Imagine for a moment that you are sitting in your favourite restaurant, surrounded by your best friends and all the family members you love. You are sharing a fantastic meal with your favourite food and drink and everyone is having a lovely time. It is a fantastic warm and sunny day to match the warmth and sunshine in your heart.
You don’t have a care in the world and you aren’t even worried about paying the bill because you have no debts and your income is topped-up every few minutes thanks to your wonderfully successful online business that just seems to attract people to spend money with you easily.
In short, life for you today is absolutely perfect – at least in this imaginary world.
For some people, of course, this is all a dream. It is something that some “Internet Marketing Gurus” try to get you to believe, that you can have this idyllic life, if only you bought their ebook…!
But are they tapping into something potentially useful? The power of our brains to imagine things has been essential to business success, after all. Without the imagination of the Wright Brothers you wouldn’t be flying anywhere. Without the imagination of J.K.Rowling, Bloomsbury Publishing would be a lot poorer. And without the imagination of Sir Tim Berners-Lee who gave us the web, you wouldn’t be reading this.
Imagination is immensely powerful. Indeed, therapists will tell you that one technique used is to get people to imagine the future life they want. When they truly, deeply imagine that future, the patients are able to reach it. Without imagining such a future, it seems we don’t succeed as well as we might. Imagination helps you get where you want to be.
New research on imagination from psychologists in Sweden shows that it is a complex brain system whereby sounds and images combine in such a way that we can believe an imagined thing to be real. What the research demonstrated was that if you imagine something it actually changes your perception of other sensory input. The Swedish scientists were able to demonstrate that the brain signals that were produced from imagination combined with the brain signals from actual perception to produce a combined experience.
This is an important finding for business. It means that people can perceive your products and services as something slightly different to what they see – if you add in some imagination stimulus of some kind. For instance, go to a Hard Rock Café and you’ll find yourself surrounded with rock star memorabilia. No longer are you just eating burger and chips, you are doing it in the company of Eric Clapton, John Lennon and Madonna.
So how can your business use the power of human imagination to give people a new experience?
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+