Neuromarketing is PR

Neuromarketing is probably what Bill Hicks was really raging about in one of his most famous routines. Beefing up your brand with the help of clever, bespectacled men in white coats is de rigeur for big brands.

Neuromarketing helps brands to amplify their brand loyalty and powers profits. It’s been around for donkey’s years but little is known about it.

The science of branding is something I’m researching in more detail at the moment. Extra insight about the brain’s behaviour gives smart marketers and their creative agencies the ultimate edge.

Everybody already knows that a brand is not a logo. Most people know that you need to connect emotionally as well as rationally. Thanks to Kevin Roberts we know that Lovemarks provoke ‘loyalty beyond reason’.

A good starting point for newcomers to neuromarketing is a famous piece of research undertaken by Dr. P. Read Montague, a neuroscientist at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

When researchers monitored brain scans of 67 people who were given a blind taste test of Coca-Cola and Pepsi, each soft drink lit up the brain’s reward system, and the participants were evenly split as to which drink they preferred. But when the same people were told what they were drinking, activity in a different set of brain regions linked to brand loyalty overrode their original preferences. Three out of four said that they preferred Coca-Cola.

The study, published science journal Neuron, was the first to explore how cultural messages penetrate the human brain and shape personal preferences. Josh Braaton also has some thoughts around this and the book Buyology by Martin Lindstrom which are well worth checking out. There’s also a nice piece here which goes into more detail.

Now, while you’re watching Bill Hicks on marketing, I’m off to make a cup of PG Tips tea.



About Peter Davies

I'm a Manchester PR agency man. I work at RMS, the UK-based independent PR and marketing agency, I'm also a daddy and a football referee. Call me on 07779 033 016.
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