30+ Years
Business Development
Over $225 Million
Generated for Clients
36 Industries
Pattern Recognition - Dane Shakespeare

The Human Brain is Hardwired for Pattern Recognition – Marketing to the Subconcious

The human brain takes in a tremendous amount of information in an instant and decides for us what is important enough to call to our attention, as well as what is so unimportant or ordinary that it is filtered from our awareness completely.

This is why you can see familiar shapes in clouds, trees, rock formations, ink blotches, or even cracks in the ceiling – while at the same time you can drive down the road and not be aware of things you see every day.

In marketing we use this to our advantage.  We create images that trigger the pattern recognition to call attention to a subject, or use the same concept to hide something altogether to guide the focus of attention along a path to another subject.

With each recognition the brain makes it also attempts to assign meaning to what it sees. Sometimes it may be enough to call the persons full attention to the subject, or it may simply stir an emotion or feeling in the person based on previous memories, experiences, or connotations connected to the unconscious pattern recognition.

As a consultant for private schools in the US, I use this concept to guide the thoughts and feelings of parents and families as they tour a campus by placing emotional imagery, patterns, and objects that prompt specific questions and comments at predefined moments in the tour.

This helps the tour guide (whoever it may be at the time) stay on track and remember to cover important information that is easily overlooked or forgotten after the hundredth tour.

Being aware of this can also help us remember how it causes us overlook things we see every day.

When I visit school campuses the clients are often amazed at how many things they see every day, overlook, and pay no attention to that prompt unwanted and unnecessary feelings and emotions in visitors – simply because it became invisible to them.

Some may say to take advantage of this would be manipulative – but I guess it depends on your motive and intent.  Any principle can be abused.

But think about this.  This is exactly what an artist does on a canvas, a sculpture, or any other medium he uses.

The artist uses shapes, colors, figures, lines, textures, patterns, etc. to guide the eye, provoke emotion, questions, thoughts, and feelings – and to highlight or hide a specific part of the subject.

Exceptional things are more often appreciated for the feelings they invoke than their technical perfection.

It’s just how we’re built.


About the author

Dane Shakespear helps Residential Treatment Centers, Boarding Schools, and Troubled Teen Programs attract more qualified leads, convert them into paying clients and deliver a better product by doing more of what works and less of chasing shiny objects. Dane works with owners and executives who are tired of relegating the lifeblood of their business - their marketing and sales flow to 3rd party geeks and charlatans.

About Me

About Me
I am a former owner and founder of an Anti-Terrorist, Cargo Tracking Software company for airlines.

I have spent my career leveraging marketing, technology & psychologyto promote high-end services.

For the last 13 years I have focused my work on Business Development for Residential Treatment Centers, and Global Product Development.

Essential Books

80/20 Sales and Marketing Book Cover
80/20 Sales and Marketing
August 3, 2019
Trust Me I'm Lying Book Cover
Trust Me I’m Lying – Confessions of a Media Manipulator
July 30, 2019
Blue Ocean Strategy Book Cover
Blue Ocean Strategy
June 6, 2019

What They Say

“He rebranded our company, fixed our marketing, and got us noticed and absorbed by an Italian manufacturer. He knows his stuff.”
– Ray Lopez, Blackhawk Armory

“As a direct result of Dane’s insights and intuition we are generating an additional $350,000 per year that we would have never seen.” – Joel Bauer

“I’ve worked Dane on several of my projects over the past 15 years and can confidently say he knows how to compete in tough markets.” – Martin Howey

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