Neuroscience And Brand Connections

Guest AuthorOctober 23, 20093833 min


As neuroscience opens the brain to marketers’ scrutiny, the electrical flashes that arise in response to stimuli make it increasingly apparent that what drives purchase decision making is actually a primal mechanism of the mind-attachment. This signal of a potent emotional attachment is the foundation for brand success. It’s a form of primal brand magic, built on a near-mythical brand story that unconsciously transports one from the mundane to the imaginational, transforming our inner world and inspiring us to buy.

A brand experience has the potential to actually transform our brain chemistry. The experience of a product/service and its messaging, can be transformational in a sensory way and emotionally. More importantly, at the end of a satisfying product experience, our feelings have been transformed into a strong emotional attachment (magical/mystical bond) that endures until proven otherwise.

Fostering magical brand connections is particularly important in this “new normal” era of consumer frugality because an emotional connection creates consumers loyalty. But how can CMOs begin the quest for the magic brand grail. These three keys will unlock the doors to begin the journey.

1. Understand The “Right Brain” Of Your Category

“Brand Marketers always have a deep understanding of their category’s “left brain” – the numbers and functional benefits. The “right brain” attributes often are unexplored. What visual, sensorial and emotional benefits can your brand deliver and own – that work together with your product’s attributes – to create an unbreakable bond that turns your consumers into brand enthusiasts? This can start with highly projective techniques like portrait building, present and future brand scenarios, and story creation with all of the internal teams that have a stake in the brand: marketing, design, R&D, senior management and your various agencies.

2. Understand The Sensorial And Emotional Palette Of Your Audience

A lot of research is still left brain, Q&A focused. To unveil the magic in your brand, using highly right brained projective techniques – like image sorts, drawing and writing – can get at the more elusive sensorial and emotional attributes that are important to YOUR consumer and relevant, meaningful and inspiring in YOUR category. A great example is the method brand, which disrupted the established home cleaning market with a “detox your home” message and a visual position that brought that message to life using simple, clean, highly sensorial shapes and colors that intrigue, inspire and motivate one to buy.

3. Create A Visual Position

Brand positions are often created in words, though people experience brands primarily visually. BUT…a brand’s packaging, advertising and overall presence in the world starts with visual symbolism, not words. And unlike our pets at home, who have heightened senses of smell and hearing, humans are primarily sight driven. 70% of our sense receptors are in our eyes and 80% of what we learn about the world comes to us visually…yet most brands do not have a visual position that brings the written positioning and story to life.

Visual positioning defines the symbolic territory a brand can occupy to create distinction and often includes: overall personality, color and texture palettes, movement (upward like Gillette Mach3 or explosive and outward like Gillette Fusion), energy and other qualities that will unleash your brand’s magic.

Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: Cheryl Swanson, Toniq

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Guest Author


  • Axle Davids

    October 23, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Aristotle said “The Soul never thinks without a picture.” Seems he was right.

    Axle Davids


  • Donny Gamble

    October 25, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    I recently read in the Immutable Laws of Branding that it is very important to choose a company name that could be patent protected as well copyrighted. That is why you see such distinct company names as Google, Amazon, and eBay develop such great brands because nobody can copy them.


  • Emily Brackett

    October 27, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    The idea of Visual Positioning makes a lot of sense to me. With my graphic design clients I always want to make sure their branding system is rich with: type, color, imagery, texture, etc. It is a great way to build from a logo to a more fully developed brand identity.


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