We might consciously detest placebos, but our bodies and minds embrace them.
A bar of chocolate wrapped in a regar purple cover that appears like satin will taste finer than that same chocolate sold in a transparent plastic cover. The quality of chocolate, as measured by a food scientist, is separate from these embellishments. But our minds cannot tell the difference.
In several blind taste tests, Coca-cola has lost out to Pepsi. But once you put wrappers on the drink, it is Coca-cola that prevails due to its stronger brand. The effect of the wrappers were real. Both drinks taste better, thanks to their wrappers. And the difference isn’t in the drinker’s eye or the tongue either. Regions of theier brain were found to respond to this difference.
Using a placebo is to wrap a product in a story that has little to do with the product itself. Just like sugar that is shaped and packaged like a pill. Given that the placebo effect is real, we can use it to our advantage. Once we have done the hard-work of creating an excellent product, we can then wrap it in a placebo that amplifies customer delight.