Any Way You Slice It

detail of backlit illuminated pear slices

Thin-slicing is a term with wide spread applications, particularly in consumer behavior. It describes making a judgment or decision about something within as little as 5 seconds and not more than 5 minutes, based on limited information. Research has shown again and again that thin-slice inferences can be extremely accurate and efficient, as well as lasting.

Brands possess personality traits similar to humans, or rather consumers associate and assign personality traits to a brand in part based on thin-slicing. Does the brand feel sincere, daring, intelligent, charming or tough? These, as well as many others, are personality traits that can be associated with a brand. It is imperative that your company’s brand characteristics are immediately visible to consumers, and you want those associations to be positive relative to the product or service, in order to attract your target market and drive sales.

In The Role of Thin-Slice Judgments in Consumer Psychology, Laura Peracchio and David Luna wrote “It seems logical, then, to assume that thin-slice judgments can also be made about brands… It would seem possible that, under certain conditions, thin-slice judgments of brands may be even more accurate than thin-slice judgments of people because some brands may be less complex and easier to categorize, making automatic judgments of brands particularly reliable.”

So make sure you put your best (brand) foot forward, because you only get one chance at thin-slicing.