Neuromarketing: what are we studying: products, consumers or human beings?

Neuroscientific studies have become tools applied in marketing, advertising and market research to understand the role that consumers’ subconsciousness plays in their tastes and purchasing preferences.

Common marketing strategies are based on quantitative and qualitative research, which believes that the best way to find out the needs of consumers is to ask them directly. But the truth is that 90% of buying behavior comes from the unconscious and it would be very difficult for people to explain the decisions that come from their mind. Thus, the explanations people give for their actions are not necessarily accurate or reliable and these surveys have a “biased” value.

Retailers’ relentless need to know the consumer drives companies to invest millions of dollars in new product creation and advertising that may or may not influence the market. In fact, it is said that nine out of every ten products launched on the market fail.

Based on the above, neuromarketing is able to offer a better understanding of consumer behavior. Because it allows us to use specialized neuroscientific studies to determine the truth of why and how to buy. Know how you make your purchasing decisions and how we can influence them; It tells us that it’s time to change our paradigms and focus on finding out what the subconscious influences buying because it is, in turn, a decision.

This is why these neuroscientific studies have become tools that are applied in marketing, advertising and market research, because they allow us to understand the important role that the subconscious mind of consumers plays in their tastes and preferences when buying and to offer them exactly the products they are looking for.

Dr. Jaime Romano presents in his book “Neuropyramid, Base del Neuromarketing“; 6 subconscious brain processes involved in decision making. We can understand their respective functions as they intervene in purchasing decisions:

1) Attention: our conscience is awakening.

2) Sensory activation: A stimulus that is detected through 5 senses (smell, taste, sight, touch and hearing) is perceived.

3) Emotions: It refers to interacting with any of the 8 basic emotions: anger, sadness, surprise, trust, fear, disgust, anticipation, and joy.

4) Knowledge: The thought process is carried out and includes stages of interpretation of information that comes from outside, therefore the interconnected information that is stored in our memory aims to create a global perception.

5) Regulator: A process where the subconscious and unconscious come together to create a more rational conceptualization and deliberation before an action is taken.

6) Action: The final process in which movement, language or behavior is manifested and the final action (purchase) is performed.

This sequence of mental events takes place in our brain, and in just two seconds all levels of processing, sensory, emotional and cognitive, pass. In other words, to understand the message it is necessary to understand attention. Information enters through the sensory organs (five senses) where the processing and search for similar information stored in the memory begins, the brain synthesizes and transforms the understood, debates into what is desired and felt, until it becomes an action.

These explanations seek to add value to the understanding of the consumer by seeing him as a human being who reflects the behavior that leads him to various actions and decisions, including purchases. It is necessary to create an influence on your desires but from your mind that connects with your heart.

How is this process interpreted in packaging innovation?

In the packaging industry, we are always looking for innovations in them, in order to attract the attention of our consumer, and this same process mentioned above is manifested by the consumer in front of the shelf.

It is said that what the brain recognizes most are shapes and colors, and if we get more involved in the consumer’s subconscious, we will find memories and experiences stored in their memory that lead them to direct their attention to our new development, or connect their interaction with the packaging, with past experiences that were pleasant. Therefore, a higher percentage of success of the product is ensured since the consumer is indirectly accustomed to use it.

We see an example of all this mainly in food products. There are few who dare to innovate a different form of their packaging and limit themselves to a generic form, because they determine what will be the best usability for the consumer. In a way, it is a success because the consumer already associates the packaging according to the type of product (the brain has already registered it), so: milk carton-aseptic, beer-glass, ketchup-five; But when we dare to change the conventional way we are used to seeing a product, we automatically set it apart on the shelf and from the competition.

Many products and services carry out special studies on their already known target, in order to identify all those pleasant experiences and characteristics that are stored in their subconscious, which can be reflected in their products in order to launch them with greater certainty into success.

The answer to the enigma: what happens in the brain and thinking of consumers when they are faced with an innovation? This is what makes us unique human beings: “we do what we think and what we remember.”


Romano Jaime

Neuropyramids, Base del Neuromarketing

Editorial office of LID Mexicana, 2012

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