Is it possible to hack into the minds of consumers and influence their decisions?
Well, Neuromarketing says so 🤔.
What is Neuromarketing?
Neuromarketing is the field of marketing which uses medical technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging FMRI to study brains responses to marketing stimulitions and that could be like a message or an ad. Researchers used the FMRI to measure changes in activities in parts of the brain and to learn why consumers make the decision they do and what part of the brain is telling them to do it.
A popular example of this is a study done by a neuroscientist from the University of California; he scans brains of people watching Super Bowl ads in 2007, they used FMRI to measure neural activities and parts of the brain that triggers: language, emotions and everything else and some triggered positive responses but many of the of the ads actually provoqued fear and anxiety with Doritos being the only exception 🍠.
In another example, PayPal found commercial focusing on speed and convenience triggered the significantly higher response than those advertising that are focused on safety and security; they later designed the whole new campaign on just these findings.
Brands and Neuromarketing
So now that we know what neuro marketing is here are a few examples of how brands actually use it:
Sound and Color
Neuroscientists have known for years that sound and color have a significant impact on the human brain. It appears that sight and sound are strongly intertwined, so music with a powerful base makes people subconsciously attend to dark objects whereas music with the high frequencies shift attentions to light-colored objects.
For example, researchers collaborated with supermarket brands to see if the amount of bananas they sold could actually be influenced by manipulating the colors of the shelves or audio frequencies or the sound in the store. The color lightness was manipulated by creating both white and black shelves to stock the bananas on. The audio is manipulated by mixing the same supermarket music with either prominent high or low pitch frequencies; guess what the results were? it turned out that people buy almost twice as many bananas from the light shelf than the dark shelf when surrounded by high pitch music as opposed to low pitch one.
Direction of The Face
The direction of a face in a photo causes consumer's eye to point to the intended section. A study conducted by neuroscience marketing put a photo of a baby with the face looking at the viewers the result shows that the viewers were looking back at the baby when they put the second photo with the face looking towards the ad copy, the viewers started looking at that copy; with the help of eye tracking technology heat maps the study located the areas that attract the maximum attention of viewers and help marketers optimize placement for ad copy based on the direction of model's gase.
Many marketers rely on stock photography in order to personalize their website, this could be a quick way to show personality, "humanize" the brand but what should be considered when selecting the best option? Well, study shows that mood boosting images can affect customers willingness to spend.
Brands such as Campbell's Soup, Gerber and Frito-Lay have used Neuromarketing to redesign their packages. They exposed consumers to a product's packaging piece by piece, and record their reactions as positive, neutral or negative; and followed up with an in-depth interview to analyze specific points that eventually resulted in changes to elements such as color, text or imagery.
The food company Frito-Lay for instance, discover matte bags with pictures of potatoes did not trigger a negative response, whereas shiny bags as pictures of chips on them did. Within a month, they scrapped the shiny bags.
The Impact of Fonts
The book BrainFluence by Roger Dooley -which is a great book on the subject by the way- describes experiments markers conducted regarding fonts. Experiments conducted at the University of Michigan shows that consumer truly can be affected by simple versus complex fonts, if you need to convince a customer at line to perform some sort of task you should describe that task in simple, easy-to-read font. This of course goes without saying for all websites, forums, instructions, bills and so on and so forth; it needs to be easy to read and simple. The harder something to do or understand, the more friction it creates, the less likely people would take action.
But in the contrary, complex fonts aren't always bad.While simple, easy-to-read fonts are ideal for consumers to take actions, memory-recall is significantly boosted with complex fonts; so complex fonts are great for memory but this doesn't mean that you should use complex fonts for things like your logo, phone number or tagline, use this tactic for important information only on your site. Complex font will not only be more memorable, but also grab more attention.
Now we know what Neuromarketing is and how brands typically apply the learnings of Neuromarketing to improve their campaigns and massive genome positioning, you really don't need to be a practitioner of neuroscience or Neuromarketing to use that and leverage these learnings in your day to day campaigns. There's a lot of studies in Neuromarketing out there that you can take advantage of to improve your marketing performance. But if you want different marketing techniques check out The Marketing Trends For 2021.