As neuroscience opens the brain to marketers' scrutiny, the electrical flashes that arise in response to stimuli make it increasingly apparent that what drives purchase decision making is actually a primal mechanism of the mind -- attachment. This signal of a potent emotional attachment is the foundation for brand success. It's a form of primal brand magic, built on a near-mythical brand story that unconsciously transports one from the mundane to the imaginational, transforming our inner world and inspiring us to buy.
New research sheds more light on the strong ties between an original mind and a troubled one.
In my last Search Insider, I took you on a neurological tour that gave us a glimpse into how our brains are built to read. Today, let's dig deeper into how our brains guide us through an online hunt for information.
How do we read? How do we take the arbitrary, human-made code that is the written word and translate it into thoughts and images that mean something to our brain, an organ that had its basic wiring designed thousands of generations before the appearance of the first written word? What is going on in your skull right now as your eyes scan the black squiggly lines that make up this column?
If you’re reading this blog post on a computer, mobile phone or e-reader, please stop what you’re doing immediately. You could be making yourself stupid. And whatever you do, don’t click on the links in this post. They could distract you from the flow of my beautiful prose and narrative. This is the alarm currently being rung by some in the bell towers of technology.
We've seen and heard this commercial a thousand times, the one with the flawless model posing in an ad for facial-blemish cream... an extremely powerful cleaner that removes every trace of dirt in one effortless wipe... the picture-perfect baby modeling the 100% waterproof diaper. In these scenarios, there's not even a hint of a single red spot, a stubborn stain, or a bedraggled mother. This is the story of the past 50 years of commercials, and they all have one thing in common: perfect brands in perfect environments. But there is a strong case to be made for imperfection. Nothing is ever perfect, and even when it appears to be so, we are subconsciously looking for the flaw. Because our point of connection lies in imperfection--it's what makes something unique and, ultimately, authentic.
The recent resurgence of "multisensory marketing" and "neuromarketing" strategies (with Martin Lindstrom's "buyology" being the main catalyst) is obviously shaking the trees in the CMO forest. And it's about time. Judy Shapiro recently wrote that Lindstrom's "news" has been applied by marketers all along. We politely disagree. While the objective here is not to endorse Lindstrom, we'd rather like to ask the provocative question: Are brand builders really using all the tools in their box? Sure, our organization provides information about the application of scent for marketing and branding purposes. Still, we do not recommend scent for scent's sake. Because of the way the human brain is wired, an incongruent or inconsistent application would confuse the consumer rather than help her make a decision.