Most Desired Brands: a Neuromarketing Ranking

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Most Desired Brands

Buyology Inc. has released its “first annual” list of the most desired brands in the U.S. Of interest to Neuromarketing readers is that the list is based on the firm’s Neurotypes brand profiling technique, which uses a combination of EEG brain monitoring and eye-tracking data. First, here are Buyology’s top brands:

Top 20 Most Desired Brands in the World
Rank Women Men
#1 Johnson & Johnson Crest
#2 Sony BMW
#3 Kleenex National Geographic
#4 National Geographic Panasonic
#5 MasterCard Hyundai
#6 Google Kleenex
#7 Amazon Coca-Cola
#8 Visa Microsoft
#9 General Electric Tide
#10 Toshiba Lexus
#11 Crest Apple
#12 Microsoft Bed Bath & Beyond
#13 Disney Ford
#14 Target Animal Planet
#15 Tropicana Hitachi
#16 BMW Mercedes-Benz
#17 Febreze FedEx
#18 Ford Procter & Gamble
#19 Olay Hallmark
#20 Chase Geico


The actual methodology used to produce this brand ranking is a bit sketchy. (The Buyology release is here, and currently heads the rankings as being most desired brands in the U.S., while the table itself says “world.”) Buyology uses a matrix of four primary and four secondary attributes they call “neurotypes,” which they define as,

Neurotypes™ (non-conscious relationships) quantitatively determine which of sixteen relationships a brand or business currently has for a given target audience and the relative strength of the relationship, or signal strength, relative to competitors and other, beacon brands who, although they may be outside the category, have successfully established similar relationships.

Their matrix looks like this:
Buyology Inc. Neurotypes

Data Collection

The details of how brands were assigned to each category aren’t given, but the Buyology website does offer this description of their approach:

Buyology has developed proprietary physiological measurements based on brain and eye reaction to marketing stimulus that directly impacts in-market performance. These measures are collected either via Central Location Testing utilizing medical grade EEG and state-of-the art eye tracking equipment or via a global pre-recruited in-home panel via web-based stimuli and Bluetooth EEG collection equipment.

Buyology EEG

More Questions?

While intriguing, without more data these rankings raise more questions than they answer. Are “Awe,” “Superiority,” “Harmony,” and “Exploration” really the four key attributes of a brand? And is it possible to measure them with EEG and eye-tracking if they are?

And, the most important question, do men really desire Bed, Bath, & Beyond as much as this ranking suggests? 🙂

By |February 2nd, 2011|

About the Author:

Roger Dooley is the author of Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing (Wiley). He is the primary author at Neuromarketing, and writes at Entrepreneur and Forbes. Learn more at RogerDooley.com, and follow him on Twitter at @rogerdooley.


  1. Cindy February 2, 2011 at 10:57 am - Reply

    My first notice is women have 2 credit cards in the list, but men don’t have any. Intriguing…

    • Roger Dooley
      Twitter: rogerdooley
      February 2, 2011 at 12:03 pm - Reply

      Good point, Cindy. I’m surprised American Express didn’t appear for either men or women, as I think their branding is stronger. But maybe Visa and Mastercard are shopping-focused and are seen, subconsciously, as a gateway to painless purchasing.


  2. Naomi Niles
    Twitter: NaomiNiles
    February 2, 2011 at 11:33 am - Reply

    Ha ha, that is hilarious, Roger! The very first thing I thought was, “Bed, Bath, and Beyond? Really?” Of course, I just gauge this according to the closest male I have around, the husband. And he doesn’t dislike it, but I wouldn’t say it’d be one of his favorite brands either, LOL.

    I wonder how you would go about measuring awe and superiority. Hmmm.

    • Roger Dooley
      Twitter: rogerdooley
      February 2, 2011 at 11:59 am - Reply

      Crest at #1 for guys seems a bit odd, too, Naomi. Personally, I don’t find toothpaste branding all that compelling nor am I attracted to ads for it. BMW, Lexus, Apple, Panasonic, even Nat Geo, I get. But, we don’t really know how these rankings were developed.


  3. Denise February 2, 2011 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    I find the results in the matrix even more curious. Like Apple is cross section of superiority and harmony (???). superiority yes. I would have guess awe or exploration for the other attribute. Unless the axes represent men vs. women???

  4. Steven | TEM
    Twitter: StevenHandel
    February 3, 2011 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    I agree with Denise, I would like to learn more about what these “neurotypes” are all about.

  5. Will February 5, 2011 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    You can’t get data even remotely resembling this from eyetracking or the kind of EEG they claim to be using. These results are 100% fudge.

  6. denise lee yohn
    Twitter: deniseleeyohn
    February 5, 2011 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    seems like buyology has got some ‘splaining to do — these kinds of rankings can be misleading if we don’t understand what they’re really based on…
    — denise lee yohn

  7. Dohyun February 5, 2011 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    If anyone could measure “awe” “superiority” “harmony” and “exploration” with EEG and eye-tracking, as far as I know, they can re-write physiology textbooks.

  8. James February 6, 2011 at 10:00 am - Reply

    “Neurotypes™” lol!

    Neurofraud™ = When we make up meaningless terms and then trademark them.

  9. mrG February 6, 2011 at 11:06 am - Reply

    If I understand the methodology at all, what we see here is not the BRANDS that attract spontaneous attention, but the GRAPHIC DESIGN that is most catching. Of that list, there isn’t a single product ‘brand’ that interests me, but I can appreciate the elegance and simplicity of the BMW logo, perhaps even more than the Lamborghini logo, only if you offered me the car, I would much much rather have the Lotus Elan.

  10. Fidobites February 24, 2011 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    With the understanding and analysis of how some natural materials effect the human body, we distilled, processed, and re-packaged substances from these materials to end up with a highly concentrated doses targeting specific areas of the body. Hence we now have controlled substances and narcotics.

    And with these attempts to understand pathways into the human psyche, are we closer to injecting into people the desire and mental affinity to brands? Who’s to stop the abuse of the technology to induce addiction? Imagine the people running the casinos in Las Vegas getting their hands on this knowledge/technology.

  11. Mark The Biofeedback Machine April 19, 2011 at 11:38 am - Reply

    I agree, the adjectives they use are a bit puzzling. I know that in psychology, personality is often measured across 5 dimensions (the Big 5). How did they get those 5 dimensions? They put hundreds of personality-describing adjectives through factor analysis and they clustered into 5 groups. Maybe the researches of this study are using a similar system to rate brands. I’d appreciate if someone could dig up their methodology.

  12. Jim Fortin January 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    Some of the comments crack me up; people offering opinions on things they know nothing about. Not surprising! For those in the know, major companies are starting to use neuro research to design products. Apple/iPad used brain scans and neuro research to measure endorphin release in the brain when people were handling their products and then they designed accordingly.

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