Spark and Spike of Neuromarketing

Posted on Jun 16 2013 - 12:00am by Fayaz

The Article is authored by Divyanshu Kumar Singh  from IIM, Lucknow and is the First prize winner of June article writing contest conducted by Marketing Bloggers.



The purpose of this article is to provide insights, developments and current trends happening in the world in terms of consumer buying behaviour. The article would provide the understanding of nature and scope of market research in the field of neuromarketing. The article will also discuss critical factors involved in buying behaviour activity and how a single neuron activity towards certain items supersedes every other activity. The aim of this paper is to focus on various perceptions that could run in the mind of consumers during purchase activity- qualitative as well as quantitative neurons running continuously in sub conscious mind to influence brain activity.


 Figure 1:  Confusion in buying

Figure 1: Confusion in buying

How do we decide to buy a certain item? What activity influences us in making a buying decision? Answer to all these questions lies in the subconscious and non-conscious drivers of the brain activity which forces us to buy certain things. Among all plethoras of options running in the mind, there is one neuronal activity which runs superior to all and hence pressurizes our mind to buy the item related to that activity. Brain maps such signals and body acts accordingly. So, it’s all neurons and sensory activities receiving spikes of feedback from outside world and reverting back with the most suited image created in the mind. All this subconscious, non-conscious, cognitive, affective response to market stimuli lies under the domain of buzzword Neuromarketing which refers to understanding of the brain subconscious activity with respect to outside market stimuli. Many large scale companies such as HUL, P&G, Pepsi, Frito-Lay are constantly trying to read the consumers mind via neuro marketing techniques during advertising or launch of a product.

Brain behind Neuromarketing

Neuromarketing has its origin in the late 1990s in the labs of Harvard University where group of psychologists were trying to understand the major thinking part of brain activity including emotions, pains in the subconscious level of brain activity that goes below the level of controlled awareness. In the process, they define the basic unit of brain activity as “meme”. Meme refers to unit of historical information store in the brain. Large number of meme units of similar kinds refers to remembrance of a particular thing for a long time. The word “Neuromarketing” was coined later by Ale Smidts in 2002.

Neuromarketing- Altering the marketing minds

Brand and product management through consumer behaviour is more of an influencing art rather than a marketing tactics. Neuromarketing finds its importance in revealing the taste of the consumers as per their gender composition, emotional connect, brand importance. Nowadays packaging, messaging, advertisements, marketing themes such as ambush, subliminal, guerrilla are all influenced by the brain waves action of Neuromarketing. Neuromarketing is primarily used nowadays to better understand consumers’ wants and needs and point consumers in the right direction towards right fit by tapping the ‘pleasure center’ of the consumers and then using marketing science tactics for any product launch.

Brain Behind Neuro Marketing

Figure 2: Neuro functioning of brain during buying

The new intelligent consumer dialogue

In such an advance social media network and constantly changing buying behaviour, neuromarketing signals a direct new brain to brain shared emotion. Every firm, organization and community whosoever is dealing with consumer or employer is trying to satisfy the needs and wants in order to retain the consumer and maintain long term relationship for better sales of their products. Neuronal sensory system drives consumer thoughts and behaviour towards anything and thus appeals to consumer wants, needs and desires. Neuromarketing techniques serve as a medium to gain the core of brain activity towards lucrative items, presented and posted in a marketing world.

Marketing Marketing Marketing

7 wonders of Neuromarketing

Decision buying and consumer behaviour is highly reflected by the below mentioned seven tactics of neuromarketing:

  • Be visual: the study by neuro marketers suggests that any item should reflect visibility in front of target audience and appeals to the desire of the consumer. Visibility matters much more than the content description.
  • Create contrast: Since the plethora of products are available in the market for attracting customers, sale and maintaining customer base, any firm should have some USP associated with the product launch. That USP should posses contrast, should stand out among other products and should truly reveal the essence of launch.
  • “Firsts and Lasts” push: A good marketing strategy on any product is something which could capture the mind of customer in its first launch and left an everlasting impression. In such a busy and competitive lifestyle, neuro marketers suggest an ideology of “first impression is the last impression.”
  • Emotional connect: To influence brain activity, any product should have an emotional connect with the consumer mind to persuade him towards buying proposition. Brain to brain association of product with consumers is essentially important for success of product.
  • Keep it simple: Any complicated and complex terminology requires lot of thinking and interpretation. People are too busy to give a minute of thoughts on product. They immediately carry an image of product which has simple but lucrative demonstration in the outlets.
  • Concreteness: Simplicity and concreteness is the guru mantra influencing buying decision and creating positive image in the consumers mind.
  • Make it personal: Product should be directly associated with the needs of consumer. No matter how much personifying a demonstration will be, it would carry no meaning and importance until and unless it is related to the needs, wants and desires of consumer.

Marketing Strategy

Recent trends in Neuromarketing Strategy

Packaging and Marketing Messages

Neuroscience finds its importance in attracting customers through lucid and lucrative packaging sense and messages conveyed to customers for a particular product. Creating marketing messages to tune accordingly to the mind of customer perception towards product is achieved through Neuromarketing techniques of electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) which describes the change in neuronal activity of brain after going through the details of product or the way product is launched in the consumer market.

Figure 3: Packaging to influence customers

Figure 3: Packaging to influence customers

Societal Relevance

Neuromarketing through various brain mapping functions is helpful in several kind of consultancy and provide appropriate solutions. Neuromarketing provide an object oriented research methodology to track the problem and then looking for solution on the basis of evidence collected. Such decisions in use of Neuromarketing techniques would be beneficial in public policy decisions related to health and society well being.

Figure 4: Health related messages

Figure 4: Health related messages

Tourism Sector

Motivational world of travel agency and package tourists rapidly uses psychology and neuromarketing strategy methods to attract customers during tourism period, holiday, vacations and during festive seasons. The package tourism and travel agency track the tourist mind in each season and comes up with various lucrative schemes for homes or stay deals during vacation, food, meals and full day tourist package by offering several incentives to earn revenue.

Figure 5: Neuro activity stimulus while going for drive

Figure 5: Neuro activity stimulus while going for drive


Brand equity and management

Neuromarketing techniques have been deployed in pilot testing where group of consumers from local regions are assembled and they are required to specify the characteristics of range of products without letting them knowing the product name. Similar to Pepsi-Coke blind taste test, neuromarketing methods were used to gain insights on the taste of soft drinks in different regions and thereby improving upon to enhance the brand value.

Figure 6: Brand Perception

Figure 6: Brand Perception

Green Ecosystem strategy

There are been lots of talks in preserving ecosystem and making the environment pollution free. Emphasis has been given to adopt techniques to change the psychology of consumers towards use of materials which harm our ecosystem such as poly bags, plastic materials, use of petrol  diesel run vehicles, infra wave emission mobile technology and others non bio-degradable materials. Neuromarketing helps in capturing the psyche of consumers and tempting them to use the eco friendly materials by developing options which suits the consumer needs and provides pollution free surroundings.

Figure 7: Green Mobile Technology

Figure 7: Green Mobile Technology

Medical Treatment and Prevention

Neuromarketing finds its importance in spreading messages related to disease free nation and several campaigns are promoted in rural and semi urban areas to increase vaccination and medical facility in the areas through proper region related population understanding.

Figure 8: Making consumer conscious about cigarettes

Figure 8: Making consumer conscious about cigarettes



Neuromarketing certainly impels the human mind towards marketing stimulus in terms of buying, taking decisions, brand perception and will surely be driving the future consumer behaviour and attitudes It is a new marketing game which moulds the consumer behaviour, perception and provide new insights about anything which could have spiked in his mind due to neuro activity. Such brain response towards certain mood, personality would surely be helpful for future marketers in better marketing research and neuromarketing would be fruitful for companies to create an impact in the mind of consumers.

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About the Author

Fayaz is the founder of Marketing Bloggers. Apart from the jibber-jabber he is Human by birth, Engineer by mistake, Marketer by Choice.. That says it all :)

4 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Vatsal Sethi June 16, 2013 at 1:06 am -

    Excellent Article!

    • Divyanshu June 23, 2013 at 10:55 pm -

      Thanx a lot vatsal for the apprecation!!

  2. Juliana Branco June 23, 2013 at 9:54 pm -

    Perfect article! Helped me a lot!

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