Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

September 11th, 2013

Language Barriers

By Kyle Morich



The map above is a heat map diagram indicating the areas of the country where the English language dialect is most similar to my own. This map makes intuitive sense to me—even though I’ve lived in Georgia for most of my life, my parents are both from New York State and I was born in New Jersey. If you’d like to take the dialect quiz yourself, you can access it at The quiz was developed by Joshua Katz, a PhD student at North Carolina State University.

Taking this quiz is a fascinating reminder that even within the US there are many different ways to pronounce a word and understand the concept behind that word. For instance, I never use the word “supper,” but there are people out there who use it interchangeably with the word “dinner,” and some more who actually use both and have a separate definition for each.

In business, we often develop vocabularies for models, metrics, and ideas and assume that others speak the same language as we do. Ask both a media buyer and a financial analyst to define the word “impression” to appreciate how far off this assumption is. As a consultant, I work across multiple industries and one of the biggest struggles beyond having to rapidly become an expert in a new field is learning to speak the language of that industry. One of the reasons Sublime offers introductory training courses on habits and psychology is because we want our clients to understand what we mean when we use words like “context,” “cue,” and “reinforcement.”

I also work with non-native English speaking clients, and language and communication is always something that I have to focus on and remember to factor into our interactions. I find myself pausing before using idioms and colloquial expressions to consider if my meaning is actually coming through.The next time you are writing emails or giving a presentation to people outside your company, industry, or geographic area, pay attention to your language. Don’t always assume everyone knows what you are saying.

January 21st, 2011

…And We’re Back!

By Sublime Behavior

Hello Habit Lens readers!  Neale and I took a few months off from blogging to focus on client work, business development, vacations, and writing (we have been working on a journal article to be published in the Journal of Brand Management later this year).

During our business development discussions, something that came up was whether or not social media and blogging was a good investment.  Marketers are often questioning the value of such endeavors, and we are no exception. In a world with limited cycles, we wanted to make sure our efforts were focused in the right places. And from a behavioral standpoint, the external reinforcement was not really there. Besides digging into page view analytics, the only tangible feedback we have about our entries are reader comments, which have been few.

Yet the feedback during our absence was quite interesting.  We’ve had several clients talk to us about entries they read here, and had a few readers write and ask about when the Habit Lens would be updated again.  And from our standpoint, we really enjoy writing.  We begin every workday riffing on some topic from current events and applying a habit-based perspective to it.  It’s fun to educate others and share our views, and it’s exciting to hear others’ opinions and engage in dialogue.

So the Habit Lens is back.  Our promise to the readers is to update more consistently (at least once a week) and provide quality discussions on the world of unconscious consumer behavior and habit-based marketing.  Our only request is that if you like what you read, if you have questions, topic suggestion, or (especially) if you disagree with what we’re saying, let us know!  Add our feed to your RSS viewers or bookmark our page.  We can’t wait to talk to you.

Thank you all for a fantastic 2010.  We are looking forward to an even better 2011 as we continue our quest to elevate marketing to brain science.

Warm Regards,

Kyle and Neale