The psychoanalyst says: “We will probe your unconscious emotions and desires.”
The cognitive behavioral therapist says: “You have maladaptive behaviors? I have solutions.”
Marketing comes into play at many points in the consumer decision journey (or purchase funnel, if you like). Marketing, like psychoanalysis, speaks to consumer emotion, past (and present) desires, identity, ego, and id.
Merchandising, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), addresses a particular phase of a person’s experience: the evaluation or consideration phase of the shopping process.
In this metaphor, maladaptive behaviors are really just questions or concerns. Solutions are rich product-detail content. CBT deals with the present time and thoughts or actions that are troubling to an individual. Merchandising provides answers, in the moment, to the questions that come up during exposure to and familiarity with brands.
Check out our previous merchandising vs. marketing comic.