Neuromarketing is getting consumers’ attention for buying a product or service through stimulating their unconscious that lie behind their attitudes, feelings and behavior.
“The reptilian, or “old,” brain drives your customers’ buying decisions” . Early in the 1950’s James Vicary a marketing expert used the flashing of messages embedded in a movie to influence sales.
These messages were not visible to the conscious but the subconscious was very aware. In an experiment in a movie theatre the message “Hungry, Eat Popcorn” and “Drink Coca-Cola” was flashed during the viewing of a Kim Novak film.
Over a six week period the messages were viewed by movie patrons on alternate days. The days the messages were flashed saw an increase in popcorn sales by 57.7 percent and an increase in Coca-Cola sales by 18.1 percent. Startling as well as sobering.
Is James Vicarys’ method neuromarketing? The answer is no, offering subliminal messaging is in fact illegal and is not used as a marketing tool. The effects of neuromarketing on the public at large are inconclusive at best and can be summed up in the following.
Neuromarketing attempts to take a primitive emotion such as rage, joy, hunger, and the like and relate it to a product. As an example if someone were selling greeting cards then perhaps the joy of celebrating Christmas with ones family in conjunction with a family member opening a card can be considered a form of neuromarketing.
Game developers have been using it for years by showing the relationship of living in a fantasy world where a person has no cares and can become anything they want. The draw of living in a fantasy realm where you are king can in fact be habit forming as many children and adults can attest too.
Taking the same element one step further, if the influence of a game is that powerful then to associate it with a product/service may give an advantage to a company. The premise behind neuromarketing is to bypass the natural adult mechanism of right and wrong and offer the retailers alternatives.
As a final example a homeless man stands on the street with a sign “I am homeless. PLEASE HELP”. Although this may invoke some sympathy and monetary compensation what if the sign read, “What if YOU were hungry!”? By this simple change marketer Patrick Renvoisé found that the message increased the more guttural senses of a person viewing the sign and therefore increased the contributions.
Are the examples I presented neuromarketing, who is to say? In the final analysis the following can best be said. Marketers have for years tried to find the Holy Grail to the subconscious and bypass reason. It does not exist. Forward thinkers like Norman Vincent Peale, Robert Schuler, Rich Devos, Tony Dungy, Billy Graham and many more have reasonably offered that it is the positive aspect of anything that builds confidence and ultimately sales. There is no trick, no sleight of hand, and no method for duping the consumer. It is the truth, the simple truth that will influence a person. Build trust in your product by offering the truth and you will be successful beyond your dreams. Impart the truth in marketing and you will follow a well-worn trail blazed by the greatest minds of all time. After all the lies that have been told to the consumers, the truth will be a refreshing gift.