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What would you give if you could know what others think of you?

Dalibor Šumiga Behavioral marketing/Neuromarketing, Marketing


In the movie “What Women Want” Mel Gibson gets the power to read minds and that superpower changes his life and career forever.
Best of all, Mel Gibson plays a marketing expert in that movie.

Have you ever wondered, what would you do if you could have such a superpower?
I believe only a few people would reject it.

While we are still a long way from reading minds, there is a way to easily and quickly track people’s sentiment towards your brand.

Technically speaking, this method is professionally called the implicit association test, but for better understanding we call it nonconscious surveying.

Some of you may do research, but you don’t do it too often because it’s expensive and you’re not sure what you would get if, for example, you would research every month.
If you would have a method that is cheap, fast and recommended to be used every month, I believe you wouldn’t hesitate.
These are nonconscious surveys.



While you may not launch a new campaign every month, the fact is that you run certain sales and / or marketing activities each month.
The problem is that you can’t always know their effect. For some of them, you may not even be sure you can measure the effect.
In such situations, nonconscious surveys can help you – to measure the effect of everything you do, to know what will pass and what won’t.


Let’s suppose you decide to launch 3 big projects this month:

  1. education of sales staff
  2. a new ad promoting your new innovative product
  3. raise prices due to current inflation 

At first,  it seems like you can’t measure the effect of all 3 projects, but the real truth is that you can by using nonconscious surveys.


The nonconscious survey is conducted through an online questionnaire – we send a link to a nonconscious survey to our respondents and they need to answer it.
Nonconscious surveys match your brand and certain associations you want to associate with your brand. In our case, there are 3 attributes: 

  1. friendly staff
  2. innovation
  3. affordable prices

The nonconscious survey measures the subconscious sentiment of people towards your brand when it’s accompanied by the attributes we have previously mentioned: friendly staff, innovation and affordable prices. 

Let’s assume that we do a nonconscious survey monthly, which is the recommended frequency. At the beginning of the month we got the following results for these 3 attributes: 

This is the starting position – we can see that you are in a positive zone in terms of friendly staff, you’re in the neutral zone in terms of innovation and you’re currently in a good position in terms of prices (you’re in the high positive zone). 

Now let’s fast-forward to next month. You have done all 3 projects – you have educated the staff, launched an innovative product and raised prices. We re-measure nonconscious sentiment and get the following results: 

From the graph showing the results a month ago and today, we can conclude the following: 

  1. staff training was successful 
  2. a new product has drastically increased the perception of your brand as innovative
  3. price increases have resulted in a slight, but not drastic drop in positive perceptions of your pricing policy. 

So, by simply measuring every 30 days, you can literally track how market sentiment is changing towards your brand, depending on all activities you are undertaking.
Of course, at the same time you can monitor the competition for identical attributes that you measure for your brand. 


There are several reasons why nonconscious surveying is more accurate than traditional measurements: 

  1. Because it measures human perception in the so-called “periliminal zone” where the rational part of the brain is just beginning to rationalize a certain decision (it’s just receiving a signal from the emotional part of the brain about what we want or love). In simple terms, nonconscious surveys catch respondents on the “wrong foot” while they aren’t yet able to consciously lie to give a socially acceptable answer. 
  2. Nonconscious surveying uses a psychological phenomenon called “Solomon’s paradox” in which people are more objective when they are not part of the story. In this case, it means that in one phase of the survey respondents answer on their own behalf, and in another on behalf of others, so we can get answers that are influenced by the sentiment of society. 
  3. Certainty of response is measured in milliseconds, which leaves no room for manipulation.

Now that you are familiar with the possibilities of nonconscious surveys, ask yourself again – what would you give if you could know what others think of you?