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Cultural Differences in Reading Faces

The hottest new thing in neuromarketing is facial coding – the reading of fleeting facial expressions to determine true emotional reaction. Although the concept isn’t new – it dates to Paul Ekman’s groundbreaking research in the 1950s to 1970s – the ability to capture and interpret facial expressions automatically with simple cameras and even webcams is driving the new interest. Big companies like Coca Cola and Unilever are adopting the technique as standard (see Neuromarketing: For Coke, It’s the Real Thing), and the technology is being made available to companies of any size by firms like Affectiva and YouEye. […]

By |March 15th, 2013|

Put Your Customer on the Product

Lately, I’ve highlighted the various ways companies (and even colleges) are putting their customers in their ads by using social personalization or other means. In Australia, Coke took the idea one step farther, and put customer names directly on its product: […]

By |February 14th, 2012|

Neurons That Fire Together Wire Together

One of the key factors in the human brain’s ability to change via neuroplasticity is that neurons form interconnections based on simultaneous firing over a period of time. According to Norman Doidge, author of The Brain That Changes Itself, this theory was first proposed by none other than Sigmund Freud, but was articulated in more detail by Canadian psychologist Donald Hebb. Doidge attributes this neat summary to neuroscientist Carla Shatz: Neurons that fire together wire together. […]

By |May 6th, 2010|

Market Research: The Real Thing

A wise old direct marketer once told me, “Never carry a product with colors and sizes.” The root of this advice, of course, is the complexity and inventory that comes with those product characteristics. A single product can morph into dozens of individual SKUs. Soft drink makers have a little of the same problem. Introduce a product, and some people will want a diet version of it. Some consumers may want it with caffeine, others without. Some prefer cans, other various sizes of bottles. Somewhere in Coke headquarters in Atlanta, there’s an accountant who groans every time a product manager comes up with a new idea, like “Caribbean Coke, with natural pineapple and coconut flavors.” (I just made that up. And remember, you saw it here first.)

Coca-Cola has found one way to solve the product proliferation problem and conduct real-time market research too, by introducing Coca-Cola Freestyle: […]

By |July 30th, 2009|

Diet Drinks Don’t Fool The Brain

But, a little sugar goes a long way
Diet soft drinks are huge sellers in the U.S. as many consumers use them as a substitute for their calorie-laden sugary bretheren. The good news is that the flavor of these products have improved over time. Of late, Coke Zero ads have focused on humorous “taste infringement” legal action by regular Coke. The bad news: your brain isn’t fooled as easily as your taste buds, and readily distiguishes between sugar substitutes and the real thing. The news isn’t all bad, though. There’s new research that shows that a mere taste of sugar can go a long way. […]

By |April 24th, 2009|

The Power of “New”

Marketers know there are potent words in advertising, like “Free” and “New.” Neuroscientists have now determined that the appeal of “new” is hard-wired into our brains. Novelty activates our brain’s reward center, which may have been an evolutionary advantage to our ancestors as they encountered new food sources or other elements of survival. Today, we are no longer hunters and gatherers, but the novelty-seeking circuitry is still active and makes us find new products (and even repackaged old products) attractive. […]

By |June 26th, 2008|