In the new book Buyology, Martin Lindstrom expolores what many in advertising have always know, that most purchases are driven by emotion at a subconscious level. The problems and shortcomings of traditional consumer insight and focus groups have long been debated. Neuromarketing research uses advanced FMRI brain scanning to see what parts of the brain are activated in response and decision making processes.
Here are a few of the claims and insights that I pulled from 2 interviews with the author:
Most people will select Pepsi over Coke in blind taste tests. However, when allowed to see what brands they are drinking the numbers for Coke rise dramatically and the preference for Pepsi plummets.
60% of the time the selecting of a product brand in a supermarket takes place in less than 4 seconds, not an adequate amount of time for the purchase to be the result of rational decision making.
In the course of the average life, 2 million commercials will be viewed. The equivalent of 8 hours a day, 7 days a week for 6 years.
The practice of squeezing a lime slice into a bottle of Corona was started by 2 California students just to see if they could get the idea to spread.
Product placement rarely works.
Warning labels on cigarettes, even the very graphic labels used in Europe lead to an increase in smoking. I'd never seen those labels... wow.
USA Today: 'Buyology' offers a peek inside buyers' heads
NPR Interview: The 'Buyology' Behind The Way We Shop
KERA THINK Interview (iTunes Link)