the most appealing, so long as the right emotions are targeted. If you want shoppers to emotionally attend to your brand in-store, there are several aspects you should consider.
What is the emotional hook – Emotions grab attention much faster than rational concepts and thoughts, so make sure you have an emotional trigger for shoppers to first attend to and engage with.
Make your USP emotional – What ever your brand is famous for, make sure to give shoppers an emotional reason to accept that fame. How will it help them feed, fight, flee or fornicate?
Fight reason with emotion – When your competitors are making strong (but rational) claims, present shoppers with an emotional alternative why your brand is preferable.
In summary, attentional bias gives you a great way of making your brand look disproportionately appealing. But equally, the wrong emotional attention can seriously damage brand performance. So, find your best emotion and communicate it effectively.