Saturday, January 22, 2011

Buy.Ology - How Everything We Believe About Why We Buy Is Wrong

Author:       Martin Lindstrom
Published:   2009
Publisher:    Random House Business Books
Paperback: 256 pages
Buy from Flipkart

The sales figures are indicators of the effectiveness of an advertising campaign or a brand. But they don't tell us why they are effective. Market surveys are also not reliable in answering this question since the buyer responses and their buying patterns don't match. The terabytes of consumer demographics and buying pattern data collected  and mined using sophisticated software at the best will spew out correlations like for e.g. a young man aged between 30 and 35, driving a SUV and living in a suburb is twice likely to prefer brand X over brand Y. This may help in identifying a target market but  the question what is it that triggers the buying decision remains unanswered.

Neuromarketing is an emerging field where sophisticated techniques like fMRI and EEG are used to study the responses of the brain cells to the marketing stimuli. This will help us to learn why a buyer bought what he bought and what part of the brain told him to take that decision.  Thus neuromarketing may help in creation of Purple Cow (remarkable) products and services and advertisements that will entice the buyers and make money for the producers.

This book describes  the author's pioneering three‐year, $7 million dollar neuromarketing study conducted on over 2000 people from around the world using fMRI and EEG. The results of this study reveals  why so much of what we thought we knew about why we buy is wrong. It shatters several advertising myths and unearths some interesting facts. 

A very interesting read with lots of fascinating examples !
Visit the author's website for more stuff.

Key Takeaways:

  • Product placements in TV shows and movies will be effective only if they form an integral part of the storyline.
  • Everything we observe (or read about) someone else (especially a celebrity)  buying or using, we want to imitate as well. This is due to mirror neurons firing up in our brain.
  • Purchasing decisions are driven by dopamine one of the chemicals in brain which produces short spurts of seductive pleasure sensation.
  • Subliminal advertising which are designed to appeal to our dreams, fears, wants and desires, are more effective as compared to logo or brand images in stimulating our interest in a product or compelling us to buy. 
  • Rituals, superstitions and religion can exert a potent influence on how and what we buy.
  • Impulse buying is in reality built on a lifetime of associations - some positive, some negative - that we are not consciously aware of. When we make an instinctive decision about what to buy our brain summons and scans incredible amount of memories, facts and emotions and squeezes them  into a rapid response (called somatic marker) that dictates what you put inside your shopping cart.
  • Visual images are far more effective and more memorable when they are coupled with another sense - like sound or smell. (Sensory Branding)
  • Sex, beauty and celebrities do not necessarily sell products since they hijack the consumer's attention away  from the informative content in the advertisements.

No comments:

Post a Comment