Is marketing addictive?

January 29, 2009

Is marketing addictive? Yes, according to brand management expert Martin Lindstrom in his new book, "Buy.ology," which interprets the results of the world's largest neuromarketing study. According to Lindstrom, the study demonstrated that the brain's pleasure receptors engage when people view images associated with products that give them pleasure, no matter what the message is. Case in point: Lindstrom and crew had smokers view different images while in a CAT Scan. When shown the Surgeon General's warning on cigarette packs – you know, the ones that warn of lung and mouth cancer – the pleasure hotspots in smokers' brains lit up. Despite the dire warning, the image itself influenced smokers to feel better. "Buy.ology" is a study on why we buy. One obvious motivator is pleasure, though the triggers for pleasing emotions are not so easily discovered. If the Surgeon General's campaign is actually working against its own cause, why do they continue to enforce cigarette warning labels? Alternatively, this research can help us discover psychological motivators that we never knew existed. Is there something about your company that can trigger a pleasurable response? When it comes to purchasing, logic only goes so far. Often, preconceived notions, uncontrollable urges and emotion seep in and actually make the decisions for us. The quest to identify those motivations has long been a goal of brand science; but Lindstrom has opened the door to an exciting new frontier. Amazing. Discovery time, boys and girls. Think in terms of brain impulses, not logic ... What is it about your company that pleases your customers, psychologically?

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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