Consumer Neuroscience: Neuromarketing Rebranded?
No, I’m not rebranding my blog Neuromarketing. But, with my broad focus on an all-encompassing definition of neuromarketing, I may be part of what some perceive as a problem – a too-inclusive use of the term. The biggest firm in the neuromarketing space, Nielsen’s NeuroFocus unit, is trying to sharpen the distinction between research approaches that use direct brain activity measurements (NeuroFocus uses EEG) and those that use techniques like biometrics, facial coding, and behavior metrics.
According to Caroline Winnett, Chief Marketing Officer and co-founder of NeuroFocus, the problem with the term “neuromarketing” isn’t just the “neuro” part. Providers like her firm go beyond purely marketing topics and engage in product testing, brand development, technology development, and R&D. Their proposed term, “consumer neuroscience,” would both emphasize the direct measurement of brain activity and avoid the limits imposed by a marketing-only focus.
One question that comes to mind is whether “consumer” might make B2B marketers feel excluded, but at the moment virtually all neuromarketing activity is consumer-focused.
I’m not planning on rebranding the blog, as I prefer a broadly inclusive definition of neuromarketing. Many of the strategies I discuss here and in my book Brainfluence are based on research using techniques other than EEG and fMRI. In a later post, I’ll get into this in more depth and maybe even update my own neuromarketing definition. That definition dates back to 2006, and both the industry and my own thinking have evolved since then.
What do you think? Does consumer neuroscience work for the industry?