Human Behavior is Product Management

Will Leach is the CEO at Mindstate Group.


He thinks he has the best job in the world: studying the human brain to figure out why people do what they do. As CEO of Mindstate Group, which helps brands grow through behavioral science-based research and marketing, and author of a book called, “Marketing to Mindstates,” he’s pretty much an expert on the human mind.

What’s really interesting is the way he is able to make the case for infusing behavioral science into both product and marketing work by focusing on longevity:

“If you’re creating products that tap into people’s emotional desires, that’s forever,” he says. “The biggest thing I see in product development is that people are timely, they have a new technology, a new feature; they build it in, and it’s great for two or three years. And then youre constantly in this, I've got to come up with a new timely feature,’ as opposed to building out a strategy around a timeless desire, a timeless human need, a human truth. You design around that, you’ve got a business that can last 20, 30, 40 years”.

Will’s perspective on how to do this is equally interesting. He outlines three factors around which products and marketing should be developed: 

  • Helping people meet their aspirational goals
  • Understanding people’s motivations
  • Providing people with a sense of belonging

Additionally, as part of bridging science to marketing, he suggests you need to think about your customer as the hero: “If you focus on making the customer a hero in your advertisement, making the customer a hero in your products you develop, it … makes you focus on their desires…” he says. “You must speak to your customers’ desires, your customers’ motivations as the hero. And then just integrate: ‘And here’s how my product can help you become the hero.’”

Hear more from Will —including how to apply behavioral science principles to both marketing and product — on this episode of This Is Product Management.

Download the transcript:

Here are some highlights:

  • What does “mindstate” mean?
  • Bridging science to marketing
  • Making your customer the hero
  • Three things around which to design your product
  • Understanding laddering

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