Last week we reviewed basic brain anatomy, or structure, and physiology, or function. Now it is time to take a look at how the dynamics of marketing are processed neurologically.
We receive information from our surrounding environment to be processed by the brain via stimuli, such as sights, sounds, smells, tastes and tactile sensations. These data are transferred along sensory neurons to the brain for dispensation, and are stored in short term memory long enough to be routed to appropriate action centers. Dependent on the nature of the stimuli, e.g. danger, pleasure, etc., the suitable reactions are commanded; flight or fight, arousal, and so forth. If the brain merits the information important enough, it is transferred into long term memory.
As humans, we are visual creatures, dependent on eyesight more so than any other sense. Images are therefore supremely important to strategic marketing decisions. In many cases the consumer may rely on visual cues alone to initiate and complete the buying decision process. This procedure is lengthy and involved, and will serve as the subject of a later post, but for now it is relevant simply in the context of occurrence. Proper images for the marketplace offering as well as the brand are imperative in the communication of value and benefit to the prospective customer.
One image which strikes a familiar chord is that of the human face. Pattern recognition is an enhancement that modern man has refined exceedingly, having evolved from tendencies to seek out and identify other people. The tendency is so strong that shapes of religious figures are often seen in foods such as cookies and sandwiches. Incorporation of faces into visually integrated marketing communications endeavors can enhance the strategy and offer advantage in promotion as well as brand recognition.
Care should be exercised in image selection; a well-known cautionary tale is related in many marketing classes about an instantly recognizable baby food brand using an image of a cute infant on the labeling of the product. Sales were healthy on a global basis with one exception – certain markets in Africa were realizing dismal returns. Further research revealed a tendency for food packaging to be marked with pictures of the ingredients, and the sight of the baby on the label was appalling to buyers!
While this article has focused on images, there are many other parameters and characteristics of interest to neurological marketing. These will be covered in future posts as part of an ongoing report on this very important tactical approach. We invite you to continue to follow Grannelle every week for new insights on the ever developing fields of social media and eMarketing.