Humans are highly contradictory.
If you were to walk down any city street in Los Angles in the middle of the COVID crisis you would have seen 90% of people wearing a mask. Even on an empty street with no one within shouting distance.
Yet those same people will sit down to dinner at an outdoor restaurant surrounded by people and immediately take their masks off, presumably without fear.
Why do we do this?
And before you go thinking this kind of irrationality is confined to the “weirdos in Hollywood” let me present you another scenario just as irrational.
Why would most people be appalled to learn you were serving dog or horse at a dinner party but would gladly eat bacon or pork chops without complaint?
These kinds of questions always fascinate me. I’ve spent the bulk of my adult life searching for the answers to them.
And while I’m not sure the answer to these two questions I would wager to guess that the reason we wear a mask on an empty street and refuse to serve dog at Sunday brunch has less to do with our concern for the safety of others or our love for ‘ol Rex and more to do with social pressures we feel.
Nassim Taleb says there’s no such thing as irrational beliefs only irrational action.
Once we understand what someone believes to be true we can then judge whether their actions are rational or irrational.
If we want to be better marketers and sales people (yes that’s you) then we need to admit that our customers don’t buy because our product is better, our service is faster or our logo is cooler.
They buy for a host of subconscious, psychological reasons. Some of these we can identify and use to our advantage to create the perception of better, faster or cooler without actually changing anything.
It’s a bit like magic.