Thursday, October 30, 2008

How About A Little Buy-ology

That is the name of a new book that was just reviewed in the Wall Street Journal. You can read that review by clicking on Science Comes to Selling. It seems that marketers are using neuroscience to probe our brains to discover what really excites us and then they design their products accordingly. As always, caveat emptor.

Here are some excerpts:

"Marketers treat commodities as if they were people, with personality traits, and consumers as objects, with attributes that can be technically engineered."

"when an image of a Mini Cooper passed before" the eyes of subjects being scanned, a "back area of the brain that responds to faces came alive." Turns out it wasn't the Mini Cooper's "ultra rigid body" or "1.6L 16-valve alloy engine" that attracted consumers; it was its irresistible face."

"Drinking Coke more significantly increases blood flow in the medial prefrontal cortex because its ad campaigns, over the years, have so effectively associated Coke with sensations of warmth, security and childhood innocence."

"By tracking brain response, it (neuromarketing ) treats consumers themselves as objects: bundles of nerve centers that respond to different kinds of stimulus and form triggerable pathways as a result."

"But when neuromarketers attach personal traits to products, they are not falsely claiming that, say, a Mini Cooper actually is a "gleaming little person." What they are doing is adding a personality of warmth and fuzziness to the car, in the same way that the factory might add ventilated front disc brakes or cruise control. When you drive it, you will genuinely experience the sense of endearment that you might feel when surrounded by adorable children. Sure, it doesn't always work. But the intent is not to deceive."

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