One minute with… web psychologist Nathalie Nahai

Elham Rizi-Shorvon / April 2019

Nathalie Nahai is an author and speaker based in Barcelona, who explores the psychology of online behaviour. She believes that in the future, digital interactions will shift towards building a long-term relationship with the consumer, and that the key to making this work is trust.

Companies need to make space for creativity in order to future-proof their brands , as Nathalie Nahai explains.

According to Nathalie Nahai, brands will address consumers in a much more relational way in future: “Seeking to build trust over time, applying principles of personalisation and persuasion to enhance an experience with a customer who already knows you.” But, as ever, this will have to be based on trust and mutual respect. “In the last year, sentiments around privacy have been changing, and we’ve seen the concept of psychological reactance coming into play. When brands misjudge personalisation techniques it can feel like an invasion of privacy, which can erode the brand’s reputation and leave the consumer with a negative sentiment. It can be extraordinarily damaging for businesses.”

To future-proof themselves, Nahai believes brands need to make space for creativity and risk-taking. “This has always been true,” she says. “But especially now we’re talking about creating content for smaller screens. Our perspectives on how to make stuff for big screens or billboards won’t necessarily work across different domains. There’s huge scope for discovering new ways to reach out to people on smaller devices, different platforms, with more user-generated content.”

Nahai takes inspiration from the possibilities technology offers for the future. “For example, the intersection of technology and environmentalism. Things like mycelial networks, using mushrooms to help rebuild damaged ecosystems. That’s super exciting to me right now.” Fundamentally, she says, she’s motivated by curiosity about the human condition. “I’m inspired by a desire to leave the world better than I found it; to democratize knowledge so that we’re empowered to make choices that serve us.”

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