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New research in neuroscience

Power of Ten: The Weird Psychology of Rankings

Headline writers have known for years that rankings articles like “Top 10″ lists generate clicks. University administrators have simultaneously dismissed USNews college rankings as inaccurate and irrelevant while still striving to improve their school’s own ranking. Practically everything is ranked these days – best cities to find love, best places to retire… people seem to love rankings, even when the rankings are so subjective as to be almost meaningless. Now, there’s some hard data that shows how we humans view rankings, and why it may be worth trying to move up (even if you think the rankings are bogus). […]

By |February 18th, 2014|

Save Time, Persuade with Rhyme!

What’s the most famous quote from the OJ Simpson “trial of the century?” Those of us old enough to have watched it on TV, or at lease followed the news accounts, would no doubt come up with, “If the gloves don’t fit, you must acquit!” This phrase, or a variation of it, was used by Simpson’s lawyer, Johnny Cochran. During the trial, Simpson made a show of struggling to fit into a glove linked to the murder. Simpson was acquitted, of course, and Cochran’s defense earned most of the credit for that outcome. […]

By |January 7th, 2014|

Study Maps Emotions by Body Part

Researchers at Finland’s Aalto University have produced a set of images showing where in their bodies people experience different emotions. Their news release states,

For example, anxiety may be experienced as pain in the chest, whereas falling in […]

By |January 3rd, 2014|

Most Overlooked: What Forbes Readers Missed

Here’s my last summary post for 2013, and for Neuromarketing readers it may be the most useful of all… My Brainy Marketing column at Forbes.com has a strange characteristic – the viewership of each article varies tremendously. My top post of 2013, Starbucks: Loyalty Program Misfire, is closing in on 100,000 views. Other posts, though, generate just a few hundred. These minimally-viewed posts aren’t bad; sometimes, in my own biased opinion, they have some great business takeaways.

In my Best of Neuromarketing compilation for 2013, I credited my readers here (that’s YOU!) with being discerning enough to serve as judge and jury. But when it comes to my pieces at Forbes I have to agree with Seth Godin, who wrote a few days ago: […]

By |December 30th, 2013|

Best of Neuromarketing – 2013

It’s time for our annual roundup of the top 12 posts here at Neuromarketing. The main criteria for selection is the amount of reader sharing and overall views. I find that the discerning readers here are great at identifying the most useful content, so a “crowdsourced” approach makes sense. If I missed your favorite, leave a comment! […]

By |December 26th, 2013|

Ouija Board Neuromarketing

Every neuromarketing technique has one main purpose: get beneath consumers’ conscious reactions and see what they think subconsciously. While some neuromarketers employ high tech equipment like fMRI machines, a Canadian group says a simple device first used in 1890 may unlock our brain’s secrets. A team from the University of British Columbia’s Visual Cognition Lab thinks that, used properly, the Ouija Board can show what subjects are really thinking. […]

By |November 18th, 2013|

Women Can Be Irrational, Too

This is big news for guys. For years, I’ve gently mocked my half of the species for being far-too-easily influenced by female images. Babes in bikinis alter male behavior, but it doesn’t always take that much. Simply including a photo of an attractive woman in a loan offer was enough to boost the response rate as much as a 4% lower interest rate (see A Pretty Woman Beats a Good Loan Deal). Women, meanwhile, have been shown to be largely immune to manipulation by mere photos. In Brainfluence, my chapter on gender is heavily skewed toward influencing males – mostly because it’s far easier!

It would be easy to conclude that guys are ridiculously shallow (even subconsciously), but a new study shows that women aren’t actually immune to what psychologists call “sexual primes.” The lack of female response in past research seems to have been due to the investigators priming the wrong sense: sight. Touch, it turns out, is the more powerful sense for women. […]

By |October 16th, 2013|

Four Words That Double Persuasion

Want to double your success in persuading people to do as you ask? Four simple words, and even other phrases with the same meaning, have been shown to double the success rate in dozens of studies worldwide. […]

By |October 9th, 2013|

Sex, Lies, and Our Secret Motivators

Here’s news that probably won’t shock you: sex is at the top of our unconscious minds. And, when marketers ask us, we won’t come close to admitting it. […]

By |October 4th, 2013|

The Right Way to Reward Your Customers

Guest post by John Carvalho

In today’s fragmented marketplace, true brand loyalty seems like a hard thing for companies to acquire and harder still for companies to hang onto. Yet, it’s arguably ever more important.

Loyalty programs are a key tool for doing so. From a psychological standpoint, allowing consumers to earn and use perks lead to feelings of status, stronger brand-consumer relationships, increased word-of-mouth, and increased purchasing intentions. […]

By |September 17th, 2013|