What Neuromarketing Means To Consumers – A Talk With Diana Lucaci

On June 18, 2012

Diana Lucaci (CEO of True Impact – Neuromarketing Research & Strategy; Canadian Chair for the Neuromarketing Science & Business Association) joined Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s radio show (The Late Shift) on Newstalk1010 this month to talk about what neuromarketing means to consumers. Diana Lucaci has a background in neuroscience and 10 years experience in marketing communications.
You can listen here to the recording of the radio show:

I will highlight below some important pieces of information that Diana Lucaci provided during this discussion:

  • Neuromarketing refers to a new tool that marketers have at their disposal to understand what people want.
  • There is a big difference between what people say they think (either verbally or in writing) and what they actually do (eg. 87% of consumers will say they would buy an eco-friendly bottle of juice, but the sales don’t reflect this), and this represents a major challenge for companies. So this is where neuromarketing comes in, to fill this gap with measurements directly from the brain (using brainmetrics, the data is objective and accurate, compared to self reports; also using brains scans eliminates misundertandings and wrong questions being asked).
  • Research examples:
    • When researchers showed packaging for chips to women, they found that shiny packaging trigger areas in the brain that are associated with guilt (study by PepsiCo).
    • In 2010, Campbell’s Soup had a need to sell more soup, but they knew that people became more budget conscious and they had a low tolerance for price increases. So the only thing they could change was the packaging. For this, they made a neuromarketing study (with 1500 participants). In the end, they modified the design of the label by removing the spoon (because it wasn’t associated with any type of emotional engagement) and updating the bowl to look more modern.
    • A study with 600 women who got an empty Tiffany box, where researchers measured their heart beat and blood pressure, found out that when receiving the box, their heart rate went up by 20%. There was no logo on the box, the whole reaction was associated to its blue color. This triggered the emotional association women have with engagement, marriage or children.
    • Chrysler employed a neuromarketing study where they showed 66 different pictures of cars to men (1/3 were sport cars, 1/3 sedans, 1/3 small cars). Sport cars triggered an area in their brain that was associated with the reward. So before the rational part of the brain shows up, the emotional side already made a decision.
  • This is a very similar tool to market research, but neuromarketing is not the recipe for creating ads that will influence and brainwash people to buy something they don’t want, as the act of decision making is complex and it takes multiple areas of the brain to fire at the same time to drive you to make an action. So there is no single buy button that marketers can press and the ultimate decision rests to the consumer.
  • Most of our decisions are made at the subconscious level (instinctual), and there is no decision without emotion.
  • After defining and balancing needs and wants, we need to identify our emotions in order to be self-aware of our state and stay on budget (shopping lists may help; also not shopping while we’re hungry).

If you want more examples, check Diana’s presentation with results from neuromarketing studies.

By the way, for a limited time, True Impact (Toronto, Canada) is selecting companies to be part of a Neuromarketing Pilot Study. So if you’re close to Toronto, take advantage of this opportunity!

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