Neuromarketing by Leon Zurawicki
Book Review: Neuromarketing: Exploring the Brain of the Consumer by Leon Zurawicki
I’m constantly asked the question, “where can I study neuromarketing?” by those looking for an undergraduate or graduate degree that will enable them to find a neuromarketing job after graduation. It’s fair to say that academia hasn’t fully embraced neuromarketing as a field of study, but when that happens Leon Zurawicki’s Neuromarketing: Exploring the Brain of the Consumer will likely be the textbook. Zurawicki’s book explores the field in a thoughtful, well-researched, and well-documented manner.
Zurawicki is well-qualified to write an academic tome such as this one. He is a professor in the Department of Management and Marketing at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and teaches an MBA course titled Brain of the Consumer. As you might expect from the author’s pedigree, the publisher (Springer, an academic-oriented firm), and the book’s hefty price tag (in the $100+ range in the U.S.), Zurawicki’s title is aimed squarely at the textbook market. As such, it isn’t a casual read for the CMO or business owner trying to get up to speed about neuromarketing.
Neuromarketing: Exploring the Brain of the Consumer starts with a chapter on basic brain physiology and neuroscience. This underpins the discussions which follow, beginning with “Consumption as Feelings” in the second chapter. Here, Zurawicki discusses how our brains react to rewards, seek comfort food, perceive beauty, and develop moods.
From there, Zurawicki delves into decision science and how we handle risks and develop preferences. In this chapter, he spends a short time discussing brands and our brain, and even gets into the issue of “love” and brands. (Remember the outcry when Martin Lindstrom opined that we really “love” our iPhones?)
Zurawicki spends quite a bit of time on the interesting topic of “neurosegmentation” – dividing customers into groups based on emotions, personality, and cognitive factors rather than traditional demographic metrics. The final chapter covers applying neuroscience and biometrics to the optimization of ads and products. Here, Zurawicki covers everything from ads in video games to EEG and eye-tracking analysis of ads.
The most valuable feature of Neuromarketing, and the reason every serious neuromarketer needs Zurawicki’s book, is the extensive bibliography. As befits an academic work, every statement of fact in the text includes a citation, and the bibliography runs twenty-eight pages in small type. For anyone digging into a neuromarketing-related topic, Zurawicki provides the resources to explore in depth.
Amazon Link: Neuromarketing: Exploring the Brain of the Consumer
Kindle Version: Neuromarketing: Exploring the Brain of the Consumer
I won’t talk about neuromarketing not being, as you note yourself, fully embraced by academia as a field of study. However, I have to say that this is a really overpriced textbook. $110.66 for a textbook of merely 241 pages? Yes, textbooks are expensive; but they have a ton of pages also.
I’ve yet to figure out how publishers set prices, and whether they are optimized for profit or just guesses. I’m sure they would sell a lot more copies if this book was priced like other business books, as the current price limits appeal to textbook buyers (who have no choice) and a small number of business buyers.
Of course, it’s not really written for the mass market anyway. Personally, I’d be happy for lower retail pricing on Brainfluence, particularly on the Kindle version. I have no doubt that a low Kindle price would greatly boost sell-through, perhaps generating even more revenue. The publishers make the call, though.
Found this site recently. It has good info on neuromarketing (in Portuguese): http://forebrain.com.br/foreblog/
Nice try to promote your website. Recently found the website and then put’s it as his homepage. Just tell us that you are writing a blog about the topic in Portuguese. That is totally ok and would be honest.
Not sure if it was this brain activity that you wanted to trigger in me…
Sorry, Berritorre, please explain…
Would this text provide the appropriate content and business introduction for a neuroscientist interested in neuromarketing but with little background in business/marketing?
James, this book is packed with well-cited research related to a wide range of understanding consumer behavior – it’s a great foundation for understanding the concepts involved in neuromarketing. For a view from the the founder of NeuroFocus, now part of Nielsen, also check out A.K. Pradeep’s The Buying Brain. The latter book provides a more commercial perspective.
In this early stage of the neuromarketing industry, the roles and disciplines needed are still evolving. Good luck!