Voice of a consumer

Posted in Uncategorized by Abhinaya Chandrasekhar on September 18, 2009

“I think corporations have become inhuman entities that merely regurgitate people and ideas and throw up on the unsuspecting consumer. They simply feed the consensual bs hallucination and suck everything in it’s path. ” – This is the voice of a consumer.

This statement kept me awake for many nights. Is this true? With neuro-marketing becoming more prominent, are we manipulating thoughts of a consumer? Especially, now that we have access to advanced scientific knowledge, are we extracting undue advantage over the consumers?

So, I asked this question to another consumer:

Q: Remember you bought that expensive chocolate box from Belgique chocolates the other day. Did you get back home wondering what made you buy? Its us! As marketers, we possess the power to influence your decision-making. Be it a necessary / unnecessary purchase, we drive it.

A: I would say “Good work!” If you guys made me buy that box of chocolates, you know what I want and I am glad somebody s paying attention to my wants.listen

This helped me realize that marketers are merely competing with each other for the consumer’s attention. He is still God. With the help of science and research, we understand what a consumer wants. What he needs are usually in the open. What he wants is buried deep within different layers like insecurity, sub-consciousness, financial stability, and more. A powerful want can snowball fast. Understanding this can also help in new product development.

What we do is uncover the hidden wants and make it a reality for the consumers. We give them what they want. Consumers are extremely intelligent and trying to manipulate one will be fatal.

But, what is really interesting is that there exists a set of consumers with the first mindset. How do we overcome this?

Emotional vs Rational

Posted in Uncategorized by Abhinaya Chandrasekhar on August 27, 2009

Emotions impact decisions. – Agreed

Emotions exercise a greater impact on decisions than rational thinking. – ?!

I know a lot of people are vigorously shaking their heads now. How can that be? I bought my Toyota last week after a lot of thinking. It was a very rational decision. My ipod nano was a necessity. I need it for my work outs every morning. I just had to buy the new shoes. My old ones were killing my feet.

So, the sleek design of the car, scent of fresh leather when you open the door, the magnetic aura that is wrapped around you when you sit behind the wheel did not aid to your decision making at all?

What about the increase in your “coolness quotient” thanks to the ipod nano. You feel like a true gizmo freak by owning the latest techie fads, irrespective of their requirement. Also, the shoes looked so pretty on Angelina’s feet. Im sure they would look just as good on mine.

This is what happens in the brain. Needs arise – emotions take over – rational justifications are formulated to reduce guilt. Most of the brain is dominated by automatic processes rather than deliberate thinking. A lot of what happens in the brain is emotional, not cognitive (Buyology).

I came across a very interesting concept known as mirroring neurons. Imagine a secluded beach. The sea is deep blue and is sparkling with the rays almost touching the water. The sand is a mixture of brown and white. There is a pleasant freshness in the air which you have been longing for. There is a gentle breeze blowing across your body and you do not want to leave the beach. You are content with the scenic beauty.

Im sure you have a far away look in your eyes yearning to atleast catch a glimpse of this wonderland.

Imagine finger nails scratching on a black board… screeeeeeeeeeechhhh…. Did you just wince? I am sure you did.

These neurons send signals to the brain which helps us experience what the other person is feeling. This is why, a lot of FMCG advertisements use celebrities. Its the best case scenario.Brain_by_moutoin

“She” uses this soap and is very beautiful. Though all our rationality points toward it being a money-making gimmick by advertisers, the signals are already sent to the brain. BEWARE!

More on neuromarketing coming up soon!