Our Brains Like Southwest Airlines, Google, & Dove
Neuromarketing firm Buyology is out with their updated list of most desirable brands in the U.S. The list has some expected names and a few surprises:
BUYOLOGY INC/uSAMP 2012 MOST DESIRED BRANDS in the U.S.
|Southwest Airlines||#1||Southwest Airlines|
|Bed Bath & Beyond||#5||Jetblue|
Unlike neuromarketing firms that use brain scans (EEG, fMRI) and/or biometrics, Buyology uses a technique called “latency response,” in essence making a subject choose quickly before conscious thought takes place. The milliseconds of delay before each choice is a gauge of the difficulty of the choice; Buyology uses this to evaluate non-conscious preferences.
Since no complex brain scan equipment is desired, the technique is very scalable; testing can be done via an Internet connection, allowing large sample sizes. In this brand desirability study, 4000 subjects were used to evaluate 220 diverse brands. The data is very fresh – the study was conducted in the first week of February, starting after the Super Bowl.
This kind of survey always produces some unexpected results. As in last year’s Most Desired Brands: a Neuromarketing Ranking, male respondents showed a surprising interest in Bed, Bath, & Beyond. This year, guys also went for Dove.
People LIKE an airline?
Air travel can be a brutal experience these days. Long lines, crowded planes, cramped seating, spartan cabin service, and endless nickel-and-dime add-ons are just a few obstacles to a great customer experience. (My latest outrage – when booking an American Airlines flight, on a mostly empty flight I found that every aisle seat on the plane was being held for ransom at a higher price or for elite program members. Not a good way to earn my business!) At at time when every traveler complains about flying, and brands like United and Delta are close to mortgage bankers and injury attorneys in public esteem, it’s amazing that Southwest tops the desired brand list for men and women. (JetBlue makes the list for women, but not men.) Clearly, Southwest’s combination of a fun and friendly atmosphere, egalitarian seating policies, and refusal to join their peers in painful additional charges for luggage, are having an effect.
What are you surprised by? Does this list make sense to you? Leave a comment with your thoughts!